Maria Sharapova Enrolls in Harvard Business School Courses After Tennis Ban

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What, like it’s hard? Maria Sharapova is heading to Harvard after receiving a two-year ban from tennis for testing positive for a banned substance.

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The 29-year-old Russian tennis star posted a photo on Twitter on Saturday, June 25, next to the Harvard Business school’s sign, writing, “Not sure how this happened but Hey Harvard! Can’t wait to start the program!”

Sharapova’s agent, Max Eisenbud, told The Associated Press that she’s taking part in a two-week program, which involves two classes on the Cambridge, Massachusetts, campus.

In addition to being one of the highest-paid female athletes, she’s also a businesswoman. She launched her own Sugarpova candy line in 2012.

Maria Sharapova of Russia celebrates winning her fourth round match against Belinda Bencic of Switerland during day seven of the 2016 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 24, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia.
Maria Sharapova of Russia celebrates winning her fourth round match against Belinda Bencic of Switerland during day seven of the 2016 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 24, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

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Her back-to-school announcement comes just a few weeks after she was formally suspended on June 8. The five-time Grand Slam champ tested positive for meldonium, a drug that was only recently added to the list of banned substances, during the Australian Open in January. Sharapova says she has been taking the medication, which can be used for heart problems, since 2006 and was unaware that it had been barred.

“I did fail the test and take full responsibility for it,” she said at an L.A. press conference in March. “For the past 10 years, I have been given a medicine called Mildronate by my doctor, my family doctor, and a few days ago after I received the ITF letter I found out that it also has another name, meldonium, which I did not know.”

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Sharapova wrote on Facebook that she plans to appeal the ban and hopes to get back on the court in less than two years. “While the tribunal concluded correctly that I did not intentionally violate the anti-doping rules, I cannot accept an unfairly harsh two-year suspension. The tribunal, whose members were selected by the ITF, agreed that I did not do anything intentionally wrong yet they seek to keep me from playing tennis for two years. I will immediately appeal the suspension portion of this ruling to CAS, the Court of Arbitration for Sport,” she wrote on June 8. “I have missed playing tennis and I have missed my amazing fans, who are the best and most loyal fans in the world.” 

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