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Ban on Russian Tennis Champion Sharapova ‘Warned Five Times Meldonium’.

Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova was warned at least
five times in one month by tennis authorities that meldonium would be
added to the list of banned substances, the Times newspaper reported
Wednesday.

According to the Times, in December last year Sharapova
received three letters from the International Tennis Federation and two
letters from Women’s Tennis Association, notifying her that meldonium
would be added to the list of banned substances on Jan.1 2016, the RBC
news website reported.

On Monday, Sharapova announced that she failed a drug test
at the Australian Open in January. She had tested positive for
meldonium, a drug Sharapova said she had been taking for ten years as a
treatment for pre-diabetes. Sharapova claims that she did not know the
drug had been banned.

Sharapova has been suspended from participating in tournaments starting from March 12.

The first hearing regarding Sharapova’s case is set to take place on
March 23 in London. If found guilty of deliberate use of prohibited
medication she faces a 4-year ban from tennis, according to the
Kommersant newspaper.

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