Sharapova, who until recently was the world’s highest-paid female athlete, announced in a March 7 press conference that she had tested positive for Meldonium, a drug normally used to speed up the recovery time of injuries. The drug had been legal until January 1 of this year.
Prior to her suspension, the former number one tennis star had been provisionally suspended from competition until the ITF could make a formal ruling on the case. Despite the ban, Sharapova has been training and was named to the Russian Olympic team in case the ITF decided to grant her leniency and lift the suspension.
The ban means she will miss the remaining two Grand Slam tournaments this year and at least all of next year, before becoming eligible to return in January of 2018.