Maria Sharapova Named to Russia's Rio 2016 Olympic Tennis Team

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMay 26, 2016

FILE - In this March 7, 2016, file photo, Maria Sharapova speaks about her failed drug test during a news conference in Los Angeles.   International Tennis Federation president David Haggerty Wednesday April 20, 2016 said a disciplinary hearing is scheduled in Maria Sharapova's doping case, with a ruling possible before Wimbledon. Haggerty told reporters the independent Tennis Integrity Unit typically takes
Damian Dovarganes/Associated Press

Maria Sharapova will be included on the Russian tennis team for the 2016 Summer Olympics, even though her status remains uncertain after being banned from all competition.

Dmitriy Rogovitskiy of Reuters noted Thursday that Russian Tennis Federation president Shamil Tarpishchev told R-Sport that Sharapova will be among the selections when the rosters are due June 6. She's been provisionally suspended from tennis since March after testing positive for meldonium.  

Sharapova took "full responsibility" for the failed test, which occurred during the Australian Open in January, per Christopher Clarey and Mike Tierney of the New York Times. The five-time major champion stated she didn't know about meldonium's placement on the banned list starting this year and had used the substance since 2006.

"I was getting sick very often," she said. "I had a deficiency in magnesium. I had irregular EKG results, and I had a family history of diabetes and there were signs of diabetes."

Sharapova, who had been dealing with a forearm injury before the suspension, hasn't played an event since the Australian Open, the season's first major. She's currently missing the second Grand Slam tournament, the French Open, where she won titles in 2012 and 2014.

Graham Dunbar of the Associated Press reported last month a final ruling in the case could be delivered in June. It's a projection based on the timeline provided by International Tennis Federation president David Haggerty, who stated the cases typically take two-to-three months.

The timetable could make her eligible for not only the Rio Olympics in August, but also Wimbledon, which begins in late June. It would be ideal for her to get some tournament action under her belt before the Summer Games in order to seriously compete for a medal.

Reuters noted Ekaterina Makarova would get a place on the team alongside Svetlana Kuznetsova, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Daria Kasatkina if Sharapova is not cleared.


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