The French Tennis Federation has made a bold call but the right one to deny Maria Sharapova entry into the year's second Grand Slam at Roland Garros later this month.

The decision sends a clear message to all the kids out there playing the game that cheating in whatever form is not acceptable and it doesn't matter how big a name you are.

Without a doubt the interest globally in the women's draw in Paris will take a hit, (Serena Williams will be absent due to her pregnancy) but the FFT has put the integrity of the sport first with President Bernard Giudicelli saying "while there can be a wildcard for return from injury, there can't be a wild card for return from doping."

I will be at the French Open where it's likely a new Grand Slam champion will emerge from a women's field that could have as many as a dozen genuine title contenders.


Will I miss Sharapova? Yes to some extent. I will miss her game, her incredible determination on court, and her uncompromising self belief. But I won't miss her attitude.

I've always felt Sharapova has never been contrite over her failed drugs test. There have always been excuses and blame put elsewhere. In my mind she took Meldonium for over a decade as a legal performance enhancer, using a supposed heart condition as a reason.

Her story has never added up.

Sharapova had been granted wildcards into the main draw of tournaments in Stuttgart, Madrid and this week in Rome following her 15 month ban for doping.

Leading players have been right to question those decisions, arguing she should have started from the bottom up because he has no ranking points following a drugs ban. She should have been made to play in lower level events to build her ranking as opposed to players returning from injury who can use a protected ranking.

The opposing argument held by WTA tournament directors is she's done her time so is free to resume her career. But their decision is purely a business one. Sharapova as polarising as she is, she remains one of the biggest names in sport. Tournament directors realised she would put bums on seats and raise the profile of their events. So while I can understand their rationale it's not the message I would want to send to my kids.