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'Sharapova may play at 2020 Olympics for Russia'

Moscow, Jan 5 (IANS) Russian star Maria Sharapova may play at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Russian Tennis Federation President Shamil Tarpishchev has said.

The Russian player is now eligible to officially return to tennis courts starting April 26, reports Tass.

"Sharapova may play for the Russian team and is able to win gold at the 2020 Olympics. The sole question here is her wish," Tarpishchev said on Wednesday.

"In late April, Sharapova is returning to participation in tournaments. We'll see how quickly she will be able to return to the high level. The world of sports is not standing idle and is moving quickly but we all know that Sharapova is a professional and everything depends on her herself," he added.

In early March, Sharapova was the first to announce that her doping tests revealed the presence of the performance enhancing drug meldonium in the body system.

Following the announcement the former World No. 1 was provisionally suspended from all tennis-related activities.

Sharapova filed an appeal on June 9 with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against her two-year suspension, which was officially announced on June 8 by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Tribunal over anti-doping violations.

In October, the CAS cut the term of Sharapova's suspension, allowing the tennis star to perform at official sport events from April 26, 2017.

Due to the imposed ban, Sharapova, the silver Olympic medalist of the 2012 Games in London, had to miss the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, held in August in Brazil's Rio de Janeiro.

--IANS

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