The sporting world is again faced with the stark truth that in modern times, many-many competitors in many-many different sports like cycling, football, baseball, weightlifting, volleyball, judo, wrestling, rowing, equestrian, gymnastics, field hockey, athletics track & field, rugby league, basketball, snooker, boxing, cricket, et al, are prepared to shamefully cheat their clean opponents, the organisers, the sponsors, and not least the paying public, by taking performance-enhancing drugs to secure their ongoing success.
Time and time again, we find that the responsible authorities are deficient in performing their duty to weed-out the scum involved, and even when the abuses are exposed; the punishment never fits the crime, does it? Sometimes the authorities are even complicit in covering-up the misuse – to supposedly ‘protect’ the image of their sport, would you believe?
Oh yes, we are talking real crime here, and major destructive crime to boot. In the present day big cash rich major sports, the temptation for participants to cream it off proves irresistible to those criminally inclined, you see? It is a bit like leaving a burglar in a bank and giving them the keys to the safe, isn’t it? You don’t need to be a bright spark to know where it will all end up, eh?
The latest scumbag is the female Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova (World No7), finally caught-out on her long term cheating game. She hasn’t been the greatest woman tennis player of all time, but she has certainly won hands down in becoming the richest and the top earning one (and indeed sportswomen ever), that we are ever likely to see, isn’t she? But it has all been done by cheating, obtaining money by false pretences, and conning an adoring but hoodwinked public.
Oh yes, the Russians have a substantial track record of producing prolific drug cheats in the world of sport (the latest saga in their drug abusive history is being found guilty of state-sponsored doping that “sabotaged” the London Olympics – hence they are now banned from all international athletics competition & facing exclusion from the Rio Olympics this summer), so perhaps we shouldn’t have been that surprised that Sharapova was tarred with the same brush, should we? She has always been above suspicion, and that was possibly naive of everybody concerned, wasn’t it? The fact that she had based herself in America, rather than her native land, perhaps gave everyone involved a false sense of security, do you think?
This woman failed a drug test following her appearance at the Australian Open one-and-a half months ago, when she was a mere ‘qualifier’ (a long way off her win eight years ago – cheats don’t always win, do they?). Mind you she did cheat her way to winning the French Open grand slam last year, didn’t she? She came in front of the cameras four days ago to try to excuse her vile behaviour, when she presented herself as a victim of unwitting circumstances, once again conning competitors and substantial numbers of the public and in doing so gaining unwarranted credit, far & wide, for ‘courage’ and ‘honesty’ (when in reality there has been none of either). Many ‘uninformed’ are therefore already expressing sympathy for this cheat, as they have taken her public explanation at face value, still believing and trusting in her, finding it mindboggling that she really could be so stupid to be guilty of being a major drug offender. Well, they had better believe it, as her TV performance was just another façade, a blatant outrageous attempt no less, to protect her previously squeaky-clean image, but a total travesty of truth, wasn’t it?
The crux of the matter falls into the two false claims that she is perpetrating on the public, and indeed she hopes the authorities.
First she pretends that she took the performance-enhancing drug meldonium, as ‘prescribed’ treatment for a long term medical condition – apparently a ‘family history’ of diabetes (does it really have any beneficial impact on diabetes symptoms, even if she actually had the condition?). It would appear that she has suffered from serious medical issues and conditions, for the last decade, while she has been amassing a fortune plating tennis internationally, eh?
Balderdash! Surely, it is inconceivable that she as a long-term, worldwide, international top performer on a tennis court, is a sufferer from such a debilitating condition (oh yes, she will be able to get a shed load of private doctors to say she is, won’t she?). Notwithstanding that, this is apparently a drug that the manufacturers say is only an applicable short-term treatment, and is not an enduring cure for anything (the normal course of treatment for the drug is four to six weeks, while she has been gulping it down before matches for TEN YEARS, eh?). No, she has obviously been taking meldonium for a decade simply to cheat her competitors and everyone else, don’t you think? The evidence is that this chemical compound has been in use by many athletes with the intention of enhancing performance by ‘virtue of carrying more oxygen to muscle tissue’, so that is what someone like Sharapova will have seriously benefited from, in playing very strenuous competitive tennis for say three hours at a time, often in very hot humid conditions, wouldn’t it?
Second she pretends that she didn’t know it was banned, so took it unwittingly. Balderdash! The verifiable admitted facts are that that she knew all right, but it seems that she convinced herself that she would get away with it, eh? There is no excuse and this was anything but negligence or reckless indifference, as being claimed – she is a cheat, clear & simple.
Oh yes, her sponsors are now swiftly ditching her like an Ebola victim, with Nike, and Porsche leading the pack, plus watch-maker TAG Heuer, American Express, Evian, Avon, Samsung (?). She stands to lose say at least a hundred million pounds – but don’t worry for her, as she has enough stolen millions stashed-away in the bank already, to keep her in untold luxury for the rest of her sad life, don’t you think? [Racket sponsor Head is reportedly sticking with her – shame on them?].
Will she now be stripped of her thirty-five titles? Of course NOT! Will she be charged at court with fraud? Of course NOT! Will she be arrested by police for obtaining money under false pretences? Of course NOT! Will she have her ill-gotten gains confiscated? Of course NOT! Will she be banned from competitive sport for life? Of course NOT! [Attempted lifetime bans get overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, you see?].
Oh no, she will continue to lie through her teeth when she is summoned by the International Tennis Association to a hearing before an independent tribunial, and she with her lawyers and representatives will continue to insist it was simply an honest mistake that could have happened to anyone; therefore a slap on the wrist is appropriate and should be the only punishment, then she should be allowed to continue her lucrative career, after a short rest break of course (a year?), when she can train outside competition and fully recharge her batteries. [Or even perform in another competitive sport of she so chooses, eh?].
So, is she really likely to get away with it all, reputation intact, and keep all the riches she has falsely acquired? You can bet your last nickel on it, can’t you?
What do you need to know about the banned drug meldonium made in Latvia in the Baltic block? Well, it is a ‘heart’ medication designed to overcome a lack of blood flow so to treat angina chest pain and heart attack style chronic heart failure [It is claimed to improve the quality of life, exercise capacity, and mechanisms of peripheral circulation, of patients with chronic heart failure. Research concluded that the drug can significantly improve the exercise tolerance of stable angina patients].
Do you believe that Sharapova has had these extremely serious ongoing conditions forever in the past ten years, while she has been travelling the World on the strenuous tennis circuit? Furthermore, the drug is not generally approved as a medication, or even ‘licensed’ in the USA, where Sharapova lives, so it would be ‘illegal’ for her to have bought it there – which means that she is dubiously obtaining supplies of the drug elsewhere (like from places she would not normally be when playing in Grand Slams or international tennis competitions?).
Meldonium came to the attention of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) simply because they found that many professional tennis players had started using it. They established that it was a significant performance-enhancing drug of choice, so added it to the growing list of substances banned from use by all athletes in all sports. All senior athletes were warned of the forthcoming ban, some four months BEFORE it came operative last January – and indeed were individually warned at least FOUR times to boot. Nevertheless Sharapova (who it is admitted received such warning) decided to keep using it – what insanity was that to think she wouldn’t be caught, as the ban had just come in, eh? [Already over fifty athletes have failed drug tests for meldonium in a couple of months since the ban].
We don’t expect high level athletes at the top of many sports to have heart conditions, do we? Yet last year, tests found that meldonium was in their system of a seventh of all Russian athletes, and in one in fifty of ALL athletes. Have they all got chronic heart failure (or even diabetes), do you think?
[The cheats will all give it a go, wont they – the risks are well worth the reward still?]