Samantha Stosur: Maria Sharapova shouldn't ‘get away with that excuse,’ won't be backed by WTA players

by: Kamakshi Tandon | October 08, 2016

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Former U.S. Open champion Samantha Stosur says the CAS ruling sets a bad precedent. (AP)

At the WTA event in Hong Kong, Samantha Stosur said she was surprised by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) decision on Maria Sharapova, adding that Sharapova should not have been allowed to "get away" with saying she did not know the product had recently become banned.

Sharapova tested positive for meldonium, saying she had taken it for many years for medical reasons. It was prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) at the beginning of the 2016 season.

"I can’t believe it, actually,” Stosur said. “I don’t even know what to say ... I don’t know how you can get away with that excuse and have that overturned ... I think it’s remarkable that you can use that excuse and get away with it ... It really sets a bad precedence for athletes moving forward, where you can almost put your hands up and say it was not my fault."

Sharapova initially received a two-year ban from an independent International Tennis Federation (ITF) tribunal. The CAS reduced it to a 15-month suspension, and noted, among other things, that she had not received significant warning from the ITF or WADA about the change.

Stosur indicated that she and other WTA players are not likely to get behind Sharapova.

"I’ve spoken to a few people and we all seem to have the same idea," she said "...We had the same idea beforehand, and now we have the decision. So I wouldn’t imagine there’s a whole lot of support from the playing group."

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