BREAKING NEWS: French Tennis Federation announced Maria Sharapova will NOT be allowed to participate in the French Open later this month 😭 pic.twitter.com/EKUvGlJq3p
— pk's world 🎾🔥 (@SourceSyndicate) May 16, 2017
Announcing the decision on a live Facebook broadcast on Tuesday, French Tennis Federation president Bernard Giudicelli said he told Sharapova in person that it was not possible.
“I decided not to give Maria Sharapova a wild card. I’m very sorry for Maria, very sorry for her fans. They might be disappointed, she might be very disappointed,” Giudicelli said. “But it’s my responsibility, it’s my mission to protect the game and protect the high standards of the game.”
A two-time French Open champion, Sharapova has played in three events since serving her 15-month suspension for using meldonium, a banned substance. Her finishes weren’t enough to qualify, leaving it up to the FTF to grant her a wild-card berth, which they did not.
“This suspension is over and she can take her path toward new success,” Giudicelli said. “But while there can be a wild card for return from injury, there can’t be a wild card for return from doping.”
Her return to tennis has been met with mixed reviews, with Genie Bouchard saying “She’s a cheater and I don’t think a cheater in any sport should be allowed to play that sport again.”
Sharapova is currently playing in the Italian Open, and after a win on Monday, the 30-year-old is guaranteed a place in Wimbledon qualifying and has the ability to still earn a place via the main tournament draw.
The Associated Press contributed to this report via USA TODAY