On 6 June 2016, the Independent Tribunal appointed by the ITF to hear the player’s case found that Ms Sharapova had committed an anti-doping rule violation, disqualified her results at the 2016 Australian Open, and imposed a period of ineligibility of two years on the player. On 9 June 2016, Ms Sharapova filed an appeal at the CAS against the Independent Tribunal’s decision, arguing that she did not take Mildronate to enhance her performance and that her period of ineligibility should be reduced on the basis of “No Significant Fault”. The ITF requested that the Panel reject the player’s plea of “No Significant Fault” and leave the Independent Tribunal’s decision undisturbed.
The arbitration was conducted by a panel of CAS arbitrators: Prof. Luigi Fumagalli, Italy (President), Mr Jeffrey G. Benz, USA and Mr David W. Rivkin, USA. The Panel held a hearing with the parties in New York on 7 and 8 September 2016.