Statement by Marcel Hunze on Holding a Wildcard for Maria Sharapova
Tournament Director at The Ricoh Open in Rosmalen The Netherlands the only WTA tournament in The Netherlands
Marcel Hunze has been in contact with the management of Sharapova about the wildcard. Since the tournament takes place in the week after the French open, it all depends on the outcome during Roland Garros.
Hunze had this to say about his perspective of giving a wildcard to Maria Sharapova
“I have actually read the conclusion of the CAS report on Maria’s case, which I believe everyone involved in tennis should, because if you read the CAS report you would have NO objection to give Maria a WC and welcome her to your tournament. We will be holding a WC for Maria with pleasure”.
With Maria Sharapova’s comeback to the WTA tour just six weeks away, we wanted to resend CAS’s decision in her case, most significantly, paragraphs 100 and 101 (below), in which CAS completely restored Maria’s good name and legacy.
CAS, the Supreme Court in all sport, was the only neutral court to hear Sharapova’s case…
The Panel wishes to emphasize that based on the evidence, the Player did not endeavor to mask or hide her use of Mildronate and was in fact open about it to many in her entourage and based on a doctor’s recommendation, that she took the substance with the good faith belief that it was appropriate and compliant with the relevant rules and her anti-doping obligations, as it was over a long period of her career, and that she was not clearly informed by the relevant anti-doping authorities of the change in the rules. After its de novo review here, the Panel has determined it does not agree with many of the conclusions of the Tribunal, except as otherwise specifically indicated herein.
Finally, the Panel wishes to point out that the case it heard, and the award it renders, was not about an athlete who cheated. It was only about the degree of fault that can be imputed to a player for her failure to make sure that the substance contained in a product she had been legally taking over a long period, and for most of the time on the basis of a doctor’s prescription, remained in compliance with the TADP and WADC. No question of intent to violate the TADP or WADC was before this Panel: under no circumstances, therefore, can the Player be considered to be an “intentional doper”.