Exclusive – Former tennis player Barry Cowan on Maria Sharapova failing drugs test: 'I don’t think she has knowingly cheated'

Listen above as former British tennis player Barry Cowan gives Maria Sharapova the ‘benefit of the doubt’.

The Russian five-time Grand Slam winner admitted to failing a drugs test on Monday and she will be provisionally suspended by the International Tennis Federation from March 12.

Cowan told Mark Saggers and Stan Collymore on Kick Off: “I am giving Maria the benefit of the doubt, I don’t think she has knowingly cheated.

“I am confident in that. Am I 100% confident? No because you are taking somebody’s word for it.

“If you look at the facts she has taken it since 2006.

“What she’s guilty of – she’s going to regret this for probably as long as she’s a tennis player – is that she was very, very slack in her attention to detail. That’s why they will have to ban her and she will have to pay the consequences.”

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