Russia tennis star Maria Sharapova has appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to overturn her two-year ban from the game awarded by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) last week. The 29-year-old received the punishment for testing positive for a banned substance in the Australian Open 2016.
The five-time Grand Slam winner in women's singles is now determined to see the ban completely "eliminated," or at least reduced. A decision from the CAS is expected to arrive on July 18.
"In her appeal to the CAS, Ms Sharapova seeks the annulment of the [ITF] Tribunal's decision to sanction her with a two-year period of ineligibility further to an anti-doping rule violation," the CAS mentioned in a statement, Agence France-Presse reported.
"Ms Sharapova submits that the period of ineligibility should be eliminated, or in the alternative, reduced."
Sharapova admitted to using the drug -- meldonium -- under the name of mildronate and added that she was unaware that the substance was in the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA's) banned list. Meldonium was actually added to the banned list by WADA on Sep. 16 last year, but the ban came into effect only on Jan. 1, 2016.
Following the ITF's June 8 ruling, which mentioned that the tennis star's ban has been backdated to Jan. 26, 2016, Sharapova took to Facebook to say that the order was "unfairly harsh" and mentioned that she would "immediately appeal the suspension portion of this ruling to CAS."