Caroline criticises Maria’s return
Maria Sharapova’s planned return from a 15month drugs ban at Stuttgart next month is “disrespectful” to other WTA players, former World N0 1 Caroline Wozniacki said on Saturday.
The tournament will already be underway when five-time Grand Slam champion Maria’s suspension ends on April 26, and she’ll play her first match that day.
“I think it’s very questionable, allowing — no matter who it is — a player that is still banned to play a tournament that week,” Caroline said. “I think it’s disrespectful to the other players and the WTA.”
Caroline said she had no problem with Maria, whose ban for a positive test for meldonium was reduced by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, returning to the game.
But she said the Russian star, whose world ranking has been wiped out by her absence, should play her way back into tournaments.
“I think everyone deserves a second chance, and I think that she’s going to come back and she’s going to fight her way back,” Caroline said.
“I’m sure she’s going to play well. But at the same time, I feel like when a player is banned for drugs, I think that someone should start from the bottom and fight their way back, because it’s different from an injury where someone is out because they had hurt themselves.
“When someone has been banned for drugs and something that is performance enhancing, I think that you deserve a second chance like everybody else, people make mistakes. But I think you should fight your way back from the bottom.”