Maria Sharapova
Sharapova has played in three events since returning to the sport in April. Reuters

Maria Sharapova has not been granted a wildcard for the French Open amid calls for her to be banned from tennis entirely. The 30-year-old was ranked too low to gain direct entry and was informed of the decision by French Tennis Federation president Bernard Giudicelli.

Sharapova has not competed in a Grand Slam since reaching the quarter-finals of the Australian Open in January 2016, but has played in three events since serving her 15-month ban for using meldonium.

Giudicelli explained the reasoning behind the decision to not award Sharapova a wildcard on the French Tennis Federation's Facebook page: "Nobody can deprive [Sharapova] of her two titles at Roland Garros. I read articles 100 and 101 which reduced her sanction, however we agreed with the independent tribunal that she committed a violation and had to be suspended for 15 months.

"Today the suspension is over and she can take her path towards new success. There can be a wildcard from injury but there cannot be a wildcard from doping.

"I'm sorry for Maria and her fans who might be disappointed, she might be disappointed, but it is my mission to protect the game and protect the high standards of game play without any doubt on the result."

The former Wimbledon champion, who has courted controversy since returning to the sport in April, is due on centre court imminently to face Croatia's Mirjana Lucic-Baroni in the round of 32 at the Italian Open.

Sharapova reached the semi-finals of the Stuttgart Open on her return to the sport in late April, but she didn't fare so well in the Madrid Open, losing to Canada's Eugenie Bouchard in the round of 32.

Bouchard recently branded Sharapova 'a cheat', while Roberta Vinci, who faced the two-time French Open champion in Stuttgart, thinks she should be banned for life.

Sharapova was initially banned from tennis for two years after using meldonium, which increases blood flow, thereby improving exercise capacity in athletes, but her suspension was reduced to 15 months after the Court of Arbitration for Sport came to the conclusion that she was not an 'intentional doper'.

Maria Sharapova
Some female tennis players are not enamoured with Sharapova's return. Reuters