In a special bonus episode of the SI Tennis Beyond the Baseline Podcast, Sports Illustrated executive editor and host Jon Wertheim talks with tennis producer Jamie Lisanti on Maria Sharapova's appeal ruling.
Just hours after Court of Arbitration for Sport's decision to reduce Sharapova's two-year ban for doping to 15 months, Wertheim and Lisanti discuss the impact of the ruling, which Sharapova's lawyer, John Haggerty, called a "stunning repudiation." In its statement, the CAS said they did not agree with "many of the conclusions of the [ITF] Tribunal" and the decision means she will be eligible to compete again in April 2017.
"I think to some extent 'stunning' might be overstating the case, but no doubt this a repudiation. That said, there is still a penalty in effect," Wertheim says on the podcast. "It does seem as though no body is winning here. It is still not great for anyone that one of the sport’s big stars is facing this 15-month doping ban, though obviously 15 months is preferable to two years....The decision is still a bit murky in the sense that there is blame being placed on Sharapova but there is language suggesting that there should be 'no significant fault' placed there."
Wertheim also talks about the most significant line in the decision, the statement Sharapova release in response to the decision and shares his thoughts on how tennis will handle her return in April 2017, ahead of the French Open.
Check back on SI.com this week for more analysis and information on Sharapova's ruling and related news.
Check back on SI.com next week for another episode of Beyond the Baseline.