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drugs ban

ITF hits back at Sharapova criticism

LONDON: The International Tennis Federation (ITF) hit back on Thursday at criticism over its handling of Maria Sharapova's drugs ban for meldonium. The administrator of the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme denied it had sought a four-year ban for the former world number one and, in a statement, rejected suggestions by the Russian that its independent tribunal was "not neutral". The ITF also emphasized it had not known, prior to this year when the drug was put on the banned list, that meldonium was in common use by eastern…