It seems like it was just a few months ago that Maria Sharapova was banned from professional tennis playing for two years, because it was.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport has decided that Sharapova feels very bad for what she did and they’re reducing her sentence after letting her think about it for a few months. The Associated Press reports that the Russian tennis star should be back on the court in April of 2017, competing in the French Open.
Sharapova was originally banned when traces of the drug meldonium were found in her system. Meldonium increases blood flow, which brings more oxygen to the muscles. That sounds like it feels really good! It was added to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s list of banned substances in January of 2016. Sharapova claimed she didn’t know it had been added to the list, but she “bore some degree of fault” for her use of the drug, according to authorities.
Sharapova claimed that she started taking meldonium in 2006, because a doctor suggested it to her after she had the flu, a magnesium deficiency, and a diabetes scare. It’s also a drug that was found in the systems of over 100 athletes in Russia and eastern Europe earlier this year, so it must be a very common prescription.
In a statement on her return to the sport, Sharapova said, “I’ve gone from one of the toughest days of my career last March when I learned about my suspension to now, one of my happiest days, as I found out I can return to tennis in April... In so many ways, I feel like something I love was taken away from me and it will feel really good to have it back. Tennis is my passion and I have missed it. I am counting the days until I can return to the court.”