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Sharapova Appealing 2-Year Doping Ban, Calls Failed Test "Not Intentional"

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LONDON, England (CBSMiami/AP) -- Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova said she will appeal a 2-year doping ban to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

She was suspended for testing positive for meldonium at the Australian Open.

The 5-time Grand Slam champion announced in March that she failed a doping test and said she was not aware the drug had been barred as of January 1, 2016.

Sharapova released a statement on her Facebook page, saying in part:

"Today with their decision of a two year suspension, the ITF tribunal unanimously concluded that what I did was not intentional. The tribunal found that I did not seek treatment from my doctor for the purpose of obtaining a performance enhancing substance. The ITF spent tremendous amounts of time and resources trying to prove I intentionally violated the anti-doping rules and the tribunal concluded I did not. You need to know that the ITF asked the tribunal to suspend me for four years – the required suspension for an intentional violation -- and the tribunal rejected the ITF's position."

She went on to say that because of this, she "cannot accept an unfairly harsh two-year suspension" and "will fight to be back on the tennis court as soon as possible."

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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