Maria Sharapova is a two time former Roland Garros champion, around about this time last year it was announced the former World Number One had failed a drug test. In late April we will see Sharapova back on the WTA tour but should she be given a wildcard into Roland Garros?
Anti-doping is a major issue in sport at the moment but a number of tournaments have found it difficult to not invite Sharapova back with the wildcards flooding in as she will participate in tournaments including Stuttgart, Madrid and Rome but is she destined for Paris?
This is where it gets tricky…
We can paint it how we look but the facts are she failed a drugs test and she was negligent in checking the banned list. Whether she was an intentional doper or not doesn’t hide the fact the test was failed.
The first major Sharapova is eligible for is Roland Garros and this is where the decision gets tricky, what do they do? Do they risk effecting the reputation of the tournament and sport being one of the biggest tournaments in the world?
Bernard Giudicelli is the new president of the French Tennis Federation and has a very big decision to make. It has been reported that the French president in an interview said this:
“Integrity is one of our strong points. We cannot decide, on the one hand, to increase the amount of funds we dedicate to the anti-doping battle and, on the other, invite her.”
To be honest he is right. It would be a bit hypocritical to pump thousands, maybe millions into a battle against anti-doping and then invite a player who failed a drugs test to one of the oldest and most respected tournaments in the world.
I’m interested to see where people stand on this. All the tournaments want the best at their event but at what price? Where do morals lie? Different profile of player are we more lenient due to popularity?
My belief is a wildcard is a reward which you earn, sadly she hasn’t and from me if you were to ask me about a wildcard into Roland Garros it would be a no.