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"Sharapova was vilified, bullied, taunted but Simona gets with no accountability?" - Maria Sharapova fans fuming over double standards in tennis world's overwhelming support of Simona Halep amidst doping scandal

Simona Halep (L) and Maria Sharapova (R)
Simona Halep (L) and Maria Sharapova (R)

Simona Halep has received widespread support from all quarters in light of her doping scandal, with many former players, coaches and fans siding with the Romanian in her fight against the provisional suspension she has been handed.

A small portion of fans on social media, however, are not happy, not with the former World No. 1 herself but with the double standards that have become evident thanks to the support Halep has received.

When Maria Sharapova was affected by a similar doping scandal back in 2016 and was handed a suspension as a result, the Russian received no such votes of confidence and was all but ostracized from the community. At least, that is what fans of the five-time Grand Slam champion have felt in the last few days, with many taking to Twitter to vent their frustration.

One fan pointed out the hypocrisy in action, wondering why so many articles vilifying Sharapova were published then, while Halep has not been meted out a similar treatment, tweeting:

"The silence on Simona's doping ban is baffling lol. Sharapova was vilified, bullied, taunted and so so many cheap articles but Simona gets with no accountability? Not saying Simona should be vilified or anything, just pointing out hypocrisy and the agenda is so clear now."
The silence on simona's doping ban is baffling lol. Sharapova was vilified, bullied, taunted and so so many cheap articles but Simona gets with no accountability? Not saying Simona should be vilified or anything, just pointing out hypocrisy and the agenda is so clear now.

Another user echoed a similar sentiment, lamenting the differences in treatment handed to Simona Halep and Sharapova and how the Russian was criticized even when her drug was not proven to be performance-enhancing in the first place.

"Sharapova tested positive for one tournament with a medicine not even proven to be a performance enhancing drug and everyone is condemning her. Halep positive for one tournament with a medicine similar to EPO (!!!) and supports emerge from everywhere. Talk about unfair."
Sharapova tested + for one tournament with a medicine not even proven to be a performance enhancing drug and everyone is condemning her .. Halep positive for one tournament with a medicine similar to EPO (!!!) and supports emerge from everywhere 🤔 Talk about unfair .. twitter.com/Brar_JSB/statu…

Here are a few more reactions from fans:

@limuzinaxd Your first two points apply to Sharapova as well. She never took it intentionally to cheat, took it only once after it was banned and your third point just proves my point that they had a vile agenda.
it's a lot easier to trash someone you don't like than someone you like. People are willing to give Halep the benefit of the doubt they were never willing to give Sharapova. twitter.com/cyril21179/sta…
Don’t get me wrong I have nothing particular against Halep, I don’t like her, I don’t dislike her I don’t really care but the difference of reaction and treatment is kinda upsetting
@Cyril21179 That is correct, they also found Sara errani the same as MARIA SharaPova. And ooo surprise three months of suspension, that's how it is when people in long pants or managers want to kill someone they don't tempt their hands that's why sport is like this
@Cyril21179 Whatever it was Sharapova was taking she was taking her whole life and it was always legal. But it was included on the new list at the time and she failed it a month or so later. So she was really only guilty of not checking the new list. Harsh for her to be branded a cheat
GET THEM BESTIE!!!TT is really hypocrite. The way everyone humiliated Sharapova while everyone thinks Simona is innocent?Selective hating i see. twitter.com/thetwinkwolf/s…
The difference of treatment between Sharapova and Halep is… crazy 😅 twitter.com/Brar_JSB/statu…
@PhilipTBoosey Why should he. When Sharapova failed her drug test and admitted taking the drug for 10 years I don’t remember people wanting to hear from her coach. I don’t remember people wanting to hear from a coach of any player who failed a drug test.
I think the biggest difference in the media treatment of Sharapova and Halep is that Maria immediately called a press conference and admitted guilt. She blew up her own defense from the jump.
Sharapova's legacy isn't tainted. The drug she was on was literally legal her entire career. She didn't check her email and they made a big stink. They should've allowed for a grace period since it was newly put on the list and she'd been on it for years
Simona testing positive to a banned drug is so funny to me. This girl had a lot to say when Sharapova tested positive. Who remembers the match where Sharapova kicked her out of 1st round of US open? All that salty behaviour & now karma served her well 🤣 https://t.co/TQOGl6fOr6
“Everyone wants to be with you when you win Grand Slams, but who will stick close when the whole world turns on you? That’s the question”-Maria Sharapova(Video- The victimization of Maria Sharapova) https://t.co/TnMBWgQxUB
I wasn‘t around back then. Was tt as convinced of Sharapova‘s innocence as they are with Halep’s now? I‘m pretty surprised that there is a consensus that she’s innocent (I believe it too, I don’t know why) considering how much hate Yastremska or Errani are still getting.
Sharapova was 29 and had already won 5 slams so what’s the difference exactly? Because I remember everyone came at her when she announced it… twitter.com/makeitwayne15/…

Simona Halep herself had been very vocal in her criticism of Maria Sharapova back then

Simona Halep and Maria Sharapova at the 2014 French Open
Simona Halep and Maria Sharapova at the 2014 French Open

Interestingly, once Maria Sharapova completed her suspension from tennis and made a return to the sport, Simona Halep herself was very vocal against the Russian receiving wildcards into tournaments. Hailing it as a bad example for kids and young players, the former World No. 1 had remarked that she could not support the practice of offering such help to players found guilty of doping.

"For the kids, for the young players, it is not okay to help a player with a wild card who was banned for doping," Simona Halep said. "It is not about Maria Sharapova here, but it is about all the players that are found doped. I cannot support what the tournament director did, but also, I cannot judge."

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Edited by Shyam Kamal
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