Maria Sharapova has castigated fellow tennis players over their criticism of her following her drug ban.
The former Wimbledon champion has claimed her critics do not have all the facts of what transpired with respect to her ban and did not, as a result, have the right to criticise her.
Sharapova was banned for 15 months for doping and returned to competitive tennis earlier this year. She did not participate in the French Open or the Wimbledon but was provided with a wild-card for the US Open where she made the fourth round of the competition.
And apart from claiming others did not have the facts, Sharapova is also miffed by some of the comments made by the likes of Andy Murray and Eugenie Bouchard.
Bouchard had said of Sharapova’s doping incident:
“She’s a cheater and I don’t think a cheater in any sport should be allowed to play again.”
Murray had said he had found it surprising that a prescription drug for heart ailments had been used by some of the top athletes around the world.
However, speaking to the BBC, Sharapova said:
“I think those are comments not based on facts, and therefore I don’t take them into consideration.”
Sharapova added, it was now about her own career and her decision to face it head-on. She said she had made a mistake, apologised for it and it was now time to move on from the issue.
The Russian did say, however, she had a problem with banning the drug because there was no proof of it helping an athlete’s performance.
“The problem I have with that is there’s no proof of what it does, and no one can give you that proof. What is the ban based on?”
Sharapova, who last won a major title at the 2014 French Open, will now look to feature in a few tournaments remaining in the year in a bid to qualify directly for the 2018 Australian Open. Currently ranked 103rd in the world, Sharapova will hope to move into the top 50 by the end of the year.