Simona Halep provisionally suspended after testing positive for banned substance
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Maria Sharapova looks on during the US Open final against Serena Williams on Sunday at the Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing, New York.
The world No. 1 tennis player Maria Sharapova is temporarily suspended from the rest of the season after testing positive for a banned substance, the ATP said on Monday.
The suspension will remain in place until the conclusion of the season, which ends on August 3, the ATP said. Sharapova is scheduled to be at Miami on Tuesday to defend her title in the Miami Masters tournament.
“The ATP confirms to the tennis community that Maria Sharapova has tested positive for the prohibited substance meldonium and was accordingly temporarily suspended from competition following a hearing on Monday with the players’ commission,” the organization said on its website.
Sharapova’s suspension, along with those of world No. 4 Milos Raonic and Canadian teenager Sloane Stephens, will all have a negative impact on the ATP Tour but is likely to have limited impact on the Grand Slams. Sharapova and Stephens, who are both out of the World Championship tennis tournament, do not have Grand Slam status. In addition, Sharapova’s suspension affects events she played on the pro tour in 2014.
“I have never felt such pressure in my life as I feel right now,” said Maria Sharapova, according to a statement released by the U.S. Tennis Association in an email to The Associated Press.
The ATP says it will make sure Sharapova’s results for the rest of the season, including rankings, rankings points and prize money, are not tampered with.
“We will see how the players’ commission goes on with Maria, but until they have a hearing we can confirm that Sharapova will be able to play on the ATP Pro Circuit (the tour circuit) at tournaments on the surface court this season,” said Larry Klein, the executive chairman of the ATP.
The new sanctions are expected to come as a blow to Sharapova’s sponsor, Nike, which has had a strong affiliation with the Russian star