Oct 07, 2016

    ITF hits back at Sharapova on allegations


    THE International Tennis Federation (ITF) blasted Maria Sharapova on Wednesday 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.

    "I got a 24-month suspension but they (the ITF) wanted four years for me," said the player.

    But the London-based ITF hit back on Wednesday, saying: "The ITF did not 'try to ban Ms Sharapova for four years'.

    "The ITF took the position that it is the independent tribunal's responsibility

    to determine what the appropriate sanction

    should be."

    Sharapova also claimed the ITF were not neutral in its deliberations.

    It hit back in its statement, insisting that she and her

    legal team had the right

    to object to any member

    of the independent tribunal.

    "Ms Sharapova's legal team was given the opportunity to object to any member of that tribunal, and they agreed in writing that they had no

    such objection."

    Sharapova had admitted to using meldonium for 10 years to help treat illnesses, a heart issue and a magnesium deficiency.