Moscow: Maria Sharapova will be returned to the national Olympic entry list for the 2016 Rio Games in case the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) issues a positive ruling on her appeal, Russian Tennis Federation (RTF) president Shamil Tarpishchev said.
Two weeks ago Sharapova was reported to have filed an appeal with the CAS in Switzerland’s Lausanne against her two-year suspension, which was imposed on June 8 by the International Tennis Federation’s (ITF) Tribunal over anti-doping violations, reports TASS. "We are closely monitoring the news from CAS," Tarpishchev said in an interview with TASS on Tuesday. "The decision must be made before July 18. In case of a positive appeal’s outcome Sharapova will replace (Ekaterina) Makarova." Following the five-time Major champion’s suspension Tarpishchev had announced that Sharapova was substituted in the Olympic roster by Makarova, who at the moment had the better ranking in the Women Tennis Association (WTA). The RTF stated in late May that it decided to enter in the Olympic team Sharapova, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Anastasia Pavliuchenkova and Darya Kasatkina. In early March, Sharapova announced that her doping tests revealed the presence of performance enhancing drug meldonium in the body system. Following the announcement, the former World No.1 was provisionally suspended from all tennis-related activities. The drug meldonium (mildronate) was included in the list of preparations banned by WADA from January 1, 2016. The presence of the meldonium substance in the athlete’s blood during and between competitions is a violation of anti-doping rules. The substance belongs to S4 class on the WADA blacklist (hormones and metabolic modulators). WADA announced on April 13 that the concentration of less than one microgram of meldonium in the body system of an athlete, whose doping tests were conducted before March 1, was acceptable.