Maria Sharapova will return to the tennis court sooner than expected.
The Russian tennis star had her two-year doping ban reduced by nine months after she won her appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Sharapova originally was supposed to be reinstated in January 2018, but she will be able to resume playing in April 2017, making her eligible for the French Open, Wimbledon and U.S. Open.
“I’ve gone from one of the toughest days of my career to, now, one of the happiest days,” Sharapova said in a statement Tuesday.
The 29-year-old tested positive for meldonium at the Australian Open this past January. The drug, which serves as a heart medication that improves blood flow, wasn’t on the World Anti-Doping Agency until 2016, and Sharapova claims she had no idea that the drug was on the banned list.
Thumbnail photo via Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports Images
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