Men’s tennis world number one Andy Murray has remarked wildcards should not be given to players returning from doping bans.
Maria Sharapova of Russia was recently given wildcards for Stuttgart, Madrid, and Rome after her doping suspension of 15 months ends next month. Sharapova is however facing a snub at the French Open. The new President of the French Tennis Federation (FFT) Bernard Giudicelli remarked we can’t invest a million and a half Euros in the fight against anti-doping and then invite a player sanctioned for the consumption of a prohibited product. ‘It’s complicated. We prefer that she returns completely rehabilitated,’ said Giudicelli.
Sharapova was banned for a period of two years after she tested positive for Meldonium in January last year but her suspension was reduced on appeal in October to 15 months by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
“I think you should really have to work your way back,” Murray said. “But most tournaments will do what they think is best for their event. If they think big names will sell more seats, they’re going to do that.” “She has an opportunity to try to improve her ranking up until that point and potentially not need a wildcard,” Murray remarked about Sharapova, who he played alongside at the International Premier Tennis League.
Murray added, “But then if she doesn’t, that becomes Wimbledon’s decision and how they want to play that. I’m sure they’ll think long and hard about it and how they feel people will view it and then make the right decision for them.”