Bouchard says 'cheater' Sharapova deserved lifetime ban

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Eugenie Bouchard believes "cheater" Maria Sharapova should have been banned for life after failing a drugs test at last year's Australian Open.

The five-time grand slam champion tested positive for banned substance meldonium during the first grand slam of 2016 and had a two-year ban reduced to 15 months at the Court of Arbitration for Sport after launching an appeal.

Sharapova marked her return by beating Roberta Vinci in the first round of the Stuttgart Open on Wednesday.

The former world number one's rivals have voiced their disapproval over wildcards handed out to the Russian for tournaments in Stuttgart, Rome and Madrid.

A candid Bouchard does not think it should even have come to that, as the 2014 Wimbledon runner-up feels Sharapova's career should be over.

Asked about Sharapova being gifted wildcards, the straight-talking Canadian told TRT World: "I don't think that's right. She's a cheater and so for me, I don't think a cheater in any sport should be allowed to play that sport again.

"It's so unfair to all the other players who do it the right way and are true. I think from the WTA it sends the wrong message to young kids: cheat and we'll welcome you back with open arms.

"I don't think that's right and [Sharapova is] definitely not someone I say I look up to anymore because it's definitely ruined it for me a little bit."