Murray: No wild cards for returning dopers

Britain's Andy Murray feels that it is wrong to give wild-card entries to players returning from doping bans but 'gets it' why tournament organisers do it for the 'big names'.

In an interview carried by The Times, the 29-year-old world number one reacted to Maria Sharapova's return to tennis after a 15-month doping ban for testing positive for meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open.

As a 'big name', Sharapova has been given wild-card entries for tournaments in Stuttgart, Madrid and Rome, events she would usually have to qualify for after falling down the rankings. 

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This then also leaves Grand Slam tournament organisers with an interesting dilemma. Sharapova's ban ends in April and the likes of the French Open and Wimbledon organisers could hand Sharapova a wild-card entry to their events starting in May and July respectively having previously won the events.

"I think you should really have to work your way back. However, the majority of tournaments are going to do what they think is best for their event," said Murray.

"If they think having big names there is going to sell more seats, then they're going to do that. She (Sharapova) has an opportunity to try to improve her ranking up until that point and potentially not need a wild card."

On Wimbledon giving Sharapova a wild-card, Murray added: "But then if she doesn't, that becomes Wimbledon's decision and how they want to play that.

"I'm sure they'll think long and hard about it and how they feel people will view it and then make the right decision for them."

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