The International Tennis Federation has banned Maria Sharapova from playing tennis for two years following an investigation into her use of a prohibited drug.
The Russian tennis star was previously banned in March after testing positive for meldonium – a heart disease drug – at January’s Australian Open.
The 29-year-old has vowed to fight the ‘unfairly harsh’ ban by appealing at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
She claims that despite findings concluding that she hadn’t tried to use the drug as a performance enhancing substance, the ITF had asked the tribunal to impose a four-year ban due to the tremendous amounts of time and resources trying to prove she had intentionally violated the anti-doping rules.
‘I intend to stand for what I believe is right and that's why I will fight to be back on the tennis court as soon as possible’. Maria said in a statement.
‘I have missed playing tennis and I have missed my amazing fans... your love and support has gotten me through these tough days.'