This is a Monday, March 7, 2016 file photo showing tennis star Maria Sharapova speakings about her failed drug test at the Australia Open during a news conference in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
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Maria Sharapova was suspended Wednesday for two years for failing a drug test, labeled "the sole author of her own misfortune" because she hid regular pre-match use of a newly banned substance from anti-doping authorities and members of her own entourage.The ban, handed down by a three-person Tennis Anti-Doping Program tribunal appointed by the International Tennis Federation, is backdated to Jan. 26, when Sharapova last played.It certainly throws into doubt the on-court future of a former No. 1-ranked player and owner of five Grand Slam titles who is one of the most well-known and -- thanks to a wide array of endorsements -- highest-earning athletes in the world.She is one of 10 women in tennis history with a career Grand Slam -- at least one title from each of the sport's four most important tournaments. Sharapova's defense: She was not aware that the World Anti-Doping Agency barred athletes from using meldonium, also known as mildronate, as of Jan. 1 .In 2012, Sharapova reduced her pill intake, but continued with meldonium, the panel found.Sharapova also did not note her use of mildronate on any of the seven doping control forms she turned in from Oct. 22, 2014, to Jan. 26, 2016, the panel found.
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