MOSCOW: Shamil Tarpishchev, head of the Russian tennis federation, has dismissed the Maria Sharapova dope-test admission and insisted she will be cleared to play at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in August.

Russia risks sending a decimated team to Brazil with its track and field athletes currently barred after the dope-test cover-up storm.

Sharapova, a five-times grand slam champion, has said she failed a drug test at the Australian Open in January because of a substance, meldonium, she was taking for health issues.

In an interview with the Russian news agency TASS, Tarpishev said: “I think this is just a load of nonsense. Sportsmen take what they are given by the physiotherapists and by the doctors.

“I think Sharapova will play at the Olympics, however, we will need to see how this will develop.”