Despite being charged and suspended by WADA for taking banned substance Meldonium, Maria Sharapova has been included in the Russian Tennis Team which will take part in the upcoming Rio Olympics 2016. Sharapova has been named to compete in the Women’s Singles event with three others teammates Svetlana Kuznetsova, Anastasia Pavliuchenkova, and Darya Kasatkina.
As per the norms of the Olympic committee four women player with the highest ATP rankings can compete in the Olympics but though Sharapova meets this criterion there are still dark clouds looming large over her participation at the Greatest Show on the Earth due to the suspension imposed on her by WADA.
To remind you, the five-time Grand Slam winning glamour girl of Tennis tested positive for Meldonium at this year’s Australian Open after it was included on WADA’s list of banned substances in January and for that reason, she was provisionally suspended on March 12.
The World Ant-Doping Agency (WADA) also announced on April 13, that if an athlete consumes less than one microgram of Meldonium before the tests taken on 1st March, that would be acceptable, and the athlete would not face any consequences. Although how much Meldonium Sharapova had in her system has not been disclosed by the governing body.
When asked about confirmation of silver-medal winner at the London Olympics 4 years ago, Sharapova’s inclusion in the Russian Tennis Team flying to Rio, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) member and president of the Russian Tennis Federation (RTF), Shamil Tarpishchev told the news agency “We will include Sharapova in the team, which we need to announce by 6 June. Whether she competes or not should be decided by the end of the first week of Roland Garros.”
RTF is expected to apply before Olympic Committee for Sharapova’s participation in Rio before June 6 and Russia is also considering the opportunity to put another player on the list of competitors if Sharapova does not get permission to take part in the Rio Olympics 2016. In that case and if a substitution will be allowed, Sharapova will be replaced byfifth choice among theRussian women tennis players and the world number 29, Yekaterian Maksimova,