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Sharapova On Russian Olympics Team Despite Failing Drug Test

Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova was included on the Russian Olympics team despite being suspended for failing a drug test.

Russia has included Maria Sharapova provisionally on its team for the Olympic tennis tournament in August despite her suspension for failing a drug test.

"We will include Sharapova in the team, which we need to announce by 6 June," Shamil Tarpishchev, an International Olympic Committee member and president of the Russian Tennis Federation, told the R-Sport news agency on May 26.

"Whether she competes or not should be decided by the end of [May]," he said.

Five-times grand slam tennis champion Sharapova tested positive for meldonium at this year's Australian Open after it was added to a list of banned substances in January. She was provisionally suspended on March 12.

The World Anti-Doping Agency later announced that tests taken before March 1 which showed small amounts of meldonium would be acceptable and would not lead to any punishment because they could reflect dosages taken before January 1.

If Sharapova, 29, is not able to compete, her place in the team will be taken by Ekaterina Makarova, the fifth-ranked Russian woman.

Sharapova won silver at the 2012 London Olympics.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, and TASS