Maria Sharapova denied wildcard entry to French Open

The former world number one returned to tennis last month - Sharapova reached the Stuttgart Open semifinals - but the only way she could have got into the French Open, which starts on May 28, was through a wildcard.

The Russian is returning from a 15-month doping ban after testing positive for the heart drug meldonium at last year's Australian Open.

Bernard Guidicelli, president of the French Tennis Federation (FFT), said Sharapova's request for a wild card spot in the Roland Garros French Open had been denied.

The supplement had previously been allowed for years, and Sharapova said she overlooked announcements by WADA that it had been added to the ban list on January 1, 2016.

The WTA runs the women's tennis tour and Simon said: "Wildcards are offered at tournaments' sole discretion".

He also expressed his support for athletes, who received wild cards, and wished them luck. "What I do not agree with is the basis put forward by the FFT (French Tennis Federation) for their decision with respect to Maria Sharapova". "She has complied with the sanction imposed by CAS". "There are no grounds for any member of the (tennis anti-doping program) to penalize any player beyond the sanctions set forth in the final decision resolving these matters".

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The French Open rejected her bid this week, saying players can return from injury and receive wildcards, but cannot expect the same treatment coming back from drugs bans. But that wasnt good enough to make the cut even for the qualifying field at Roland Garros, so she will miss the tournament for a second straight year.

It completed a miserable evening for the five-times grand slam champion, now ranked 211, who earlier found out that she had been refused a wildcard for the French Open.

"I'm very sorry for Maria, very sorry for her fans", said Giudicelli.

That early exit against Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, which came in third set where she was a break up, means that she can no longer secure a place in the main draw at Wimbledon, though she is already assured of entry into qualifying at SW19. They might be very disappointed and she might be very disappointed. "But it's my responsibility, it's my mission, to protect the game and protect the high standards of the game". She skipped a news conference after pulling out of a second-round match in Rome on Tuesday because of a left thigh injury. But as I said, every week is important.

"I know the media dimension of Maria and I'm measuring the expectations of the public and sponsors, but in all conscience it didn't appear possible to me to go beyond the strict application of the world anti-doping code", he explained on Tuesday.

If no wild card is awarded, the 30-year-old would need to negotiate her way through qualifying at Roehampton.

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