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Tennis: Sharapova Disqualified From French Open

BALTIMORE, MD (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Following the tournament officials’ decision not to give the two-time champion a wildcard, Maria Sharapova will miss the French Open.

The 30-year old Russian, was ranked too low to gain direct entry as she continues her return from a 15-month drugs ban.

French Tennis Federation Chief Bernard Giudicelli Ferrandini said: “There can be a wildcard for the return from injuries – there cannot be a wildcard for the return from doping”.

The French Open is billed to kick off Sunday, May 28, 2017.

Sharapova had been hoping to receive a wildcard either into the main draw or the qualifying tournament.

“I’m very sorry for Maria, very sorry for her fans.

“They might be very disappointed, she might be very disappointed, but it’s my responsibility, my mission, to protect the high standards of the game played without any doubt on the result” said Giudicelli Ferrandini.

The former world number one has not played a Grand Slam since she was tested positive for heart disease drug meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open.

This earned her an initial two-year ban, but later reduced to 15 months after the Court of Arbitration for Sport found she was not an “intentional doper”.

Sharapova returned to action without a ranking last month and has since risen to 211 in the world after receiving wildcards in Stuttgart, Madrid and Rome.

This will be enough to at least earn a qualifying spot at Wimbledon next month.


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