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#pounditThursday, September 28, 2023

Genie Bouchard: Maria Sharapova is ‘cheater,’ should be banned for life

Maria Sharapova

Genie Bouchard has drawn a big line in the sand, and she has placed Maria Sharapova on the opposite side.

Sharapova is returning to women’s tennis following a suspension for her use of the banned substance, Meldonium. She has been met with mixed opinions as she returns to tour, with many being critical of her for using a performance-enhancing substance. Sharapova has pleaded ignorance regarding the substance, but that matters little to some of her critics, such as Bouchard, who labels her a “cheater.”

“She’s a cheater and so, to me, I don’t think a cheater in any sport should be allowed to play that sport again,” Bouchard told TRT World. “Unfair to all these players who do it the right way and are true.

“I think from the [Women’s Tennis Association] it sends the wrong message to young kids: Cheat and we’ll welcome you back with open arms. I don’t think that’s right and (she’s) definitely not someone I can say I look up to anymore because it’s definitely ruined it for me a little bit.”

Bouchard did her interview from the Istanbul Open, where she lost on Tuesday. Sharapova meanwhile won her match Wednesday at the Stuttgart Open.


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