Sharapova's racket sponsor: meldonium shouldn't be banned

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

VIENNA (AP) — Maria Sharapova's racket supplier says the drug she tested positive for at the Australian Open shouldn't be on the banned list.

Head CEO Johan Eliasch says the World Anti-Doping Agency should have imposed "a dosage limitation only" on meldonium instead of completely banning it as of Jan. 1.

Eliasch says Sharapova was taking the substance in such low doses that the drug couldn't possibly have improved her performance.

He says he "would encourage WADA to release scientific studies which validates their claim that meldonium should be a banned substance."

Eliasch on Thursday publicly backed Sharapova and announced a new racket deal with the five-time Grand Slam champion. The decision was called "a strange stance" by Andy Murray, who also plays with Head rackets.