CAS delays decision on Sharapova appeal


The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has deferred its ruling on Maria Sharapova's two-year ban until September in order to gather sufficient evidence.

A decision on the five-time grand-slam champion's future was due to be made later this month, however delays due to "scheduling conflicts" has seen that date pushed back.

Sharapova was provisionally banned by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) in March after testing positive for banned substance meldonium at this year's Australian Open.

The former world number one claimed to be unaware that meldonium had been added to WADA's prohibited list at the start of 2016.

The ITF announced in June that an independent tribunal had handed a two-year suspension to the Russian, backdated to January 26, 2016 - the date of her positive test in Melbourne.

"Maria Sharapova and the International Tennis Federation (ITF) have agreed to defer the CAS decision until September 2016," a CAS statement on the delay read. 

"Due to the parties requiring additional time to complete and respond to their respective evidentiary submissions, and several scheduling conflicts, the parties have agreed not to expedite the appeal. A decision is expected to be issued by 19 September 2016.

"On 9 June 2016, Maria Sharapova filed an appeal against the decision issued on 6 June 2016 by the Tribunal appointed by the ITF. In her appeal to the CAS, Ms Sharapova seeks the annulment of the Tribunal's decision to sanction her with a two-year period of ineligibility further to an anti-doping rule violation. Ms Sharapova submits that the period of ineligibility should be eliminated, or in the alternative, reduced.

"The final decision will be announced and published by CAS when it is available. At the request of the parties, this arbitration procedure will be kept confidential and the CAS will not comment any further."