There seems to be a lot of people wanting to pile on tennis star Maria Sharapova after she revealed that she failed a drug test at the Australian Open. News of her positive test for Meldonium sent shockwaves in the sports world.
You have to be completely naïve to keep using a substance even if it has been just recently banned. But at the same time, unless you can prove me otherwise, don’t for a second lump Sharapova in with a lying cheater like disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong. Frankly, that’s taking the easy way out. That being no one cares about context or any reason behind the result. They judge a game by the final score. People who do that just raised former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s IQ by 30 points.
It is no secret that Sharapova has had health problems in her tennis career. It would make sense that she would take medication to deal with that. I’m no medical expert but if Sharapova does have a heart condition as she claims she has, why on earth would she continue playing a sport like tennis at a high level? That to me is something I would look into instead of dismissing it as another athlete that got caught cheating.
I remember Canadian Olympian rower Silken Laumann was stripped of her Pan American gold medal in 1995 after testing positive for a banned substance that is readily available as an over-the-counter medication. No one was quick to call her a cheater once word got out. But there were some who wanted to do so ever since Ben Johnson and the Seoul Olympics. And that was because she was a Canadian athlete.
Here’s another thing to watch for. Even if Sharapova is cleared of any wrongdoing, what she has done is put every athlete with a medical condition under a spotlight. They will now (if they haven’t done so after Armstrong’s cancer diagnosis) be scrutinized by every move they make. I would bet Arizona Coyotes forward Max Domi will be watched closely to see if what he is taking for his diabetes meets the performance enhancing substance test. Don’t doubt me on this.
The act of painting people with a wide brush is nothing new. Those like me who like hockey with hard hits and fighting are called goons, hooligans, anarchists, etc.. And it is also not limited to sports. Having followed politics as long as I have been alive, people go through these brushes like candy. Progressives see everyone who wants lower taxes and small government as racist, sexist, and homophobic. Is that them being lazy? Absolutely. Am I being a hypocrite by painting leftists with a wide brush? Maybe. But then again, if they don’t like it, that just further proves my point.
Sharapova will get suspended for her positive drug test. Ignorance alone will not be enough to get her off. But I will not call her a cheater. I know the real reason. Too bad others can’t take the time to do the same.