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Childhood coach Nick Bollettieri backs Maria Sharapova

New York: Maria Sharapova left her home in Russia aged seven to train at the Bollettieri Academy in Florida, and coach Nick Bollettieri yesterday was shocked her revelations of having failed a dope test at the Australian Open.

Nick Bollettieri
Nick Bollettieri

"I'll tell you why I'm surprised because, throughout her entire career, she's always been above board in everything," Bollettieri told told BBC Radio 4.

"I don't think she would continue doing something, especially being in the limelight, if there was something that she knew about. I would say that this is a mistake, but she accepts the consequences. I hope and pray that they will look back at the record she's established and hopefully they will give her the sanction but allow her to play again. Certainly she does not want to go out of tennis this way."

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