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Maria Sharapova WTA chief Steve Simon on former world number one

In order to avoid a repeat of Maria Sharapova's doping ban, WTA chief executive Steve Simon wants greater education for players.

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WTA chief executive Steve Simon says the organisation will take a greater role in educating players on doping rules to avoid a repeat of the Maria Sharapova case.

Sharapova was handed a two-year ban after testing positive for banned substance meldonium at this year's Australian Open, but the former world number one claimed to be unaware it had been added to the World Anti-Doping Agency's list of prohibited substances on January 1.

The five-time grand slam winner's suspension was reduced to 15 months on Tuesday following an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, clearing her to return to action next April.

Simon called on competitors to be more mindful of the regulations but revealed the WTA intends to offer increased help from now on.

He said: "Well I think it is really clear that not only does the athlete need to pay attention to what the latest rules are and what they are ingesting into their systems, but I also think there is a take away for us at the WTA that we cannot sit back and wait for the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme or the ITF [International Tennis Federation] to give their education to the players. 

"We need to take a stronger role in that.

"You will see an increased effort from the WTA to ensure that we never see another positive drugs test because a player was uninformed. Nobody wins and nobody benefits when things like this happen."

Simon is pleased the case has reached a conclusion and believes Sharapova will be welcomed back and is looking forward to seeing her back on court.

"Obviously it's been a time coming for sure. I am glad to see it has come to a conclusion. We are looking forward to seeing Maria [Sharapova] back on the court in 2017," he added.

"More importantly I think the process worked right. It came out with a decision and we are very supportive of the decision and we look forward to seeing Maria back in 2017.

"Anytime you lose a star to injury or suspension it's not a good thing. You miss them, the fans and the sport wants to see them. It will be great to see her back on court and I am sure she will be welcomed back with open arms."

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