‘Cheaters Shouldn’t Prosper’

“Canadian tennis star Eugenie Bouchard says Maria Sharapova, who returned from her 15-month doping ban on Wednesday, is a “cheater” and should not be allowed to compete in the sport again.

“Bouchard spoke to TRT World in an interview published Tuesday on ‘YouTube’ and did not hold back her thoughts.

“I don’t think that’s right,” Bouchard said of the Russian’s return. “She’s a cheater and so, to me, I don’t think a cheater in any sport should be allowed to play that sport again. Unfair to all these players who do it the right way and are true.

Eugenie Bouchard (Paul Chiasson – CP)

“I think from the [Women’s Tennis Association] it sends the wrong message to young kids: ‘Cheat and we’ll welcome you back with open arms,’” added Bouchard, who’s currently the No. 59-ranked women’s player in the world. “I don’t think that’s right and (she’s) definitely not someone I can say I look up to any more, because it’s definitely ruined it for me a little bit.”

“Sharapova was suspended by the International Tennis Federation in 2016 after she tested positive for the banned substance ‘meldonium’. She faced Roberta Vinci Wednesday evening in the ‘Stuttgart Open’ in Germany…”

–‘Eugenie Bouchard on Sharapova: ‘Cheater,’ should be banned for life’,
David Singh, Sportsnet, April 26, 2017

Feature IMAGE: Top – Maria Sharapova
Bottom: Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard at the Shenzhen Open. (Clive Brunskill–Getty Images)


Maria Sharapova (Photo: Getty)

From last year:
“…the 28-year-old Russian held a press conference to announce that she had tested positive for a recently banned substance called ‘meldonium’, which is used to treat heart problems but also has certain performance-enhancing properties.

“The test was administered at the ‘Australian Open’ in January, where Sharapova lost in the quarterfinals to her longtime nemesis Serena Williams. (This year’s Australian Open was overshadowed by allegations of rampant match-fixing in professional tennis. But as I noted at the time, many tennis enthusiasts and people involved with the game professionally were more afraid of a doping scandal than cheating.)…

“…She claimed that it was an innocent mistake: she said that on the recommendation of her physician, she had been taking meldonium for the last decade because of abnormal E.K.G. readings and concerns about possibly incipient diabetes. She noted that meldonium, which is known to increase oxygen uptake and endurance, had only become a banned substance as of January 1 of this year and said that she had neglected to open the e-mail from the ‘World Anti-Doping Agency’ (WADA) announcing that it was now prohibited.

“While some commentators were quick to praise Sharapova for her forthrightness, her explanation was quickly picked apart. In response to Sharapova’s disclosure, the Latvian pharmaceutical company that produces meldonium said patients usually require a four-to-six-week course of treatment that may be repeated twice a year, not a decade of continuous use.

“It turns out, too, that WADA had issued multiple notifications about the pending ban on meldonium; given Sharapova’s obsessive attention to detail and the size and competence of the team around her, it seems odd that she would have been unaware of this.

“There hasn’t been a lot of support for her from fellow players. Sharapova has always been a somewhat aloof figure on the tour, which hasn’t endeared her to competitors. Still, the relative silence has been conspicuous…

“This is not the first time that a major tennis star has been caught using a banned substance. In 1997, Andre Agassi tested positive for crystal methamphetamine. The ‘Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), the governing body for the men’s game, accepted Agassi’s claim that he had taken it by accident (as Agassi admitted in his memoir, that wasn’t true) and kept the failed test secret. In recent years, tennis authorities have been criticized for being insufficiently vigilant about doping, and there has been concern that they were more interested in protecting the biggest names, and the sport’s reputation, than in rooting out drug use…”

–‘Maria Sharapova’s Drug Scandal May Be Darker than You Think’,
Michael Steinberger, Vanity Fair, March 10, 2016

See also:
‘Lifetime Suspension… Sort Of’ {February 29, 2016}:

‘The Cautionary Tale of Ken Caminiti: The Steroid Era’s First Truth-Teller’ {June 12, 2015}:

‘Cheating In Cycling…Yet Again’ {March 2, 2016}:
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