Maria Sharapova Denied French Open Wild Card

Maria Sharapova Denied French Open Wild Card
Her ranking won’t be good enough to even make the qualifying field at Roland Garros. (AP)
PARIS (AP) — Two-time champion Maria Sharapova has missed out on a wild-card entry for the French Open because of her doping ban.
Announcing the decision on a live Facebook broadcast on Tuesday, French Tennis Federation president Bernard Giudicelli said he told Sharapova in person that it was not possible.
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“I decided not to give Maria Sharapova a wild card. I’m very sorry for Maria, very sorry for her fans. They might be disappointed, she might be very disappointed,” Giudicelli said. “But it’s my responsibility, it’s my mission to protect the game and protect the high standards of the game.”

Sharapova returned to tennis only last month following a 15-month ban for doping.

“This suspension is over and she can take her path toward new success,” Giudicelli said. “But while there can be a wild card for return from injury, there can’t be a wild card for return from doping.”

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Sharapova, who has titles at all four majors, won at Roland Garros in 2012 and 2014.
Thanks to wild cards at her first two tournaments, she got her world ranking to outside the top 200 this week. But that wasn’t good enough to make the cut even for the qualifying field at Roland Garros, so she will miss the tournament for a second straight year.

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The French Open begins on May 28.
She’s using another wild card to play in the Italian Open this week.
Sharapova initially was given a two-year suspension after testing positive for heart drug meldonium at last year’s Australian Open.
She had her ban reduced by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which ruled that Sharapova bore “less than significant fault” in the case and that she could not “be considered to be an intentional doper.” 

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Sharapova had been taking meldonium for many years, but overlooked an announcement by WADA that it added the drug to its banned list on Jan. 1, 2016.
“The Court of Arbitration reduced her suspension but also recognized that Maria was the sole person responsible for her misfortune,” Giudicelli said. “It’s not down to me to question that decision and, I repeat, we must respect decisions that were taken.”

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