Maria Sharapova has been suspended by the ITF for two years. She tested positive earlier this year for Meldonium, an anti-ischemic drug that has been shown to have performance enhancing properties. While two years may seem a lot, consider that she has been using this drug for years and gaining an unfair advantage over her opponents. Whether this was known or not by Sharapova, I find it hard to believe her team was not aware of the added benefits she was gaining from the continuous use of this drug. Before we think this is too long of a suspension, remember that numerous attempts were made to alert Sharapova to stop using the drug before it went on the list of banned substances and they were ignored. Was this intentionally or unintentionally? I find it baffling to say the least why her team was not paying attention to the list of banned substances and potentially could have prevented her suspension.
The ITF gave her the maximum allowed suspension for what was deemed unintentional use of a banned substance. Sharapova plans to appeal the decision, which she thinks is too harsh. There is much evidence to support her decision to appeal as several players have had their initial suspensions reduced to a shorter suspensions following appeals.