LAUSANNE, Switzerland — The verdict in Maria Sharapova’s appeal against a two-year ban for doping has been delayed for a second time.
Sharapova should now find out the decision in her case against the International Tennis Federation early next month, the Court of Arbitration for Sport said Tuesday.
The Russian tennis star had initially hoped to get fast-track verdict in July before the Rio de Janeiro Olympics began. After both sides’ lawyers said they needed more time to prepare their case, the target was then set for Sept. 19.
Now, CAS plans to issue its verdict during the first week of October.
Sharapova was banned in June by the ITF after testing positive for meldonium at the Australian Open.
She acknowledged taking meldonium before each match in Melbourne, claiming she was not aware that the drug, also known as mildronate, had been banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency as of Jan. 1.
An independent three-person panel appointed by the ITF ruled that Sharapova did not intend to cheat, but that she bore “sole responsibility” and “very significant fault” for the positive test.
Sharapova said she first was prescribed the Latvian-made drug, typically used for heart conditions, for medical reasons in 2006.
Her ban is due to end on Jan. 25, 2018, which would force her to miss eight Grand Slam tournaments. She would turn 31 before the 2018 French Open begins.