WTA Tour

Becker: Sharapova deserves a second chance

2017-02-15 13:49
maria sharapova, getty images, tennis
Maria Sharapova at the Australian Open (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Tennis legend Boris Becker is eager to see Maria Sharapova back on the tennis courts after serving her doping ban.

The Russian superstar has been vilified in some circles for her use of a banned substance and her subsequent disagreement with the ITF's 15-month ban.

But Becker, who was speaking at Tuesday's Laureus World Sports Awards in Monaco, believes bygones should be bygones. 

"In principal, I am all for a second chance," the German told Reuters

"She paid her dues, she was suspended for quite a long time. I don't know about the reaction of the other players, it's up to them. Everyone has their own choice. Hopefully, the atmosphere (inside the locker room) will be good. We can move on and have good women's champions."

Sharapova tested positive for meldonium in January 2016, just a couple weeks after the substance had been added to the banned substance list by the World Anti-Doping Agency. 

Becker went on to say that tennis players across the board are not involved in doping and singled out Sharapova as an exception. 

"I think most tennis players are responsible," added Becker. 

"If you see in the men's side there is no one inside the top 100 (that isn't clean) and on the women's side - I think Maria is the exception - all of the other tennis players are clean.

"Tennis is an Olympic sport so the tests are very severe and strong and the penalties are strong. I think the system works. Maybe it speaks volumes of the system because a high-profile player like Sharapova was caught."

The five-time grand slam winner will return at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart on April 24.

Read more on:    wta tour  |  boris becker  |  maria sharapova  |  tennis


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