The truth behind the Maria Sharapova doping scandal

Sharapova’s suspension had major implications for both her tennis career and her budding entrepreneurial efforts. At the time, she was one of the highest paid athletes in the world, according to Forbes, and had launched her own candy line called Sugarpova. However, as outlined in a Vanity Fair article by Michael Steinberger, it seemed to tennis aficionados that Sharapova’s game had been in decline in the time leading up to her suspension, and two years away from the sport was likely to continue that trend. Furthermore, the loss of so many sponsorship deals was putting her post-tennis career and future retirement at risk. 

However, things did not end up so dire for Sharapova. In April, 2016, the Court of Arbitration for Sport announced that Sharapova’s two year ban had been reduced to 15 months, as reported by CNN, saying of their decision that, “The panel found that Ms. Sharapova committed an anti-doping rule violation and that while it was with ‘no significant fault,’ she bore some degree of fault, for which a sanction of 15 months is appropriate.” 

In 2017, Sharapova returned to professional tennis, and she continued until February 26th, 2020, whereupon she announced that she was quitting the sport for good. In an essay for Vanity Fair, she said of the sport she had been playing since she was a child, “In giving my life to tennis, tennis gave me a life. I’ll miss it everyday.”

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