Would tennis officials have been so quick to make an example of Sharapova if she were five years younger and at the pinnacle of her career?
Maria sharapova dating the next roger federer
I remember Larisa Neiland testing positive for caffeine one year after drinking too many cups of coffee.
Nicolas Massu, the Olympic gold medallist for 2004, used to like to drink a can of Red Bull before he went on court, but had to give it up to avoid getting into trouble.
On Monday, 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.) Sharapova is now facing a lengthy ban from the game, and Porsche and two other sponsors, Nike and Tag Heuer, have suspended their relationships with her. savvy, and she clearly thought that breaking the news herself would be a way of “controlling the narrative,” as flacks like to put it.
It is a stunning downfall for the world’s highest-paid female athlete and tennis’s most bankable star (combined, her endorsement deals earned Sharapova more than million annually).
It is claimed that the speed with which her sponsors moved to distance themselves from Sharapova speaks to the hyper-zealous brand management that corporations now practice.
A few years ago, she even toyed with the idea of changing her last name to Sugarpova, an indication of how deep her entrepreneurial spirit ran.
But with the disclosure this week that Sharapova had failed a drug test, that future is now in doubt.
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.