Maria Sharapova will learn the result of the appeal against her two-year ban from tennis on Tuesday [3 October], the Court of Arbitration for Sport [CAS] have announced. The Russian is bidding to have the suspension overturned or reduced after testing positive for banned substance meldonium.
The decision will be confirmed at 3pm local time [1pm GMT] and could either see Sharapova return to the sport immediately or see her competitive career thrown into serious doubt. She was handed a 24-month ban from tennis after testing positive at the Australian Open, with the long-running case having seen her miss most of the season including the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
The five time grand-slam singles champion claimed she had been taking the banned pharmaceutical to treat a long-running heart condition since 2006, and was unaware it had been added to the banned list at the start of 2016. Several athletes, including some Russia, have since tested positive for the same substance. The International Tennis Federation found her guilty of an anti-doping violation in June, but added there was no "significant" fault.
Should the appeal be rejected then Sharapova would be banned until January 2018 - from the date she tested positive - and would face another year out of the sport. A series of sponsors have supported the right-hander, with Nike and racket manufacturer Head having publicly back her case.
The ruling comes after Russia were banned from the athletics competition at the Rio Olympics after the uncovering of state-sponsored doping. The International Olympic Committee decided against a full-scale ban from all events, but the country were then prohibited from competing in all events at the subsequent Paralympic Games.