Even as the subject of Maria Sharapova receiving a two-year ban from the ITF for using Meldonium is refusing to die down, with opinions being raised on both its sides, the WADA chief Craig Reedie has added fuel to the fire.
Speaking at the WADA conference that’s being held in London, the 75-year old specifically mentioned that he was happy about catching Sharapova as according to him, ‘She earns more money in 1 year than WADA's entire budget.’
This statement met with outrageousness especially considering that the ITF, in its ruling had determined that Sharapova had no intention to cheat, but had committed negligence about using the now-banned drug.
WADA president Craig Reedie says he took pleasure from nailing Maria Sharapova as "she earns more money in 1 year than WADA's entire budget" — Ben Bloom (@benbloomsport) June 20, 2016
However, further clarification of Reedie’s statement on the subject revealed that he had said, ‘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.’
Despite these words striking better balance than what it seemed he’d said earlier, for those voicing their dissent about the length of the ban imposed on the Russian, they still seem harsh.
"...in one year she can earn more money than the whole of WADA's budget put together." — Ben Bloom (@benbloomsport) June 20, 2016
John Haggerty, Sharapova's lawyer, commented on these declarations: 'The statement made today by the WADA president is unprofessional. Justice, whether in the eyes of WADA or a court, must be blind, including being blind to a player's earnings.
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.' Currently, Sharapova’s appealed to the CAS to have her sentence reduced.
The decision of the CAS is expected by 18th July, which is the cut-off date for eligible substitutions for the Rio Games. Also Read Do the two semi-final losses in Stuttgart and Halle spell the end of Roger Federer's Domination on Grass?