Maria Sharapova: Tennis Star ‘Could Be Stripped Of Wimbledon Membership’

Tennis player Maria Sharapova.
Maria Sharapova of Russia at Melbourne Park, Australia, January 26, 2016. Sharapova's two-year drugs ban may see her stripped of Wimbledon membership. Michael Dodge/Getty

Maria Sharapova may be stripped of her Wimbledon membership in the wake of her two-year drugs ban.

The Russian five-times Grand Slam winner will not be able to play again until January 2017, after she tested positive for the prohibited substance meldonium at the Australian Open in January.

The International Tennis Federation (ITF)’s independent tribunal ruled that while Sharapova did not intentionally flout anti-doping regulations, she took meldonium, under the brand name Mildronate, before important matches to enhance her performance.

Now, according to a report in The Times, Wimbledon, which Sharapova won as a 17-year-old in 2004, could remove her honorary membership.

Every Wimbledon singles champion is granted honorary membership of the All England Club, but The Times cites a source from inside that organization as saying the board will meet after this year’s Wimbledon to decide whether to revoke the 29-year-old’s credentials.

Sharapova, whose sponsors Nike and Head have stood by her despite the ban, intends to appeal her case at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).