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Sharapova included in Russian Olympic team despite suspension

Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova has been named to compete at the Rio Olympics despite being suspended.

The five-times grand slam tennis champion tested positive for the banned substance meldonium and was provisionally suspended on March 12.

"We will include Sharapova in the team, which we need to announce by 6 June," Shamil Tarpishchev, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) member and president of the Russian Tennis Federation (RTF), told the R-Sport news agency.

"Whether she competes or not should be decided by the end of the first week of Roland Garros."

Sharapova is waiting for the outcome of a tennis anti-doping committee’s hearing of her meldonium positive case.

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Rafa Nadal: Maria Sharapova has been treated fairly

Rafa Nadal.

Rafa Nadal has said he believed Maria Sharapova has been treated "fairly" after she admitted failing a drug test.

The men's world number five said: "Everybody can have mistakes. I want to believe for sure that it is a mistake for Maria, she didn't want to do it.

"But it is obvious that it is negligence. The rules are like this. It is fair and now she must pay for it."

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World number one Djokovic 'feels' for Sharapova

World number one Novak Djokovic has given his support to Maria Sharapova and said he hopes she "gets out of this stronger".

Djokovic is the world number one. Credit: PA

Women's tennis' most bankable star made the stunning announcement on Monday that she had failed a drug test for meldonium at the Australian Open.

Djokovic and Sharapova share a racquet sponsor and Djokovic has famously done impressions of the Russian on court.

He told TMZ.com: "I obviously wish her all the best. I've known her for a long time. I feel for her with all that's happening and I just hope she gets out of this stronger."

Former Wada boss: Sharapova has no excuse

Maria Sharapova has "no excuse" for not realising that the medication she was taking had a banned ingredient in it, Dick Pound has said.

Speaking to ITV News, the former head of the World Anti Doping Agency said; "There's no excuse for somebody with her experience for testing positive for something she knew about and had been warned about.

She was either recklessly indifferent to what messages she was getting from Wada and the ATP or she did it deliberately and thought 'maybe I'll get away with it'".

Kremlin: Don't project Sharapova on all of Russian sport

Sharapova at Wimbledon in 2015. Credit: PA

The Russian government has said that Maria Sharapova's failed drugs test should not be "projected onto" the whole of Russian sport.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov also told journalists that Russia was against attempts to politicise sporting matters.

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