International Tennis Federation announces Maria Sharapova suspension

Tennis star had earlier announced that she had failed a drug test

International Tennis Federation announces Maria Sharapova suspension

Picture by: Dominic Lipinski / PA Wire/Press Association Images

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has announced that Maria Sharapova will be provisionally suspended from March 12th.

The Russian star had announced that she had failed a test for a now banned substance at a press conference.

The 28-year-old staged a news conference to reveal she tested positive for Meldonium, a substance she had been taking since 2006.

Meldonium was added to the banned list this year.

Sharapova said she did not look at the updated ban list before taking the drug.

In a statement, the ITF confirmed, "Following the statement made by Maria Sharapova in a press conference today, the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme (TADP) can confirm the following:

- On 26 January 2016, Ms Sharapova provided an anti-doping sample to the TADP in association with her participation in the 2016 Australian Open.

- That sample was analysed by a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) accredited laboratory, which returned a positive for meldonium, which is a prohibited substance under the WADA Code and, therefore also the TADP.

- In accordance with Article 8.1.1 of the TADP, Ms Sharapova was charged on 2 March with an Anti-Doping Rule Violation.

- Ms Sharapova has accepted the finding of meldonium in her sample collected on 26 January.

- As meldonium is a non-specified substance under the WADA (and, therefore, TADP) list of Prohibited Substances and Prohibited Methods, Ms Sharapova will be provisionally suspended with effect from 12 March, pending determination of the case."