Sharapova Situation – Fair or Fraud?
Since 2016, the eyes of the tennis world have been fixed upon Russian superstar Maria Sharapova. Known for her eccentric style and her world-class talent, Sharapova became embroiled in a drugs scandal, culminating into a massive two-year ban that was given to her in March 2016. However, as you might expect, Sharapova was given a reprieve and instead her suspension lasted only until October, following a successful appeal.
Indeed, at present she’s serving as probably the best wildcard entry of all-time. Back from her ban and in full form and fitness, Sharapova is looking to be given the chance to come in at Wimbledon this summer as a wildcard. She’s also been given a wildcard already for events in Madrid and Rome, as well as the April Porsche GP. This has drawn the ire of other tennis players, while some believe that a stellar career of achievement should not be ignored or wiped out.
The whole penance situation comes into play with Sharapova. Clearly, she has done a lot wrong and the ban was justified. At the same time, though, should she be more or less expelled from the WTA because of it? That would seem a little harsh. Even if she was a newcomer to the sport, still building a reputation and a belief in herself, it would seem a little crass to throw her out on her own. However, with five Grand Slam victories in her career, others suggest that given she’s been to the top and should know better, that it should be a more severe punishment.
One prominent name in the WTA, Caroline Wozniacki, told reports that she believed it was “disrespectful” to other players. It’s hard to disagree, also – it is unfair that Sharapova manages to walk back into the high-end level of tournaments once again after such a stain on her character was cast.
Given that she won’t even be able to return until her very first match-day – the day that her ban ends – others feel it’s very unfair on those who have got to the event through commitment and, crucially, staying within the rules.
People make it clear, though, that the damage already done to her reputation, playing career and earning potential is probably enough. She lost out on her winnings for the Australian Open and also lost all of her ranking.
For some, that’s definitely punishment enough. Where do you stand?