ITF BLASTS SHARA­POVA

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

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.

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