Australian tennis player Sam Stosur did not hold back when she slammed Maria Sharapova and the Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS) for the verdict on the latter’s reduced doping ban. She went as far as to say that Sharapova won’t be welcomed back by the other WTA players once she gets back on court.
“I don’t know how you can get away with that excuse, and have that [two-year ban] overturned. I think it’s remarkable that you can use that excuse and get away with it,” said Stosur, as reported by the South China Morning Post.
The former U.S. Open champion was speaking to the press at Victoria Park in Hong Kong, when she made the statements. She is there taking part in the Prudential Hong Kong Open which is currently being played throughout the week.
She said that the reduced ban on Sharapova sets a bad precedent for other doping cases. She also went on to claim that the other players are not happy with the decision. “I’ve spoken to a few people and we all seem to have the same idea. We had the same idea beforehand, and now we have the decision. So I wouldn’t imagine there’s a whole lot of support from the playing group.”
Sharapova could be back in competitive action in April 2017. Stosur thinks that it would be “interesting” to see how she will be welcomed and did not dismiss the possibility that Sharapova will be welcomed with hostility.
Stosur’s scathing comments came just days after the Court of Arbitration of Sport reduced Maria Sharapova’s doping ban from 24 months down to only 15. Sharapova tested positive for meldonium, at the Australian Open in January. The substance was only banned since Jan. 1, 2016 and Sharapova claimed that she was not informed about the updated list of banned substances. She also stated that meldonium was prescribed to her to treat a medical condition and not as a performance enhancing drug.