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Despite doping ban Sharapova named in Russia's Olympic team

May 26, 2016 14:13 IST

Maria Sharapova

IMAGE: Sharapova listed in Russia's Olympic squad. Photograph: Twitter.

Embattled Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova has been provisionally named in her country's squad for the forthcoming Rio Olympics.

The five-time Grand Slam champion was handed a provisional suspension from the sport in March after she revealed that she had tested positive for the banned substance meldonium at this year's Australian Open.

Meldonium was placed on the banned list by the World Anti-Doping Agency this year but the 2012 Olympic silver medallist said that she had been taking the drug since 2006 legally for years for health reasons.

Last month, the WADA had in fact suggested that athletes who were tested positive for meldonium before March 1 could have their bans overturned as the agency was unable to detect the span of time that the drug takes to get cleared from the human body.

Her participation will however depend on the doping ban being lifted after an ongoing hearing.

However, the 29-year-old has been told to expect a verdict next month after the tennis anti-doping committee's hearing on her case took place last week.

Russian Tennis Federation president, Shamil Tarpishchev, had earlier expressed that he expected Sharapova to represent her country in Rio, while branding the positive test as 'nonsense'.