French Open Denies Wild Card for Maria Sharapova After Return from Drug Ban

In a stunning rebuke by the French Tennis Federation, two-time French Open champion Maria Sharapova was denied a wild card into both the main and qualifying draw of the tournament, leaving the 2012 and 2014 champion out of Roland Garros for the second straight year.

The announcement was made  Facebook Live post on the personal page of Bernard Giudicelli, the president of the FFT. Sharapova, who’s only in the fifth week of her comeback, didn’t have enough rankings points to get into either draw (with another two or three weeks, she would have) and thus was in need of the wild card. It wasn’t much of a surprise the Russian didn’t get an automatic bid into the main draw.

“There can be a wild card for return from injuries; there cannot be a wild card for return from doping,” Giudicelli said. “She might be very disappointed, but it’s my responsibility to protect the game, and a game played without any doubts of results.”

Now, the French is without Sharapova, Serena Williams (pregnancy) and Roger Federer (rest) — the three biggest stars in the game.