ITF BLASTS SHARAPOVA
THE International Tennis Federation (ITF) blasted Maria Sharapova yesterday after she said that the governing body was attempting to make an example of her during her bitter doping ban. The 29-year-old Russian superstar, who had a two-year suspension slashed to 15 months on Tuesday by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), also said the ITF exhibited a lack of neutrality in the dispute. In an interview with the US broadcaster PBS the world’s highest-earning sportswoman was asked that as a former world No. 1 and fivetime major winner, if the ITF was trying to make an example of her. “I never wanted to believe that, but I am starting to think that,” said the Russian. “I got a 24-month suspension, but they (the ITF) wanted four years for me.” But the London-based ITF hit back yesterday, defending its procedures and the tribunal which originally handed down a two-year ban after Sharapova tested positive for meldonium at the Australian Open in January.