London, May 5 : Tennis superstar Maria Sharapova could end up being fined close to a million dollars for defying the authorities running the sport.
The 21-year-old Siberian has already been docked 125,000 dollars by the WTA Tour after withdrawing from this week's Berlin tournament, with the possibility of a further 10,000 dollars penalty if she does not provide a medical reason for her no-show.
According to The Telegraph, she could also face a fine of up to 700,000 dollars if she decides to boycott the WTA Tour's official promotional shoot that has been controversially planned to take place on the eve of next week's event on the clay of Rome's Foro Italico.
So, in the space of a fortnight, there is a chance that her fines could total 835,000 dollars.
The maximum fine for skipping promotional work is usually 300,000 dollars, but that increases to 700,000 dollars for players such as Sharapova who do not wear a tour patch on their clothes.
"To ask me or any of the other players to do a long shoot like this is not right. The tour is not thinking about the players," Sharapova was quoted, as saying, adding that she has not ruled out the possibility of taking legal action against the WTA Tour.
Story first published: Monday, May 5, 2008, 17:36 [IST]
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