Occam’s Razor

November 2, 2007

Cocaine

Filed under: tennis — Tags: , , — lesturla @ 4:54 am

I woke up today freezin. Seems like Winter came early — well, that or Autumn is just on exaggerated mode. I went on my daily routine upon waking up, check the weather forecast, go to CNN.com, inquirer.net, check what new countries have been reading my WordPress Blog and check tennis results.

Turns out Nalbandian got the best of Roger in Paris (again). Less than two weeks ago he beat Federer in the Madrid finals, too. That’s not exactly bad news since that means that there are actually players out there who can beat Federer so this one actually makes for interesting match-ups to follow.

The horror came when I saw a news item on Martina Hingis — my other Swiss tennis idol. It came as a surprise since she hasn’t been playing lately due to injuries so I wasn’t really expecting to hear any news about her until the Australian Open come January. She is retiring (again) amid allegations of cocaine use.

Martina vehemently denies this and claims that the testing conducted in Wimbledon (an idenpendent Swedish agency does the testing for Wimbledon) was inaccurate since she has never taken any drugs in her life. She even offered to have her hair tested for drugs (which supposedly has more accurate and long term traces of drugs in the body.)

However, Martina is down and beat. She’s been tennis’ little young girl who took the sport by storm in 1997 at the young age of 16 through 1999 when she established her domination and has graced the sport with the most entertaining tennis style and craftmanship on court. Tennis hasn’t always been good to her, in 1999 she was berated for her petulant behavior in the Roland Garros championship against Steffi Graf. There have been rivalries and criticism on how she can’t match up with the power players like the Williams sisters and Sharapova. Such is sports, when you reach the top, the way down is not always pleasant, in Martina’s case it has been short of traumatic getting badgered on everything she does on and off the court.

So Martina decides to retire yet again. Whatever allegations she is facing now, the fact remains that Martina has provided the sport the best tactical tennis we’ve ever seen in the women’s game. Cocaine or not, her greatness will continue to live on. This sentiment was echoed by the WTA proclaiming her a “tremendous champion” amid this controversy.

You’ll always be our Swiss Miss, Martina! Cheer up! You’re still great!

_____

Martina Hingis’ press statement:

Throughout my career, I have always been open and honest with you.

I have been accused by an outsource testing company of taking cocaine during the Championships at Wimbledon.

I find this accusation so horrendous, so monstrous, that I have decided to confront it head-on by talking to the press.

My weapon on the tennis court is and always was one single thing – the game, the ingenuity on court. And for this style of tennis, there is only one performance enhancer – the love of the game.

They say that cocaine increases self-confidence and creates a type of euphoria. 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.

I would think that it would be impossible for anyone to maintain the co-ordination required to play top class tennis while under the influence of drugs. And I know one other thing – I would personally be terrified of taking drugs.

When I was informed that the A Test I took following my defeat at Wimbledon apparently came back positive for a cocaine metabolite, I was shocked and appalled.

Acting upon the advice of my family and my management, I immediately took the hair test which can prove whether or not someone has taken cocaine.

This test of course produced a negative result, the same negative result as all the countless doping tests that I have taken over the last twelve years.

However, the B Test from Wimbledon once again produced the opposite result – positive for a metabolite that apparently stays in the system for some time following cocaine use.

I immediately retained an attorney. Anybody who even attempts to take on this doping machinery alone has no chance.

The attorney and his experts discovered various inconsistencies with the urine sample that was taken during Wimbledon.

He is also convinced that the doping officials mishandled the process and would not be able to prove that the urine that was tested for cocaine actually came from me.

However, this attorney and others have also pointed out to me that a case like this one can sometimes take years to resolve, especially if both sides repeatedly appeal the case and take it to the next level.

And this is the reason for my announcement. I have no desire to spend the next several years of my life reduced to fighting against the doping officials.

I am frustrated and angry. I believe that I am absolutely, one hundred percent innocent.

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.

I attempted a comeback after a three-year break and succeeded in winning three tournaments, bringing my ranking to six in the world.

But in the meantime, I’m now 27, and realistically too old to play top class tennis.

So now I’m standing before you, confronting the situation. Today I also informed my sponsors.

And so, considering this situation, my age, and the problems I have been having with my hip, I have decided to no longer play tennis on the Tour.

Upon advice from my attorneys, I’m afraid I am unable to answer any questions. My answers could insult someone and create even more problems for me.

Therefore, there is only one more thing for me to do – to thank all of you for many years of goodwill, and also to assure you: I have never taken drugs.

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