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Sharapova appeal verdict due from CAS

Press AssociationPress Association 3/10/2016

Maria Sharapova will learn the result of her appeal against a two-year doping ban on Tuesday afternoon, the Court of Arbitration for Sport has announced.

Five-time grand slam champion Sharapova, 29, admitted in March that she tested positive for meldonium at January's Australian Open.

A two-year ban was imposed by the International Tennis Federation in June, back-dated to January, and she appealed to CAS seeking a reduction.

Sharapova, who won a silver medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games, was forced to sit out Rio 2016 after the appeal was initially postponed.

A verdict will now be delivered at approximately 1pm GMT on Tuesday (00:00 Wednesday AEST), according to a short statement published on CAS's official website.

Sharapova argues that she had been using the Latvian-made heart disease drug under medical advice for a decade and had not realised it had been added to the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) banned list on January 1, 2016.

But an ITF disciplinary panel dismissed this explanation, pointing out that meldonium had been on WADA's ''watch list'' of controversial drugs for more than a year and there had been numerous warnings to athletes about it becoming prohibited in late 2015.

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