Doping Ban: Maria Sharapova To Learn Her Fate Next Month - UBITENNIS
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Doping Ban: Maria Sharapova To Learn Her Fate Next Month

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Tennis player Maria Sharapova leaves the podium after addressing the media regarding a failed drug test at The LA Hotel Downtown on March 7, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Source: Kevork Djansezian/zimbio.com)

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has announced today that they will make a decision about Maria Sharapova’s appeal against her two-year doping ban in the first week of October.

 

The former world No.1 is currently suspended from the sport after testing positive for Meldonium during this year’s Australian Open and in a out-of competition test on February 2nd. It was discovered that Sharapova and her team failed to check that the substance became a banned drug on January 1st this year. After a lengthy hearing with the ITF, the body concluded that there was no justifiable reason for the 29-year-old to consume the substance.

‘In the tribunal’s view the answer is clear. Whatever the position may have been in 2006, there was in 2016 no diagnosis and no therapeutic advice supporting the continuing use of Mildronate (Meldonium).” The ITF report said.
‘If she had believed that there was a continuing medical need to use Mildronate then she would have consulted a medical practitioner. The manner of its use, on match days and when undertaking intensive training, is only consistent with an intention to boost her energy levels.”

As a result of the decision, Sharapova’s legal team immediately launched an appeal against the ban to the CAS on June 9th. The original decision by the court was due in September, however, it was agreed by both parties that the decision will be delayed. It is now confirmed that Sharapova will be informed if her appeal is successful in 3-4 weeks time.

“In her appeal to the CAS, Ms Sharapova seeks a reduction of the Tribunal’s decision to sanction her with a two-year period of ineligibility further to an anti-doping rule violation,” CAS said in a statement.
“The final award will be published on the CAS website together with a media release.”

Sharapova is currently prohibited from competing on the tour until the end of January 2018. If this decision stays in place, she will not be allowed to play in a grand slam tournament until the 2018 French Open.

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John McEnroe believes that it will be unlikely for Rafael Nadal to play bot the US Open and Roland Garros

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John McEnroe believes that Novak Djokovic is likely to compete at both the US Open and at Roland Garros, provided that he is healthy, but he thinks that Rafael Nadal could skip the US Open.

 

The 2020 ATP season is set to restart next August after a five-month break due to the covid-19 pandemic. The US Open will start on 31st August and end on 13th September. The French Open has been rescheduled from 27th September to 11th October.

“I believe and this is just my feeling, the top players  are going to play both. They have been sitting there and I am assuming most of the top players and some of the younger ones are chomping at the bit to get back out on the court, to compete and see what they have got. You are talking about two of the three majors that remain, that is a huge deal for the players. It has been done before and it won’t affect more than a couple of players. Obviously we presume and hope Novak will be fine and able to compete if he chooses to do so at the US Open”, said McEnroe.  

Rafael Nadal will face the tough challenge to defend both Grand Slam titles at the US Open and Roland Garros and the Masters 1000 trophy in Rome in one month. The Spaniard beat Dominic Thiem in the Roland Garros final becoming the first men’s or women’s player to win a Grand Slam event 12 times (Margaret Court won the Australian Open 11 times). Nadal beat Danil Medvedev in five sets to win his fourth US Open title in New York. According to McEnroe the 19-time Grand Slam champion may take a difficult decision to skip the US Open to focus on his attempt to win the 13th Grand Slam title of his career.

“Rafa is the one you would think that might be a bit tricky for him from hard to clay. That’s not something he likes to do or has done very often. It will be interesting to see if some European players decide not to come over to the USA because of some concerns over renewed outbreaks and it seems as though New York is doing much better. Who knows what is going to happen in the next months. I think it can be done and it sounds as tough they have set it up in a way that is extremely safe and the few people that will be allowed in. I would be surprised if the top players certainly, they have the right not to play, but I would be surprised if they don’t play”, continued McEnroe.

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Australian Open Chief Confident Event Will Take Place In January Amid COVID-19 Jump In Region

Craig Tiley has addressed concerns about the Grand Slam following a new outbreak in Victoria.

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The tournament director of the Australian Open has insisted that plans for next year’s tournament are on track despite a spike in COVID-19 cases around Melbourne.

 

Craig Tiley has stated that the Grand Slam will only take place in the city and there are no backup plans to potentially relocate the event in a worst case scenario. The Australian Open is held annually at Melbourne Park and this year attracted a record attendance of 812,174 people. Although there are concerns about the threat posed by COVID-19 with the Victoria State Government reporting another 66 cases of the virus on Friday. Making it the 17th day the daily infection rate has been in double digits. It is possible that the number could be higher with health minister Jenny Mikakos confirming around 10,000 people have refused to be tested with some claiming the virus to be a ‘conspiracy theory.’

According to ABC News Tiley and his team are planning for six scenarios concerning the Australian Open taking place, including the possibility of holding it behind closed doors. Although he is optimistic that the event and others also set to take place next January will go ahead as planned.

“Nothing has changed for us in terms of our planning,” Tiley told AAP.
“The environment around us has changed, and will continue to change, as we’ve seen with the current spike in Victoria.
“We’re optimistic the additional measures currently in place will be successful — and restrictions will continue to be eased over the coming months.”

The Tournament director has also confirmed that there will be little flexibility concerning the staging of next year’s event. Saying it will only take place in Melbourne and during January if it goes ahead. Although he is keeping a close eye on the two Grand Slams that are set to take place later this season.

“The US Open and the French Open are exploring mandatory testing, varying levels of quarantine and limiting entourages,” he said.
“Of course we are looking at all these options, and more, as part of our scenario planning.
“It’s difficult to predict exactly what will need to be in place as guidelines and protocols are changing week by week, and sometimes even day by day.”

This year’s US Open is set to get underway on August 31st, but will be held behind closed doors for the first time. Meanwhile the French Open, which starts only weeks after the New York major, plans to allow up to 20,000 fans to attend daily. Working out to be roughly 60% of its maximum capacity.

The last time the Australian Open didn’t take place was in 1986 due to a change in its hosting date from December to January. Founded in 1905, it is the youngest out of the four grand slam tournaments.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas recalls his first training session with Roger Federer

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Stefanos Tsitsipas became the youngest ATP Finals champion since Lleyton Hewitt in 2001 and the fifth youngest player in the 50-year history of the year-end tournament. Tsitsipas fended off 11 of the 12 break points against Roger Federer in the ATP Finals semifinals and 12 of the 12 break points he faced against the Swiss Maestro in the fourth round of the Australian Open before losing to Rafael Nadal in the semifinals. During 2019 Federer beat Tsitsipas in two finals in Dubai and Basel. Tsitsipas recalled his first training session with Federer.

 

“First time it was like unbelievable. I thought I was dreaming, honestly. As more you play with him, the more normal it seems but at the same time it can’t seem normal because it’s Roger Federer, it’s not any other player”, said Tsitsipas.

When Indian Wells was cancelled due to the pandemic, Tsitispas was never going to wait for the Tour to resume. As there was uncertainty about the Miami Open, he could not return to Greece. He made a short road trip to visit a group called “Yes Fam”, whose goal is to spread a philosophy of positivity. Tsitsipas talked about what he learnt from Federer.

“Expressing myself more. I spent a lot of time with him during the Laver Cup in September and I learned a lot of things from him. Even the way you carry yourself, the way you speak, the way you think you can pass this to someone else. I felt really inspired”, recalled Tsitsipas.

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