Maria Sharapova: Lawyer wants Wada president Craig Reedie to apologise for 'unprofessional' comments on her salary

Sharapova has been banned for two years for taking the banned substance meldonium

Jack de Menezes
Tuesday 21 June 2016 11:07 BST
Maria Sharapova earns more annually than any other female athlete
Maria Sharapova earns more annually than any other female athlete (Getty)

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas


The lawyer for Maria Sharapova has demanded an apology be made to the banned tennis player by the president of the World Anti-Doping Agency [Wada], Craig Reedie, after he made comments about the Russian’s salary in relation to her two-year doping suspension.

Sharapova will be ineligible to play competitive tennis again until May 2018 after she admitted to taking the banned substance meldonium following a positive drug test at January’s Australian Open. With Russia also facing a ban from the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, the spotlight if firmly on Russia’s anti-doping programme, but Sharapova’s lawyer insists that the 29-year-old is owed an apology from Reedie.

Speaking at a Wada conference in London, Reedie was calling for more funding to be made available for the organisation in order to combat doping issues in sport when he reference Sharapova salary – unrivalled by any other female athlete globally – and claimed that the Russian earns more annually that what Wada are able to spend.

“I suspect that we probably punch pretty well above our weight when it comes to the amount of work that is achieved and the successes that are achieved on a budget of less than $30m a year,” said Reedie.

“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.”

Wada president Crag Reedie made the comments at a conference in London
Wada president Crag Reedie made the comments at a conference in London (Getty)

Sharapova’s lawyer, John Haggerty, has hit out at Reedie for bringing her salary into the equation, and claimed that his remarks were “unprofessional” given that every case should be investigated irrespective of earnings.

“The statement made today by the Wada president is unprofessional,” Haggerty said.

“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.”

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