Maria Sharapova faces an ITF doping hearing ©Getty Images

A date for Maria Sharapova's anti-doping hearing cannot be revealed for confidentiality reasons, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) has told insidethegames.

The Russian, a five-time grand slam champion and Olympic silver medallist, is one of the most recognisable female sports stars in the world but received unwanted headlines after admitting testing positive for banned drug meldonium last month. 

Sharapova, who failed at the Australian Open in January, is the stand-out name in a string of athletes who have tested positive for the heart-attack drug.

The substance was banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) from January 1 of this year and 172 people have failed tests since then.

It has now been announced by WADA that if less than one microgram of the substance was detected in failed tests before March 1, athletes could escape sanctions.

This is due to it being unclear how long meldonium takes to leave the human body, with the news giving hope to athletes who have failed and are currently provisionally suspended.

Many claimed that they hadn't taken the drug - which is said to boost endurance - after it had been banned.

Despite this, Sharapova's hearing will go ahead, the ITF have confirmed, although no details about how much meldonium was detected in her body have been revealed.

"We can confirm that there will be a hearing but we are unable to comment on the specifics of an ongoing case due to the confidentiality of the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme," said an ITF statement sent to insidethegames

Twenty-eight-year-old Sharapova, who lost lucrative endorsements after her failure, said she had been taking meldonium for ten years and did not realise it had been banned.

She admitted to "letting the sport down". 

Shamil Tarpishchev has hinted that the hearing could take place in June
Shamil Tarpishchev has hinted that the hearing could take place in June ©Getty Images

According to Russian news agency TASS, the situation surrounding Sharapova could become clearer when Russian Tennis Federation President Shamil Tarpishchev meets with ITF President David Haggerty on April 21. 

Tarpishchev had previously hinted that her case might not be heard until June.

ITF regulations state that proceedings should begin three weeks after the results of tests are announced, which would be March 23 in the Russian's case.

More than 30 Russians are among those to have failed for meldonium.

Another big name the country is sweating on is quadruple swimming world champion Yuliya Efimova, who is potentially facing a life ban as she has already served a drugs suspension.

This was for 16-months after a failure for banned steroid DHEA in 2013.

Efimova, who won the 100 metres breaststroke title at last year's home World Championships in Kazan as well as the 50m world title in 2009 and the 50m and 200m double in 2013, has insisted that she has done nothing wrong.

The Olympic bronze medallist from London 2012 "categorically" rejected doping and said she had been given no notification that meldonium was to be banned.

She is considered to be Russia's leading swimmer.

"The official data from the International Swimming Federation (FINA) on the concentration of meldonium in Yulia Efimova’s doping sample may help lifting the ban on her participation in the international tournaments," said Russian Swimming Federation President Vladimir Salnikov to TASS.

"As of now, we have no official information provided to us in a written form.

"As soon as we receive official documents from FINA we will certainly make a statement on the issue."