Maria Sharapova of Russia serves during her match against Serena Williams of the U.S.A. at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, July 9, 2015. REUTERS/Toby Melville
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Maria Sharapova has been cleared to return to tennis next April after the Court of Arbitration for Sport reduced the former world No. 1's two-year drugs ban by nine months Tuesday.Sharapova, who will now be clear to return from April 26 and can play in three of the year's four grand slams, said she could not wait to get back on court.Sharapova, who earned $29.7 million last year as the world's highest-paid female athlete, had called the ITF's original ruling "unfairly harsh" as an independent tribunal had found that she had not intentionally violated anti-doping rules.Sponsor Head, who stuck with Sharapova when other sponsors either terminated or suspended their agreements, said justice had been served and that it was "wholly unfair" that the ban had been imposed in the first place.
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