Martina Hingis retires after positive cocaine test

By Lehendakari · Nov 2, 2007 · ·
  1. Lehendakari

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  1. Lunar Loops
    This from the BBC website:

    Hingis admits positive drug test

    Martina Hingis has retired from tennis after revealing she tested positive for cocaine at this year's Wimbledon.
    The Swiss star denied ever taking drugs and said the accusations against her were "horrendous and monstrous".
    "I have tested positive, but I have never taken drugs and I feel 100% innocent," said the 27-year-old former world number one in a statement.
    "The reason I have come out with this is because I do not want to have a fight with anti-doping authorities."
    Hingis, a five-time Grand Slam champion and former Wimbledon winner, lost in the third round at the All England Club to Laura Granville. She then underwent a routine drugs test, carried out under the auspices of the International Tennis Federation (ITF).

    Her statement continued: "When I was informed I had failed my 'A' test following my defeat at Wimbledon I was shocked and appalled.
    "I have no desire to spend the next seven years fighting doping officials. I'm frustrated and angry, and accusations such as these don't provide me with the motivation to continue.
    "Because of my age and my health problems, I have also decided to retire from professional tennis." In a statement, WTA Tour chief executive Larry Scott said his organisation knew nothing about any drugs test failure by Hingis.

    "We have not received any official information regarding the positive doping test result referred to by Martina Hingis, and as a result we are not in a position to comment on the matter," he said.
    "However, it is important to remember that in the area of anti-doping, all players are presumed innocent until proven otherwise."
    A spokesperson for the Swiss tennis association told BBC Sport: "Our association makes it very clear that drugs is not, in any way, part of our sport.
    "It is sad to hear this news, but we have yet to have been informed of the details from the tests." The ITF have also "been told nothing", a spokesman told BBC Sport.

    Under the policy guidelines of the organisation, a player's identity remains anonymous throughout the process, from the initial positive 'A' and 'B' tests up to the independent drugs tribunal, which decides upon guilt and any punishment.
    An outside company - International Doping Tests and Management (IDTM) - conducts the tests and processes the results in its laboratories in Montreal, before informing the ITF ahead of an anti-doping tribunal.
    Whether a player is punished, stripped of prize money earned subsequently of the tests, or banned depends on a wide range of issues, including which substance was taken, whether and to what degree it was performance-enhancing, and whether the substance was taken deliberately.
    Hingis's announcement is similar to that made by Greg Rusedski in 2004, when he admitted he had tested positive for nandrolone. The Briton was later cleared and his identity would therefore have remained anonymous had he not publicly admitted to the positive test.
    BBC Radio 5 Live tennis correspondent Jonathan Overend added: "Hingis, in her words, has decided to confront the issue head on."
    The Swiss star first retired in 2003 because of persistent injuries before returning to top-flight tennis at the start of 2006 and winning three more titles.
    She brought her season to a premature end last month because of hip problems and is currently ranked 19th in the world.
    Hingis's admission and second retirement brings the final curtain down on a glittering career which first took off in 1997.
    In that year, she won her first Grand Slam title at the Australian Open, aged 16 years, three months and 26 days, and was world number one by March.
    In July, she became the youngest player in the open era to win a singles title at Wimbledon, and also claimed the US Open in September. She defended her Australian Open crown in 1998 and 1999, but was hampered by a succession of injuries in subsequent seasons and quit the sport in 2003, vowing never to return.
  2. Lunar Loops
    And this from The Times (UK):
    Criminal prosecution unlikely says Scotland Yard

    David Brown

    Martina Hingis is unlikely to face a criminal prosecution for possessing cocaine despite testing positive for the drug at this year’s Wimbledon, Scotland Yard said last night. The Metropolitan Police said it had not received a complaint that Hingis had committed any criminal offence within its jurisdiction, even though she had tested positive for the Class A drug.
    A spokeswoman said: “A lot of sport-speople take drugs tests and some do fail them and it is usually not a police matter.
    “We usually leave it to the governing body to investigate the matter and to bring whatever punishment is necessary under its rules. I cannot think of any sportsman ever being prosecuted simply for failing a drugs test. If we receive a complaint about a criminal offence, then we could investigate the matter but it would be for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to decide if it would be in the public interest to prosecute.” The maximum sentence for possessing a Class A drug is seven years in prison or an unlimited fine. However, a first-time offender would almost certainly receive a small fine.
    A police source said last night that it would be difficult to bring a case against Hingis. Traces of cocaine can remain in urine for many weeks. “The first problem is we don’t even know where she is alleged to have taken this drug,” he said. “It might not even be in the UK, in which case it would not be within our jurisdiction anyway.”
    The CPS ruled last year that Kate Moss, the model, would not face charges despite an “absolutely clear indication” on video that she took and supplied drugs. After police investigations costing £39,000, the CPS decided not to act because there was no way of proving whether the drug was cocaine, Ecstasy or an amphetamine. A police source said: “If we could not get a prosecution out of the Kate Moss allegations, then I cannot see the CPS bringing a case against Martina Hingis.”
  3. enquirewithin
    And she was just having some innocent fun...
  4. radiometer
    I've always thought Martina was hot. Now she's just a little bit hotter! ;)
  5. Lehendakari

    I've thought about this and I wonder what people would think about this, will someone actually think she took cocaine to improve her performance?
  6. enquirewithin
    Nearly every athlete in the world, of any level, takes some kind of performance enhancing substance. Maybe we should let them take anything they want, perhaps we could have a handicap scale for the steroids and drugs they took. We could end up with unique people!
  7. radiometer
    Didn't John McEnroe come right out and say that he used cocaine throughout his entire career?
  8. Joe Duffy
    Well that would explain a lot, and it was damn entertaining too!
  9. lulz
    It seems bizarre that Hingis would take cocaine shortly before competing in a tennis match, where she knew perfectly well that she could get tested for drugs. Cocaine is only detectable for 48 hours or so after use, she would be insane to take it in the day or two before a major competition.

    It would be equally insane to take cocaine during a match, considering that the duration of cocaine is much, much shorter than the duration of a match, and given the increased metabolism caused by playing tennis at that level, it would probably get used up by her system even more rapidly than usual. Any possible benefit would only last for the very start of the match, unless she had some way of snorting a line in between games...

    For once, I actually believe that this athlete must be truly innocent when she denies taking drugs in the face of testing positive. These charges don't make sense to me, am I missing something??
  10. Lettish
    "Not even just a tiny little line, Martina?"

    "Oh alright, go on then, just one."
  11. radiometer
    I suspect that, much like Hollywood, Monaco is a place where people feel entitled to make the rules up for themselves.

    *edit* seems I was wrong, coulda sworn that she lived in Monaco...anyway, carry on...
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