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Maria Sharapova Denied French Open Wild Card



The travails of Maria Sharapova appear not to have ended. The tennis star who recently returned to action after drug-related suspension may have been ruled out of the French Open later this month.

The two-time French Open winner has been denied a wild card which would have qualified her into the tournament that begins on May 28.

French Tennis Federation president Bernard Giudicelli announced that Sharapova would not be granted a wild card to attempt to qualify her way into the tournament.

She recently came off a 15-month suspension for the use of meldonium at the Australian Open early last year.

But the Court of Arbitration for Sport reduced her two-year suspension on the finding that Sharapova’s usage of the drug was unintentional, since it was outlawed only a few weeks before, but still carried the obligation of responsibility.


“While it’s true that the CAS has reduced her sanction, it is still a violation of the tennis anti-doping program,” Giudicelli said during a Facebook Live announcement of the wild cards. “CAS reduced her sanction but also recognized that Maria was the only one responsible for her misfortune.

It is not for me today to question that decision. I respect and we should respect the decision that was first taken by the International Tennis Federation’s independent tribunal and then considered on appeal by CAS.”

Sharapova has played in three tournaments, but no Grand Slams, since her suspension ended. The burden will now fall to Wimbledon to determine whether it will honour the CAS’s reduced sentence or opt to uphold the original verdict.

Sharapova won two French Opens, in 2012 and 2014, and made the finals in a third, in 2013. She has played in the French Open 13 times, and holds more victories at Roland Garros than any of the other three Grand Slam tournaments



Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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