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Maria Sharapova Talks Suspension, Serena Williams Rivalry On “The View” (VIDEO)

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The View Mara Sharapova

By Shari Weiss |

The View Mara Sharapova

(ABC)

Maria Sharapova was asked about her doping suspension and her rivalry with Serena Williams on “The View” on Tuesday. The line of questioning even included Joy Behar bringing up Vladimir Putin to the Russian tennis player. Check out the video below.

Last year, as Gossip Cop reported, Maria Sharapova revealed she failed a drug test after testing positive for a banned substance. She subsequently lost endorsement deals, and in June 2016, Sharapova was suspended by the International Tennis Federation for two years. That penalty was later reduced to 15 months. She officially returned to the sport in April 2017, and just competed in the U.S. open, but lost in the fourth round. She’s now making the media rounds to promote her memoir, Unstoppable: My Life So Far, in which she addresses the scandal and her comeback.

At the U.S. Open, Sharapova unexpectedly beat the world’s number two player, Simona Halep, in the first round. She now said on the talk show, “I was so emotional… Once I won that match, I felt so proud that I worked so hard to get back out there, that I worked to get that winning position and did it.” Behar pushed her to explain the backstory of the illegal substance controversy, prompting the athlete to say, “I had gotten approval for it [years prior]. A doctor gave it to me as a supplement. It’s very commonly used in eastern Europe.” Sharapova maintained the drug “didn’t help” her, and was only banned just weeks before that life-changing drug test. Unfortunately, she says, she was unaware of the sudden change.

Of dealing with that reality, she said, “I’ve been through so many amazing things, and it’s like everything is taken away from you from one day to another… It was one of the toughest things, as an athlete, I’ve been through.” As for those critics who argue she was only successful because of that drug, Sharapova simply said, “It’s such an interesting thing, because when something is legal for so many years and then you take it once in the period that it wasn’t and they say those things, it’s not fact.” The sports star was next grilled about her history with Williams, which she also discusses in her book.

Sharapova shocked the world when, at age 17, she beat Williams at Wimbledon, but their past goes back further than that. They trained at the same Florida facility, where Sharapova regularly saw the Williams sisters drawing hundreds of spectators. “I was watching the next 25 years of my life, unknowingly. And at 17, I find myself across the net from her… That match was a huge part of my life and my career. It’s where it all started for me,” she explained. But Sunny Hostin brought up racial criticism she’s received for describing Williams, in the memoir, as having “thick legs and thick arms.”

“You have to understand that I’m speaking from the image of being a 17 year old girl and seeing Serena Williams in front of me for the first time,” Sharpaova said. “I was not developed at all. I didn’t belong at a Wimbledon final.” The interview then took a light-hearted turn when Behar brought up the player’s Russian background, which prompted her to predict, “I fee like we’re heading into a joke.” Well, Behar did get laughs when she then asked, “I was just wondering, do you know Vladimir Putin?”

Sharapova responded, “I do not. Do you want me to?” When Behar suggested they could talk, she amusingly replied, “I don’t think it’s a great idea.” Watch the full video below.

 


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