Maria Sharapova drugs test scandal "a load of nonsense" claims Russian tennis boss

Joe Hall
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Olympics Day 8 - Tennis
Russian royalty: Sharapova won a silver medal for her country at the 2012 Olympics (Source: Getty)

The head of Russian tennis has hit back at the drugs scandal engulfing Maria Sharapova, describing it as "just a load of nonsense".

Russian Tennis Federation president Shamil Tarpishchev said Sharapova's failed drugs test at this year's Australian Open would not prevent her from competing at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

On Monday Sharapova admitted to testing positive for meldonium which was added to the World Anti-Doping Agency's (Wada) banned list on January 1 of this year.

The five-time Grand Slam champion claims she has taken the drug for 10 years on the advice of a family doctor and was unaware it was now banned.

Read more: Nike and Tag Heuer suspend Sharapova endorsements

"I think this is just a load of nonsense," Tarpishchev told the Russian TASS news agency.

"The sportsmen take what they are given by the physiotherapists and by the doctors. I think Sharapova will play at the Olympics.

"However, we will need to see how this will develop."

Russia's place at this year's Olympics is under scrutiny after Wada lifted the lid on a state-sponsored doping programme in athletics.

Sponsors Nike and Tag Heuer have already moved to suspend ties with Sharapova, with the latter saying it was "saddened and surprised" by the news.

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