Andy Murray criticises own sponsor Head for extending contract with Maria Sharapova despite failed drugs test

Joe Hall
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2016 BNP Paribas Open - Day 4
Murray addressed the issue head on (Source: Getty)

Andy Murray has criticised his own sponsor, Head, for extending its contract with Maria Sharapova after she failed a drugs test.

The world No2 questioned the tennis manufacturer's decision to stand by Sharapova following her suspension from tennis and said the Russian star deserved to be banned.

"It's a strange stance given everything that's happened the last few days," Murray said of Head.

"I don't really know what else to say on that, but that's not something I believe. I think at this stage it's important really to get hold of the facts and let things play out, like more information coming out before making a decision to extend the contract like that, in my view.

"I personally wouldn't have responded like that."

Read more: Head extends Maria Sharapova contract despite "mistake"

Head praised Sharapova's "honesty and courage" in admitting she had tested positive for banned substance meldonium at the Australian Open in January.

The five-time grand slam champion said she had been taking the drug for 10 years on her family doctor's recommendation and had been unaware it had been added to the World Anti-Doping Agency's (Wada) banned list at the beginning of the year.

Yet Murray did not appear to share his sponsor's sympathy for Sharapova and said it was "wrong" for a player to take a drug not specifically designated for a medical condition.

"It's not up to me to decide the punishment, but if you're taking performance enhancing drugs and you fail a drugs test, you have to get suspended," said the Scot.

"I think taking a prescription drug that you don't necessarily need, but just because it's legal, that's wrong, clearly. That's wrong.

"If you're taking a prescription drug and you're not using it for what that drug was meant for, then you don't need it, so you're just using it for the performance-enhancing benefits that drug is giving you. And I don't think that's right."

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