Sharapova owed apology from WADA, her lawyer says
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[June 21, 2016]
(Reuters) - Maria Sharapova's
lawyer has blasted WADA chief Craig Reedie for making remarks about
the five-times grand slam champion at a conference in London on
Monday and said the Russian tennis player was owed an apology.
The criticism came in a statement by Sharapova's management
company, IMG, after Reedie commented at a World Anti-Doping Agency
conference on Sharapova, who is serving a two-year ban after testing
positive for the prohibited substance meldonium.
"For me the only satisfactory element in Madame Sharapova's case was
that in one year she can earn more money than the whole of WADA’s
budget put together," Reedie said.
Reedie made his comments relating to Sharapova as he was making a
call for more governments and TV broadcasters to pitch in extra
money to WADA's campaign for clean sport.
Sharapova's lawyer, John Haggerty, took exception to Reedie's
comments, which he called unprofessional.
"Justice, whether in the eyes of WADA or a court, must be blind,
including being blind to a player's earnings," Haggerty said in a
"Mr. Reedie owes an apology to Maria and to all successful tennis
players unless he wants fans to think WADA has different standards
for players depending on their ranking and earnings."
WADA told Reuters that Reedie's comments at WADA's annual Media
Symposium were made in the context of a debate on further funding
for clean sport and drew comparisons between WADA's annual budget
and the earning of various sportsmen and women.
"His comments have absolutely no bearing on any particular
anti-doping case," said WADA spokesman Ben Nichols.
WADA said last week it would not file an appeal to the Court of
Arbitration for Sport (CAS) after reviewing the ruling on
Sharapova's two-year ban by the International Tennis Federation.
[to top of second column]
Maria Sharapova of Russia speaks during a news conference at the
Brisbane International tennis tournament in Brisbane, Australia on
January 1, 2013. REUTERS/Daniel Munoz/File Photo
WADA could have petitioned for either a harsher or more lenient
Sharapova stunned the sporting world in March when she announced she
had tested positive for the heart medication meldonium, which was
added to WADA's banned list on Jan. 1.
The Russian had been the highest paid woman in sports for the last
11 years until her reign ended shortly after news of her positive
She is now second on Forbes' list of the highest-paid female
athletes, behind fellow tennis player Serena Williams, with combined
prize money and off-field earnings of $28.9 million over the last 12
Sharapova, 29, has appealed her two-year ban to CAS.
(Reporting by Frank Pingue; editing by Ken Ferris)
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