Maria Sharapova unconcerned by doping criticism

Maria Sharapova at a press conference on March 7, 2016
© Getty Images
Maria Sharapova says that she does not fear a backlash as she prepares to return from a doping ban.

Maria Sharapova has insisted that she is not worried about facing a backlash from her fellow professionals as she prepares to return from a doping ban.

The Russian, who will make her comeback at the Stuttgart Open next week following a 15-month suspension, said that she is confident her opponents still respect her.

"That is the least of my concerns," she told Stern magazine when asked whether she fears a backlash.

"I haven't wasted a single thought on it. I know that I am respected in my field. I see it in how my opponents play against me."

Sharapova was initially suspended for two years after testing positive for banned substance meldonium at last year's Australian Open, before the ban was reduced upon appeal.

She went on to criticise anti-doping boss Stuart Miller, who she claims failed to inform her that meldonium had been outlawed in tennis.

"He didn't want to know anything about it," she said. "And for me, that is proof that he didn't do his job properly. At the ITF, they should make sure the athletes are informed about the new doping rules.

"I take responsibility for my part, but there are other people who could have taken action. And they belong to the ITF."

The substance was added to the World Anti-Doping Agency's prohibited list at the start of 2016.

Maria Sharapova at a press conference on March 7, 2016
Read Next:
Sponsor congratulates Sharapova on reduced ban
>
You May Like
Recomended from Sports Mole



ATP RankingsPoints
1Spain Rafael Nadal7,645
2Scotland flag Andy Murray7,150
3Switzerland Roger Federer7,145
4Switzerland Stanislas Wawrinka5,690
5Serbia Novak Djokovic5,325
6Alexander Zverev4,470
7Croatia Marin Cilic4,155
8Austria Dominic Thiem4,030
9Bulgaria Grigor Dimitrov3,710
10Japan Kei Nishikori3,195
11Canada Milos Raonic2,870
12France Jo-Wilfried Tsonga2,690
13Belgium David Goffin2,525
14United States John Isner2,425
15Spain Roberto Bautista Agut2,425
16Pablo Carreno Busta2,385
17United States Jack Sock2,345
18Australia Nick Kyrgios2,325
19Czech Republic Tomas Berdych2,310
20Lucas Pouille2,210
LIVE SCORES VIDEPRINTER
expand