FanDuel - WFBC

November 01, 2007

Martina Hingis reveals she tested positive for cocaine at Wimbledon, announces retirement immediately thereafter.: Is there any possible reason why she'd retire immediately after this announcement hit the news? I'm just trying to give her the benefit of the doubt, I guess... whether or not it's warranted at this point.

posted by evixir to other at 01:27 PM - 35 comments

Don't know much about tennis or players-not surprised-and the beat goes on for illegal drugs and professional athletes.

posted by brickman at 01:43 PM on November 01

I'm amazed that she failed a urine test for cocaine. That shit is out of your system in five days, max - and definitely sooner if you have an athlete's metabolism. Either she got screwed by the testers (has that ever really happened?) or she's a huge idiot for doing coke just before a big tournament. Anyone know how often those tests come up with false positives?

posted by Samsonov14 at 02:01 PM on November 01

Is there any possible reason why she'd retire immediately after this announcement hit the news? From the article... "Hingis said it could take years to fight her case and decided it was time to retire. 'I have no desire to spend the next several years of my life reduced to fighting against the doping officials,' she said. 'The fact is that it is more and more difficult for me, physically, to keep playing at the top of the game. 'And frankly, accusations such as these don't exactly provide me with motivation to even make another attempt to do so.'" Sounds like she didn't want to spend the next few years in limbo concerning this case.

posted by jmd82 at 02:05 PM on November 01

Wow. I have a lot of respect for Hingis, and I think that if major sports organizations are going to drop the hammer on players that test positive for banned substances, they damn better well make sure that positive test results are 100% correct. I mean, you're talking about professional athletes' careers being ruined by speculation. Sponsorship dollars. Advertising stream. I had a friend recently take a drug test - they were looking for a particular drug - and he ended up failing for something he had never taken before in his life.

posted by flammable carrot at 02:07 PM on November 01

If she is outraged that she could be accused of using cocaine (and knows she didn't), I would rather her fight the anti-doping officials than retire. There is not a lot of hope for improving anti-doping processes if athletes would rather retire than fight.

posted by bperk at 02:10 PM on November 01

Maybe she just doesn't want the hassle of fighting it. She just came through a long injury spell and rehab and come back. Maybe another long fight of any kind is just not worth it to her.

posted by scottypup at 02:41 PM on November 01

evixir: Thou shalt not editorialize in a FPP. From the article: "They say that cocaine increases self-confidence and creates a type of euphoria," she said in a statement. "I don't know. I only know that if I were to try to hit the ball while in any state of euphoria, it simply wouldn't work... ...which makes you ask: why are cocaine and drugs like it (euphorics that do not enhance performance) on the list at all? Is the whole drug-testing business just a big combination cash cow and fishing expedition? Also from the article: "...it is important to remember that in the area of anti-doping, all players are presumed innocent until proven otherwise," [WTA Tour chief executive Larry] Scott said. Yeah. Right. Sure they are. What cabbage truck did this guy just fall off?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 02:44 PM on November 01

it is important to remember that in the area of anti-doping, all players are presumed innocent until proven otherwise Funniest quote that I have heard this century.

posted by graymatters at 02:47 PM on November 01

why are cocaine and drugs like it (euphorics that do not enhance performance) on the list at all? Perception. Leagues don't want to be seen as a collection of ultra-rich playboys and playgirls the Average Joe can't relate to. All the more so for tennis where they have to fight to keep the Eurotrash image from making the game less palatable in the States. All of which is just my opinion. Plus boring old guys make the rules. If Martina Hingis wants to do cocaine and I have some say in the matter, why not make it off my bare chest while we cruise the Mediterranean on her dime?

posted by yerfatma at 02:50 PM on November 01

Aw, poor Martina. She could be my sweet little coke bunny if it'll make her feel batter. I actually applaud her reaction. It's a just a big 'hell with you guys'. However, she's clearly not into tennis anymore. Time to do something else.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 03:27 PM on November 01

Appreciate the clarifications, all. When I posted the article it was significantly more abbreviated than the updated version they posted a couple hours later.

posted by evixir at 03:40 PM on November 01

I sure hope for her sake that she is telling the truth. And I sure hope for my sake that she is telling the truth. Because as a functioning male, I want to have as little guilt as possible as I fantasize about Martina Hingis deciding to give up tennis so that we can jet-set around the world like a letter out of Penthouse forum: "Dear Penthouse, I know this sounds hard to believe, but you'll never guess who I met one night as I was rummaging around some trash cans looking for some old bottles to recycle.............."

posted by THX-1138 at 04:45 PM on November 01

WTA Tour chief executive Larry Scott said the tour had not received any official information about a positive test and "as a result we are not in a position to comment on the matter." So let me get this straight. One of the most well known female tennis players in the world tests positive for a banned substance at the biggest tournament of the year, and almost six months later the world governing body of female tennis hasn't received any information at all?

posted by afx237vi at 04:48 PM on November 01

The article mentions a few other players that were given 3 month suspensions for illegal drug use, so I really don't get her point of "I don't want to fight this for years". If you did the drugs fine, take the suspension and move on. If you didn't, state your case and take the three months if you can't prove you're innocent. You don't throw a sports career away over an allegation. There are drug policies at my place of employment. If I get caught once it would mean a suspension too. I can take it or say "screw you I"m outta here". The difference is that there are multiple companies in my industry to go work for. She doesn't have that option. Just odd timing if you ask me.

posted by dviking at 04:50 PM on November 01

which makes you ask: why are cocaine and drugs like it (euphorics that do not enhance performance) on the list at all? Has there been any studies that show it doesn't enhance performance? It reportedly gives you more energy and makes you more mentally alert, so would that be a unfair advantage over someone who hasn't had that boost? For that matter, couldn't coffee be considered a performance enhancer? Heck there's even conflicting argument about how much steroids aids performance in something like baseball. It's much easier argument to make for them to say "if it's illegal, it is banned", otherwise you have people arguing whether HGH would actually help a tennis player for example.

posted by bdaddy at 04:57 PM on November 01

For that matter, couldn't coffee be considered a performance enhancer? Pretty sure caffeine is banned above a certain level. I remember reading that cyclists (what else?) used to use caffeine suppositories in the past and current pros are only allowed two or three espressos before they start racing. Must annoy the Italians. They also used to use vast quantities of amphetamines, and I'm sure they must have dabbled in cocaine too. One of the most famous doping horror stories of recent years was Willy Voet's exposť of pot-Belge, a truly mind-boggling cocktail of amphetamines, caffeine, cocaine, heroin, painkillers and corticosteroids (no seriously). This was only 10 years ago, and they didn't use pot-Belge for any particular performance enhancement, but just to keep them going throughout the season. The performance enhancers were put on top of that. And now I'm rambling about stuff that has nothing to do with Hingis. I guess what I'm saying, is that sometimes you can dope without it being about sport. She's still young, doesn't really like tennis any more, has oodles of cash. It's happened to dozens of sports stars before.

posted by afx237vi at 05:23 PM on November 01

dviking: If you did the drugs fine, take the suspension and move on. If you didn't, state your case and take the three months if you can't prove you're innocent. Uhh...if you didn't, and you want to "state your case", it's not a matter of "tak[ing] the three months". It's a matter of mud-wrestling a pig for years on end. bdaddy: Has there been any studies that show it doesn't enhance performance? It reportedly gives you more energy and makes you more mentally alert That's not what I heard. What I heard is that while it has some stimulant-like effects. they're too transient to proivde any benefi to an athletet, plus it can make you paranoid, which doesn't exactly help in a game like tennis.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 09:41 PM on November 01

llb, as I stated in my post, others only got a three month ban for similar issues. Why would a pro athlete fight for years over a three month ban. How many meaningful events would she miss? I'm sure she could appeal it just long enough to get the ban to fall during a period in which there were few events she really wanted to play in. If you really feel that you're innocent, you state your case the best you can. If the evidence does not back you up, I say that you take your lumps and move on. If you want to say screw it, fine, but don't expect me to feel too sorry for you. Put up a fight, or deal with the consequences. I really do not see how she would have to "mud wrestle pigs" for years over one coke incident. Keep in mind, that in the real world that you and I live in, many people find themselves unable to prove their innocence, and they opt to take the least amount of punishment they can. Happens all the time.. As to your reply to bdaddy, what the heck were you smoking? proivde any benefi to an athletet, I knew a few guys that used to do coke before playing raquet ball, they felt it helped on days on which they were tired. I have no personal experience to go on. Tried it once at a party...thought i was going to have a fricking heart attack.

posted by dviking at 12:00 AM on November 02

There is of course the possibility that she did use cocaine, got caught, will not win an appeal (because she is guilty) and is trying to save face with this "farewell cruel world" retirement. I also submit that she may have used cocaine not to enhance her performance, but because it was, you know, fun. Should that be illegal? There's a more interesting debate.

posted by sic at 06:50 AM on November 02

However, she's clearly not into tennis anymore. Time to do something else. Like another line of blow.

posted by BornIcon at 07:14 AM on November 02

dviking: llb, as I stated in my post, others only got a three month ban for similar issues. Why would a pro athlete fight for years over a three month ban. How many meaningful events would she miss? I'm sure she could appeal it just long enough to get the ban to fall during a period in which there were few events she really wanted to play in. That's not "fighting it" by any definition I'd use. I'd call that more "putting up a token resistance, then rolling over". I'm guessing that Ms. Hingis had something different in mind when she said that she chose not to right it. As to your reply to bdaddy, what the heck were you smoking? proivde any benefi to an athletet, I knew a few guys that used to do coke before playing raquet ball, they felt it helped on days on which they were tired. I have no personal experience to go on. Tried it once at a party...thought i was going to have a fricking heart attack. So, you know a few guys who thought that it helped them -- no medical or other empirical evidence, just perception -- and you yourself thought you were going to have a heart attack. Evidently I'm an idiot, because I still can't see anything in support of performance-enhancing capabilities there.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:16 AM on November 02

Has there been any studies that show it doesn't enhance performance? It reportedly gives you more energy and makes you more mentally alert, so would that be a unfair advantage over someone who hasn't had that boost? Fucking A. It makes you better-looking and bulletproof. How's that for performance enhancing?

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:00 AM on November 02

llb, what exactly would you have her do? Clearly, at least some evidence points to her having a banned drug in her system. Every league has an appeal process. She ought to go through that if she thinks she's innocent. How that compares to mud wrestling pigs for years is beyond me. Perhaps you could enlighten us? You never did tell me what you were smoking when you wrote proivde any benefi to an athletet, It looks to be a slow Friday night at my house, I'm looking for ideas. As to my reference to buddies that used coke before raquetball games...clearly I was not inferring that it actually helped them, I was just stating why some folks do it.

posted by dviking at 09:55 AM on November 02

llb, what exactly would you have her do? I wasn't suggesting that she do anything. You were the one making suggestions. I was just saying that "fighting it" involved a lot more than taking a three-month vacation. Clearly, at least some evidence points to her having a banned drug in her system. Every league has an appeal process. She ought to go through that if she thinks she's innocent. How that compares to mud wrestling pigs for years is beyond me. Perhaps you could enlighten us? I don't know who "us" is, but a lot of people here have been participating in various PED threads, in which it has been explained that despite what Mr. Scott thinks, the rule in sports drug testing is "guilty until proven innocent", not the other way around. A positive test for a banned substance = guilt; at that point, an athlete who wants to "fight it" must, in effect, prove a negative. If there are questions about whether the test is a legitimate test for the substance, the burden of proof is on the athlete. If there are questions about whether the proper protocols to ensure the identify of the sample and to protect against cross-contamination were observed, the burden of proof is on the athlete. If there are questions about whether the testing authority violated its own procedures for testing, sanctioning, release of nformation, etc., the athlete can only contest these violations using the authority's own appeals process. Now can you see why it's a bit silly to say "she ought to fight it"? Fighting it means putting a lot of time, trouble and expense into a system that's rigged against the athlete. Innocence is no guarantee of exoneration; "fighting it" is always a gamble. She was approaching the end of her career anyway; she'd rather get on with life than fight this fight. You never did tell me what you were smoking when you wrote proivde any benefi to an athletet, It looks to be a slow Friday night at my house, I'm looking for ideas. I never told you because it was a jackass question. Shall I respond by asking you if you've stopped kicking your dog yet? Don't be a jackass. As to my reference to buddies that used coke before raquetball games...clearly I was not inferring that it actually helped them, I was just stating why some folks do it. Right, but see, if it doesn't actually enhance performance, then why should it be banned? Sports bodies are supposed to regulate harmful, performance-enhancing substances. They don't ban arsenic, ya know?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 11:02 AM on November 02

llb let me be very clear...bite me! Your lack of a sense of humor is astounding. Equating my ribbing you for a string of odd spelling errors to being a jackass is out of line. People on this site have been harshly criticized for less grammatical/spelling errors than what you wrote. I was only giving you a duly deserved ribbing. Stop taking yourself so seriously, the rest of us don't. You can infer whatever you'd like as to what "us" I'm referring to. As to your overkill paragraph on why poor Martina didn't want to fight the allegations, if she isn't even going to at least take the step of questioning the test, then I have little concern for her innocence. Your insistence that she will have to fight for years makes no sense when she has not even tried the first step. Lastly, on whether or not cocaine should be banned, I would have to guess that since it's illegal in most countries, arsenic is not. Have a great day, and seriously, what were you smoking...it may not be on the banned list of yet!

posted by dviking at 04:15 PM on November 02

I learn one thing on this site-never augue drug testing with llb. Here's wishing you a good weekend and smoke'm if you got em.

posted by brickman at 04:53 PM on November 02

the funny part is that I really wasn't even arguing drug testing....more about what you do when you test positive. Smoke what????, for the love God, man, what is it I'm supposed to smoke? Off to a football game...have a great weekend everyone!

posted by dviking at 05:42 PM on November 02

Some posters don't believe any professional athletes have ever taken drugs, performance-enhancing or otherwise, ever. Not even an aspirin! All positive tests are due to incompetence or conspiracy. Trust me, dviking you will not change their minds about this.

posted by sic at 06:45 PM on November 02

I have to support LBB here. Hingis also provided a hair follicle sample and it turned up negative. Drugs stay in follicles a lot longer than in the blood, yet they would not accept that result. A female tennis player reaches her "prime" in early to mid twenties, so she just said fuck it, it is not a battle I want to endure. As for cocaine use in sports and whether it is helpful: I played on an elite college soccer team and we lost a game we were clearly favored in after a 7 game win streak. After the game I found out three starters used coke a few hours before the game. They played like crap and I sure as hell let them know about it. It made them play like Zombies, not like alert, focused, energetic athletes. Just my two cents on the subject.

posted by urall cloolis at 08:47 PM on November 03

Well, seems our little Martina decided to fight this all along. Seems she hired a lawyer days ago, and it appears that her going public with the results of the test may be part of her defense strategy. Per a story breaking tonight in the UK, the league wouldn't announced anything about her failing a drug test until she had been heard by the disciplinary panel. Had the panel cleared her, the story would have never seen the light of day. Instead, she goes public in order for her side of the story to be heard first. That way the officials are the bad guys, and she's just a poor victim of inept drug screeners. Here's the link to the story I'm referring to. You can make your decision as to whether or not you believe her...to me, something seems fishy.

posted by dviking at 11:09 PM on November 03

llb let me be very clear...bite me! Guess you put me in my place. Your lack of a sense of humor is astounding. Equating my ribbing you for a string of odd spelling errors to being a jackass is out of line. dviking, there's a reason why they're referred to on the interwebs as a "spelling lame". People on this site have been harshly criticized for less grammatical/spelling errors than what you wrote. I was only giving you a duly deserved ribbing. People on this site have been harshly criticized for grammatical/spelling/punctuation errors when they make them consistently and clearly can't be bothered to do better. In my case, I wasn't even aware of having made them. Normally I'm a very good touch typist and know right away when I have made a mistake. However -- and this really is none of your damned business, but you will persist in your typo lame, so here goes -- about three months ago, after a year and a half of symptoms, I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that attacks the joints. It is chronic, it is incurable, it is extremely painful, it is crippling and it is sometimes fatal. On the day I typed that response, I had attacks in both hands -- some fingers worked, others wouldn't fully bend or straighten. I'm still learning to manage, and I'm not yet used to typing when my hands hurt like hell and aren't giving me the feedback I'm used to. So in answer to your attempted humor, that's the "drug" that I was on: rheumatoid arthritis. Real knee-slapper, ain't it? Stop taking yourself so seriously, the rest of us don't. You can infer whatever you'd like as to what "us" I'm referring to. I don't believe for one second that you speak for anyone but yourself and the mouse in your pocket.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 06:33 AM on November 04

odd, never heard of sporadic rheumatoid arthritis...spell 98% of a 200 word response correctly, then spell four words incorrectly, then go back to spelling correctly again. Not belittling any physical condition that anyone has, mind you. "spelling lame" wow, good stuff...guess I must be a jackass after all.

posted by dviking at 01:54 PM on November 04

OK, dviking, it's time to get on WebMD and do some reading. Rheumatoid arthritis strikes sporadically, especially in its early stages. In my case, it attacked my shoulders an hips, before moving into my hands and feet. The flare-ups were a few weeks apart, but usually meant no sleep for a day or 2. I am on drugs to keep the disease at bay; they are immune system suppressants, and I love them dearly. I too have difficulty typing after the effects of arthritis in my right hand and surgery (unrelated) in my left. So much for the defense of l_b_b. Now my advice --- l_b_b, try to spend a little time with the "preview" screen. I probably spend as much time correcting typos as I do composing. It's also a good way to review your writing and make sure that you are really saying what you mean. Sorry for turning this into a medical clinic, but since dviking seems not to understand how rheumatoid arthritis works, I thought it needed to be said.

posted by Howard_T at 02:53 PM on November 04

Howard...FYI, I have several MD's for friends, spouse is a Registered Respiratory Therapist(she makes me note the Registered part), I have all the medical sources I need. By "sporadic rhuematoid arthritis" I was referring to llb's ability to claim that it caused three words to be misspelled 90% into their post, and then suddenly go away. Call me a jackass if you want, I just do not believe that arthritis caused those spelling errors. Totally understand how an illness can have flare ups, an by no means was I belittling as serious of an illness as this.

posted by dviking at 03:33 PM on November 04

By "sporadic rhuematoid arthritis" I was referring to llb's ability to claim that it caused three words to be misspelled 90% into their post, and then suddenly go away. Call me a jackass if you want, I just do not believe that arthritis caused those spelling errors. Goodness, let it go. You mentioning the typo in the first place was enough of a jackass move, you don't need to compound it. Believe what you want, but what's the point of harping on it after you were given a completely unnecessary (and personal) explanation.

posted by bperk at 03:58 PM on November 04

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.