Maria Sharapova Confident Suspension Won’t Affect Wimbledon 2016 Return?

Maria Sharapova now has a hearing to decide whether the anti-doping panel will pull down a suspension on her or not, but she may be feeling confident that she may return to play professionally in Wimbledon 2016.

“Maria Sharapova faces an anti-doping panel in London on Wednesday knowing she will not benefit from recent confusion surrounding the drug she tested positive for in January,” reports the Guardian.

To get out of suspension, the Russian tennis player “must try to convince an International Tennis Federation panel that the “laundry list” of health reasons that Haggerty referred to in March should qualify her for a backdated therapeutic use exemption (Tue), or sick note,” according to the same Guardian article.

Some critics are very doubtful that she will be able to skate around the issue directly and saying that she may have to face up to 12 months of suspension. Seeing how the upcoming tournaments, Wimbledon and French Open, are one of the most prestigious ones to grab, Maria probably has it on her priority list to go through the hearing well.

Despite all the drama in her professional life, she is doing a good job of staying fit, agile, and on top of her business game. Check out another picture of the Russian athlete working out.

She also has been working on her candy business, Sugarpova, and released another set of chocolates that her fans can happily chomp on while she is on a very restrictive diet program.

“Maria Sharapova may be provisionally banned from tennis but it is business as usual for her Sugarpova brand,” reports CNN. “Sharapova’s candy business, which she founded in 2012, will launch its first chocolate range on both sides of the Atlantic this month.”

She even promoted it on her Twitter so that her fans are up-to-date with all her ventures leading up to the suspension hearing.

Another way that the Russian athlete has been keeping busy is by making projects with her comedienne friend Chelsea Handler.

“Chelsea Handler’s new Netflix show— fittingly called Cheslea — hit the interwebs on Wednesday,” reports USA Today. “The first episode features a long interview with Drew Barrymore, but, thanks to the trailer, we know that we can expect Maria Sharapova to make an appearance.”

Chelsea has been a great support for the tennis player through the temporary suspension, jumping on a plane to Mexico to chill with her on the beach and getting all sorts of shenanigans with her.

The Russian beauty has been keeping her spirit high and optimistic about the whole ordeal after she admitted to her doping charges. Plus, the Wimbledon spokesperson has been very positive about the prospects of her playing at the tournament.

“It would be a great shame if Maria was not here,” said Wimbledon chairman Philip Brook according to Express U.K. “She is a former champion at Wimbledon, and very popular with the crowds. In terms of what happened we need to let due process take its course and an outcome be determined and see what happens after that.”

But not everyone has been sympathetic towards her suspension and hearing. While the top players have kept their distance and made their response diplomatic and polite, some lower-ranked players have cast doubts on the innocence card that Maria is playing.

Do you think Maria Sharapova will get to play in Wimbledon 2016? If not, how long do you think her suspension will be?

[Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images]