Maria Sharapova’s impending suspension for a failed drug test at the 2016 Australian Open may be reduced to just months. Sharapova faces suspension of up to four years. However, the tennis star has options which will reduce the suspension significantly.
Tennis AS has reported that should Sharapova be able to prove she was not using meldonium as a performance enhancer the ban may be reduced significantly. Her co-operation with the International Tennis Federation’s investigation could also work in her favour to reduce the suspension.
In addition, the World Anti-Doping Code stipulates any athlete who comes forward about a failed drug test immediately and provides sufficient assistance with the anti-doping officials for the duration of the investigation will be shown leniency in the length of the suspension.
Furthermore, any information provided to officials has to be credible and has to be of significant importance for the process.
With this said, Sharapova’s assistance thus far in the process, could see her suspension reduced to only months. A suspension of only a few short months could see the star back on court for Wimbledon, or even perhaps the French Open.