Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova is to miss out on this summer's Olympic Games in Rio de Janerio, the TASS news agency reported on Monday.
Sharapova is not able to compete until the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne rules on her appeal against her two-year ban for doping violations. CAS announced today that it will be publishing a verdict on Sept. 19.
Sharapova received the ban from the International Tennis Federation (ITF) after failing a drug test in January. She tested positive for meldonium, a substance which has been banned by the World Anti-Doping Association (WADA) since Jan 1, 2016.
Shamil Tarpishchev, president of the Russian Tennis Federation, told TASS that Sharapova's absence was a big loss for the national team. “We had believed she could win a medal for us,” he said.
Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko also expressed his regret. “It goes without saying that the absence of a sportswoman of such a high caliber is a big loss for our team at the Olympics,” he said.