Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Maria Sharapova’s quest for a third French Open title will have to wait until 2018 after the French Tennis Federation declined to give the 30-year-old a wild-card exemption into this year’s tournament.
Per Tennis Channel, Sharapova was denied entry into the French Open main draw and qualifying.
French Tennis Federation president Bernard Giudicelli explained the decision not to grant Sharapova a wild-card spot.
“She might be very disappointed, but it’s my responsibility to protect the game, and game played without any doubts of results,” Guidicelli said, per Ben Rothenberg of the New York Times.
Sharapova’s 15-month suspension for testing positive for the banned drug meldonium ended in April. She has appeared in three tournaments upon returning, reaching the semifinals at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in April before losing to Kristina Mladenovic.
After being eliminated by Eugenie Bouchard in the second round at the Madrid Open, Sharapova was at the mercy of the French Tennis Federation to get an exemption into the French Open.
Bouchard previously stated she didn’t think Sharapova should be allowed to play again because of her failed drug test.
“She’s a cheater, and I don’t think a cheater in any sport should be allowed to play again,” Bouchard said, per BBC Sport. “I think from the WTA it sends the wrong message to young kids: cheat and we’ll welcome you back with open arms. I don’t think that’s right and she’s not someone I can say I look up to any more.”
Sharapova previously won the French Open in 2012 and 2014.