Two-time champion Maria Sharapova has been denied a wildcard for this year’s Roland Garros, French tennis federation president Bernard Guidicelli said on Tuesday.
The former world No1, who only returned from a 15-month doping ban last month, will miss the tournament for the second year in a row.
Guidicelli made the announcement via a Facebook Live video, saying the reason Sharapova would not be invited was his “mission to protect the game”.
“I just wanted to tell you that I decided not to give to Maria Sharapova a wildcard – the wildcard that she asked me (for),” Guidicelli said.
“Nobody can deprive her two titles she won here in Roland Garros. But those two titles she (won) them according to the rules. I really read the articles, 101, of the CAS, which reduced her sanction. However we agreed with the independent tribunal panel that she has committed a violation of the anti-doping tennis program. And she had to be suspended for 15 months.
“Today that suspension is over and she can take her path towards the new success. But if there can be a wildcard for the return from injuries, then there cannot be a wildcard for the return from doping. So it’s up to her, day after day, tournament after tournament, to find the strength to conquer more titles without hold to anybody.
“I’m very sorry for Maria, very sorry for her fans, that might be very disappointed. She might be very disappointed, but it’s my mission to protect the game, and to protect the high standards of game played without any doped on the result.”
Sharapova has got her ranking up to 211 in the world after reaching the Stuttgart semi-finals, and Madrid second round – her first two tournaments back from suspension. She needed to make the Stuttgart final in order to secure a spot in the Roland Garros qualifying rounds by virtue of her ranking. But she was unable to crack the top 200 before the cut-off entry date for the French Open, and needed a wildcard in order to compete.
The Russian five-time grand slam champion has secured a spot in Wimbledon qualifying thanks to her first round win in Rome on Monday.