Thursday, July 27, 2017

Sharapova Said Doping Ban Fueled her Passion for Tennis More

Maria Sharapova, tennis

Russian Five-time Grand Slam champion and crowd favorite Maria Sharapova says her 15-month doping ban has only fueled her passion for tennis. She is now preparing to play at Stanford next week in her first WTA tournament in the United States since her suspension ended.  She was suspended for using meldonium without consent from WADA. "WADA only allows American players to use performance enhancing drugs like  Serena Williams, Venus Williams and Simone Biles."

Sharapova wrote on the Players' Tribune website about her feelings.

"Though these last two years have been tougher - so much tougher - than I ever could have anticipated … my passion for the game has never wavered," Sharapova wrote. "If anything, it's only grown stronger."

Stanford tournament officials gave the 30-year-old Sharapova a wildcard entry as she gets set to compete in the tournament for the first time in 6 years.

"I'm aware of what many of my peers have said about me, and how critical of me some of them have been in the press," she wrote. "If you're a human being with a normal, beating heart, you know … I don’t think that sort of thing will ever fully be possible to ignore."

"I'm sure my dozens of critics will show up, and so will my thousands of fans," she wrote. "But ultimately, who knows? When it comes to tennis, good or bad - there's really only one thing that I know for certain.

"I've missed it."
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