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Russian tennis head backtracks on Sharapova’s retirement claims

Russian tennis head backtracks on Sharapova’s retirement claims

Johannesburg: Few hours after expressing his doubt over suspended star Maria Sharapova’s career, Russian Tennis Federation chief Shamil Tarpishchev has backtracked by saying he did not mean to suggest that the Russian’s failed doping test could spell the end of her career.

Commenting on Sharapova’s situation, Tarpishchev had said that the beleaguered tennis star’s current state looks `bad` and that it is ‘very doubtful’ that she would resume her career,Sport24 reported.

Tarpishchev, however, has backed his stance, saying he had said that Sharapova could not play at the moment as no ruling has yet been issued on her case.

Sharapova was provisionally suspended from the sport in March after revealing that she had tested positive for the banned substance Meldonium at this year’s Australian Open.

The 2012 Olympic silver medallist said that she had been taking the drug since 2006 legally for years for health reasons.

Meldonium was placed on the banned list by the World Anti-Doping Agency ( WADA) this year.

Sharapova’s major sponsors Nike, Tag Heuer and Porsche have all distanced themselves from her since her revelation. (ANI)