Andy Murray says Maria Sharapova had no valid excuse for failing test

Andy Murray has maintained his hardline stance on Maria Sharapovas conviction for taking a banned substance

Andy Murray maintained his hardline stance on Maria Sharapovas conviction for taking a banned substance on the day she announced her appeal against the two-year ban handed down a week ago.

Speaking after he advanced to the second round at Queens with a two-set win over the Frenchman Nicolas Mahut, the world No2 said: My thoughts havent changed really from March [when he condemned the Russian for failing a drug test at the Australian Open]. I spoke quite a lot about it then.

I do feel like if youre cheating and are caught, and you are gaining advantage on your opponents, then you have to be punished for that. Its not whats fair or not, in terms of time. Thats up to the governing bodies, the courts and stuff and the lawyers, to decide. But my view hasnt changed since March at all.

Nor would he accept it as a defence for athletes to claim they were ignorant of what drugs they were taking, banned or not.

I dont really see that as being a valid excuse. If youre taking any medication, its your responsibility as the athlete to check and make sure what youre taking is legal. There can be the odd case where, if you were given something by a doctor, he tells you, Oh, this is, I dont know, a vitamin, and its not, then thats different. But if youre taking medication, there is absolutely no reason why you shouldnt know whether its on the banned list or not.

He said he would not entrust ask his management to monitor what he took, either as Sharapova has done with her agent, Max Eisenbud, who claimed he did not alert the player to a warning about the banned drug meldonium because he was holidaying during a personal crisis and did not see the emails from the International Tennis Federation.

No, Dr Turner, who works at the LTA [would inspect any drug he took]. I only take an anti-inflammatory now and then if Im having problems with my back or my hips. But he would be the guy I would speak to about that, for sure.

Murray declined to say if Sharapova should be allowed to compete at the Olympics if her appeal, to be heard on or before 18 July, were successful in overturning her conviction.

Its not up to me to decide whats appropriate or not. Thats up to whoever the governing body is, and I guess its Cas [the court of arbitration for sport] who are looking into it now, and they will come to a decision. Its not up to me to decide whats fair or not. But my position and my views on it havent changed since March one bit.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2016/jun/14/andy-murray-maria-sharapova-excuse-appeal

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