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Maria Sharapova Will Return as UN Goodwill Ambassador After Doping Ban Is Lifted in April

Updated

Kevork Djansezian/Getty

Maria Sharapova will return to the United Nations as a goodwill ambassador when her suspension for using a prohibited drug expires next April, the organization said in a statement.

The peace-keeping organization is looking forward to working with her to discuss her role “at an appropriate date,” part of the statement reads, according to BBC News.

The tennis star admitted in March that she was taking meldonium at the Australian Open in January.

“I did fail the test and I take full responsibility for it,” she said during a press conference in Los Angeles in October.

She admitted that she had been taking the drug since 2006 for health issues, but didn’t realize it had been added to the banned list in January 2016 under another name.

The five-time Grand Slam champ was initially banned for two years, but the penalty was later reduced to 15 months after she filed an appeal.

“The UNDP is glad to learn that Maria Sharapova can return to the sport she loves sooner than expected and we will lift the suspension of her role as our goodwill ambassador once the reduced ban expires in April 2017,” the statement reads.

“We understand that Ms. Sharapova will be focused on resuming her tennis career, and we look forward to discussing her role and engagement with the UNDP at an appropriate date.”