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Sharapova.

Maria Sharapova’s drug ban severely cut

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Maria Sharapova's drug saga continues, and this time, it is in her favour.

The tennis star has had her ban significantly reduced following an appeal this week.  

Sharapova burst onto the scene back in 2004 when she won Wimbledon at the tender age of 17. She defeated Serena Williams in the final in what promised to be the start of a glittering career for the Russian.

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However, since then, she has never really quite reached the heights everyone thought she would with regards to Grand Slams, winning just five in her career.

However, regardless of her performances on the court, Sharapova has always been one of the leading figures when it comes to women's tennis.

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Her commercial earnings far outweigh her tournament winnings, and she's even started selling candy named 'Sugarpova.'

The Russian, along with Novak Djokovic, is the face of HEAD tennis, and they have been quick to congratulate her following the news.

So, what happened? 

The tennis star was banned back in January 2016 when she failed a drugs test at the Australian Open. The test found that she had been using meldonium, a drug which was banned at the start of January.

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Sharapova claimed after the ban that her team were unaware that the drug had been put on the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) banned list. She has been taking the drug since 2006 and claimed it was for health reasons and had 'not tried to use a performance-enhancing substance.'

The appeal has resulted in the 24-month ban being reduced by nine months. This means that we could be seeing Sharapova in the 2017 French Open after serving her 15 months out. 

Similar events have happened in the past when Marin Cilic had his ban reduced from nine months to four. Victor Troicki also had his cut from 18 months to 12.

Sharapova was confident in a reduction to the suspension and felt that WADA were making an example of her.

The cut has sparked a lot of talk on Twitter, and Sharapova herself has blasted the IDF stating that: "I also learned how much better other federations were at notifying their athletes of the rule change. 

"Now that this process is over, I hope the ITF and other relevant tennis anti-doping authorities will study what these other federations did so that no other tennis player will have to go through what I went through."

Her sponsor has tweeted their support: "HEAD wish to congratulate Maria Sharapova on the CAS ruling, and we welcome her return to competitive tennis in April 2017. We are proud to have stood by Maria for the right reasons throughout these difficult times. #WeStoodWithMaria'

"We are proud to have stood by Maria for the right reasons throughout these difficult times. #WeStoodWithMaria"

Many people are unhappy with the results, and the reaction from Sharapova, and here is what some people have said:

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Topics:
US Open Tennis
Rafael Nadal
Novak Djokovic
Maria Sharapova
Roger Federer
Tennis
Serena Williams
Andy Murray

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