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  • Journey of Maria Sharapova - from ban to wildcard entry

    Reporter: Aditya Soni
    Published: Sunday, 30 April 2017
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    Maria Sharapova is set to make her comeback to competitive tennis starting with the Stuttgart Open, from April 26, after serving her ban for failing a drugs test. Here’s a timeline of events over the last 15 months.

    2016


    January 26: Loses to long-term rival Serena Williams in the Australian Open quarter-final.

    March 7: Reveals failed drug test for meldonium – controversially added to WADA banned list on January 1, 2016 – which she has used for various health issues for 10 years.

    March 8: Porsche, Tag Heuer and Nike suspend lucrative sponsorship deals.

    March 10: Racquet manufacturer Head stands with Sharapova, and offers to extend her contract.

    March 12: Provisionally suspended by the International Tennis Federation (ITF). She insists that warnings about changes to anti-doping rules were not communicated effectively.

    March 15: United Nations removes Sharapova as goodwill ambassador. She had been active in helping recovery efforts after the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

    June 8: Banned for two years by the ITF.

    October 4: Court of Arbitration for Sport reduces the ban from 24 months to 15 months, saying “she bore some degree of fault, for which a sanction of 15 months is appropriate".

    October 10: Plays at charity event to support Elton John’s AIDS Foundation.

    Maria Sharapova Pics 2017





    2017


    January 10: Announces that she will make a comeback in April for the Stuttgart Grand Prix.

    February 8: Granted wildcard for the Madrid Open.

    March 1: Granted wildcard for Rome Masters. Andy Murray is critical of the decision to hand wildcards, saying offenders would need to “work their way back.”

    April: Set to play in Stuttgart from April 26, despite event beginning two days before suspension expires.
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