Tennis star Maria Sharapova has been denied a wild card entry to this year's French Open. Sharapova recently returned from a 15-month doping ban, and did not have ranking points to qualify directly.
Bernard Guidicelli, president of the French Tennis Federation (FFT), said Sharapova's request for a wild card spot in the Roland Garros French Open had been denied.
Sharapova won the tournament twice, in 2012 and 2014, but after serving a 15-month suspension for doping, Guidicelli said the circumstances were different in this case.
"Nobody can deprive her of her two titles at Roland Garros, but today I can't grant her the wild card requested," Guidicelli said. "While wild cards exist for players returning from injury, there is nothing for a return from a doping ban."
Sharapova's ban expired on April 26 and she was given a wild card to enter the Stuttgart Grand Prix, making it all the way to the semi-finals. Some players were critical of tournament organizers who allowed Sharapova into the tournament without any ranking points.
Observers were eager to see if the FFT would take the same approach, with opinions divided among observers.
Some believed Sharapova deserved no special treatment in light of her doping ban, while others said she had been adequately punished by the ban itself.
mz/jm (AFP, Reuters)