Maria Sharapova has been given a two-year suspension on Wednesday by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) for testing positive for the banned substance meldonium.
The ruling by an independent three-person panel appointed by the ITF said Sharapova, did not intend to cheat, but that she bore “sole responsibility” and “very significant fault” for the positive test, ESPN reported.
The 29-year-old Russian was provisionally banned in March after testing positive for meldonium at January’s Australian Open.
The heart disease drug, which Sharapova claimed she has been taking since 2006 for health issues, became a banned substance on 1 January 2016.
The ITF, last month before the tribunal, asked for Sharapova to be suspended for four years, but the rules state that she could not be suspended for longer than two years if it was deemed that her use of the drug was not intentional.
The ban has been backdated to January 26 – the day the Russian failed her drugs test – meaning it will end on January 25, 2018.
However, Sharapova has immediately responded by saying she would appeal the decision.