Russia have included Maria Sharapova in their Olympic tennis team despite the star player being suspended over a positive test for the banned drug meldonium, the country’s tennis federation said on Thursday. “By the end of the first week of Roland Garros, the question of Sharapova’s participation at the Olympic Games should be resolved,” Shamil Tarpischev, the head of Russia’s tennis federation, told R-Sport news agency. “She has been put on our Olympic application. It has to be submitted by June 6.”
Sharapova, who won silver at the 2012 London Olympics, was suspended in March after she admitted she had tested positive for meldonium at the Australian Open in January. Since then, a string of high profile Russian athletes -- including Olympic swimmer Yulia Efimova – also tested positive for meldonium. But the WADA, which had only banned the Latvian-made drug from January 1, said in April that athletes could escape a ban for taking meldonium because of uncertainty on time it takes for the substance to leave the body.