Men’s world No.1 Novak Djokovic has come out in support of beleaguered female star Maria Sharapova, saying that tennis’ governing bodies could do more to communicate more effectively with players when it came to matters of anti-doping.
The Serb, who spoke at the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, is a friend of Sharapova’s and like the Russian is sponsored by racquet manufacturer Head.
Sharapova on Monday revealed that following her Australian Open exit she had tested positive to the banned substance meldonium.
“I do feel sorry (for) her, but it’s normal to accept that under these circumstances the player has to suffer certain consequences,” he said.
“I think the communication from the governing bodies of tennis maybe should be a little bit better in terms of involvement of maybe ATP.
“I feel like sometimes ATP is stepping on the side because its (anti-doping protocol) is a matter of ITF (the international federation) and WADA.
“There should be a little bit more of involvement maybe, people, players relations side, people engaged in this communication with players.”
Djokovic opens his Indian Wells campaign against American qualifier Bjorn Fratangelo.
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