Maria Sharapova Won't Get a French Open Wild Card

Sharapova needed an invite to compete in the French Open after returning to tennis from a 15-month ban for doping, but the French Tennis Federation said 'non.'

by Caitlin Kelly
May 16 2017, 7:35pm

Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports

Two-time French Open champion Maria Sharapova won't be stopping at Roland Garros as part of her comeback tour this year.

On Tuesday, French Tennis Federation president Bernard Giudicelli announced that tournament organizers will not grant Sharapova, fresh off serving a 15-month suspension for doping, the wild-card entry she needed to compete at the major. The Russian tennis player was (and is) ranked outside the top-200 cutoff for entering the qualifying tournament, let alone the main draw.

Sharapova has been given wild-card entries to a few smaller tournaments since her return in April from the suspension, which stemmed from a positive test for the heart-disease medication meldonium in 2016. (Sharapova has maintained that she took the medication for a heart condition, and that she did not read the updated list WADA sent via email classifying it as a banned substance for the first time that year.)

As Lindsay Gibbs wrote earlier this month, however, the tennis star is still not clean in the eyes of many in the tennis world—a point that Giudicelli in his announcement, which was broadcast on Facebook Live.

"If there can be a wild card from return from injuries, there may not…be a wild card for return from doping," he said (the English-language portion of his announcement begins at the 14-minute mark). "It's my responsibility, and it's my mission, to protect…the high standards of the game played without any doubt on the result."