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Russian sports minister offers full support for Maria Sharapova

Moscow: Russia's sports minister yesterday said he hoped to see Maria Sharapova back on court after she failed a dope test at the Australian Open.

Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko
Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko

"I feel sorry for Masha. I hope we will see her back on court and we are prepared to support her.

"She travels from tournament to tournament and has a punishing schedule. The people in her team should look out for her," minister Vitaly Mutko told state-run TASS
news agency.

Sharapova announced on Monday that she had failed a dope test positive at the Australian Open, and he attorney John Haggerty, said she faces a ban of up to four years or less.

However, Russian tennis federation chief, Shamil Tarpishchev, felt Sharapova will still have a chance to play at the Rio Olympics.

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