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Breaking News: Hingis Drug Controversy 11/01/2007 - 1:27 PM

Hey everyone: I am posting the contents of an email statement I just received re. Martina Hingis's reported decision to retire from tennis:

November 01, 2007

Statement from Martina Hingis

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 coordination 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 6 in the world. But in the meantime, I’m now 27 years old, 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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Posted by syd 11/01/2007 at 03:14 PM

Dear Moderator: Can you tell us how they broke the rules please? Rule-breaking is always so interesting. Seriously though...we need to know! Else how can we be expected to follow the rules if we don't understand a correlation between 'the rules,' and the request to follow them. Thank you.

Posted by audrey 11/01/2007 at 03:16 PM

Moderator,

Tks for letting me post my comments.


I am personally sad that the tennis world is becoming more and more like the rest of the sports world. I have the highest opinion of tennis players; that is why I think they should leave Davydeno alone.

Posted by E$ 11/01/2007 at 03:18 PM

Mod. Thanks for having a sense of humor! I'll stop double faulting now. I promise. It's my elbow. I swear.

Posted by highpockets 11/01/2007 at 03:18 PM

There was a sentence in Martina's statement that bothered me:

"I believe that I am absolutely, one hundred percent innocent."

I BELIEVE?

But then at the end:

"I have never taken drugs."

I work in the legal field so things like that jump out at me. If this is a carefully worded statement reviewed by an attorney, then why is the "I believe" in there. If the attorney didn't catch it, he or she should have. But then again, what if someone slipped cocaine in her Gatorade? Yikes, what a mess!

... and the WTA has not received the results from these tests yet?

The whole thing is completely screwed up and I don't see how anyone can really make make sense of it ... look at Canas.

However, I choose to believe Martina and don't want to see her go out this way.

Tony, that NY Times article was excellent. Don't recall reading that at the time of the Wimby '06 scandal regarding Nadal.

Posted by GSte 11/01/2007 at 03:20 PM

I too believe that Hingis is innocent. As others have said there's just nothing to gain from using cocaine, and I think she's too smart to even consider it anyway. I think every player these days knows if they take anything on the "banned substances" list, they'll be found out and suspended.

Interestingly, back in '05 there was a player who was sentenced a 2 year suspension from playing tennis after cocaine was found in his system. Anyone remember Simon Larose of Canada? He chose to retire instead. http://tvnz.co.nz/view/sport_story_skin/474603

Posted by Sherlock 11/01/2007 at 03:20 PM

Sam, LOL. :)

"Are you taking something?"

Do I dare? :)

Posted by Moderator 11/01/2007 at 03:21 PM

syd: sorry, no. 'Tis done, and we've moved on.

Posted by Sam 11/01/2007 at 03:22 PM

Tony: Thanks for the link in your 2:28 post - interesting read.

Posted by Kevin 11/01/2007 at 03:25 PM

Wow, this is a tough one to take on many levels. Time will play this out, but for now, I know I'll miss Chuckie's smile. It has always been a pleasure to watch her play.

Posted by coco 11/01/2007 at 03:26 PM

I don't think this is as big of a deal as people are making out. It is shocking at first, but let's face it after the year she's had martina was never going to carry on playing for much longer anyway. In a few years time no-one will remember a positive cocaine test forced her retirement - Mats Wilander tested positiveat the end of his career, but I bet very few people here even remember that. No-one thinks cocaine is performance enhancing, and most people know that a large proportion of 27 year olds have taken it at some point.

Posted by Ray Stonada 11/01/2007 at 03:27 PM

Moderator, you sure are talkative today!

How can we know whether Martina is innocent or guilty--firm belief in the absence of inside knowledge either way confuses me. I can see it both ways, and that's what's so troubling and awful about the situation.

Posted by Ho Sun Yan 11/01/2007 at 03:27 PM

Cocaine, like other CNS stimulants, is clearly a performance-enhancing drug. Still, I'd say it's a poor choice of drug for someone who wishes to enhance his or her performance in tennis because it is notoriously short-lasting. One would have to do lines during changeovers or risk crashing after the first set and playing the rest of the match in a lethargic and depressed state.

Amphetamines would be a much better choice and indeed have a long history of abuse in sports.

Posted by E$ 11/01/2007 at 03:30 PM

Ho Sun. How would a jittery heartbeat, inability to concentrate, clamminess and a stuffy nose be classified as performance enhancing?

Posted by Mayor ghouliani 11/01/2007 at 03:32 PM

It's kinda funny how the majority of post here, can't believe Martina Hingis could be involved with cocaine use,drug addiction affects people from all walks of life.The timing of all this news is very strange, if she tested positive at Wimby, why is it only coming out now and retirement at the time of disclosure seems to me that she may be trying to avoid further inquiries into her personal life

Posted by Sherlock 11/01/2007 at 03:33 PM

If cocaine was performance enhancing, Vitas G., rest his soul, would have won a grand slam.

Posted by Ian 11/01/2007 at 03:39 PM

Although I don't think Martina *entirely* crafted this letter herself, one can hear her particular "voice" in the midst of this, and one can certainly hear the weariness at what are both daunting (and highly misleading) accusations, and the daunting prospect of coloring the obvious end of a career with ridiculous battles against the wider doping "dragnet."

I can't believe Martina would have knowingly taken cocaine at any juncture, particularly as an athlete in such a physically demanding sport. It's almost ludicrous. I mean, who in the name of Heaven takes cocaine anymore, anyhow? Didn't that "trend" die with the '80s, except for low-brow junkies of all sorts?

She's correct: her career "comeback" was a successful farewell, but only proved that, for the most part, the game had indeed passed her "by." No shame in that. The woman is a Great Champion. I think her three "comeback" titles and some snappy wins along the way (Sharapova comes to mind), proved whatever this girl may have truly wanted to prove to herself, and she acquitted herself admirably.

In this increasingly "witch-huntish" atmosphere (yes, brought about by absolute liars like Marion Jones, etc.), the frenzy in tennis is getting a bit out of touch with reality. Even the recent ATP umpire treatment of Davydenko (yeah, he's a total ass), is bordering on the comically absurd. Umpires have trouble calling lines, much less reading player minds.

If Hingis took cocaine one night at some ridiculous party, whilst drunk and wild...well,dumb move. But it's hardly to be considered a "performance-enhancing drug" unless you're a strung-out Wall Street Broker on the verge of a total cardiac.

All I see right now is her frustration and disgust for the sport she once mastered so marvelously, and that is a sad pass.

I don't blame her. She needs neither the money nor the glory any longer, and I don't think she has anything to be ashamed about. The WTA has more to be ashamed about--their tour is in the total crapper on a number of levels, with little or no outlook for a speedy recovery.

Sayonara, Martina. You did a darned good job, all the same.

Posted by Ryan 11/01/2007 at 03:40 PM

Seriously--how was the WTA out of this loop? On first glance, this lends credibility to Martina, in my opinion. If the tests weren't fishy, wouldn't someone have been notified IMMEDIATELY?

Posted by Christopher 11/01/2007 at 03:41 PM

People, let's all of us (including the WTA) stop calling this "doping." That term is specifically used to refer to performance enhancing drugs in a sports context. Even if Hingis was doing lines under her towel at the changeovers, this is very different thing from taking anabolic steroids to build muscle-mass, endurance, etc. Heck, if she was doing blow during a GS (and I very much think she is innocent) we should respect her tennis abilities EVEN MORE as the drug would make it harder to play, esp. with her kind of precise, strategic game. So let's remember, at WORST she's being accused of something that 90%+ of people in the entertainment industry have done at some point and probably a high percentage of pro athletes in other sports as well.

Posted by P. 11/01/2007 at 03:43 PM

Moderator, I know you've said "'tis done", but I'm totally confused by the warning given to the three posters above, and I'm not the only one who's confused. As it stands now, I don't see anything wrong with what they've written -- they don't seem to violate TW rules at all. Have the posts in question been edited or deleted? If so, that would explain things.

(Sorry to belabor this, but as I'm sure you know, people tend to get discouraged from posting to forums if the rules aren't relatively transparent and transparently applied.)

Posted by jbradhunter 11/01/2007 at 03:44 PM

well- I'm a recovered coke head- 5+ years clean- and though I was highly active during my using days, it was in intervals of seconds that I could focus on 1 thing--and also, usually between midnight and 6am... the concentration recquired for playing a complete tennis match, or even a complete tennis point, is too taxing-- I don't think it could be done-- plus she would would have sweat a lot- because the body temp rises so much- and she never was a sweaty player
I'm no expert, but I just can't see it as being possible for Martina

Posted by Sherlock 11/01/2007 at 03:45 PM

Well said, Christopher. We're acting like this is Bonds, Landis, Marian Jones, etc.

Posted by E$ 11/01/2007 at 03:46 PM

Posts in question have been removed, thus you will not see any violation. Move along, nothing to see here. :)

Posted by Sam 11/01/2007 at 03:50 PM

Sherlock: Didn't Vitas win the AO one year (1977)?

Posted by P. 11/01/2007 at 03:51 PM

"Posts in question have been removed, thus you will not see any violation. Move along, nothing to see here. :)"

Aha, gotcha! Thanks for clearing that up, the whole thing was seeming super-surreal...

Posted by The Original French(ie) 11/01/2007 at 03:52 PM

here are some interesting books on the middle east
http://books.guardian.co.uk/reviews/biography/0,6121,1301674,00.html
http://books.guardian.co.uk/review/story/0,,2169200,00.html

and now to tennis nalbo 4-2

Posted by Sherlock 11/01/2007 at 03:53 PM

Wow. Good question, Sam. Did he really? I have no idea. I remember he made a USO final in....'78, '79, '80??

Posted by The Original French(ie) 11/01/2007 at 03:54 PM

I wanted to say something to you moderator, an expression that was beginning with the word F and ended with CK but I could not muster the will to do so.

Another time perhaps

Posted by E$ 11/01/2007 at 03:54 PM

Overall, in five years I doubt many people will even remember this failed drug test.

Who remembers that Petr Korda failed a drug test for nandrolone (a real performance ENHANCING substance) a couple months after winning the Australian Open in 1998?

He claimed he had eaten too much nandrolone injected veal. :)

Now he still plays at a quite high level on the Champions tour.

Mariano Puerta was banned for taking clenbuterol. Juan Ignacio Chela and Guillermo Coria have been banned for periods of time for illegal substance consumption as well if I recall.

Someone else mentioned before that Mats Wilander (and I think Karol Novacek as well) tested positive for cocaine in the mid 90's.

All said and done, I don't think this tarnishes Martina's legacy as a gifted shot maker, fiery competitor, and intelligent tennis player.

Posted by The Original French(ie) 11/01/2007 at 03:55 PM

this not the right thread. I meant the moderator from the "middle east thread"

Posted by E$ 11/01/2007 at 03:57 PM

I'd really like to see Nalby beat Federer again today. That said, I'm sure its difficult to motivate yourself at times when you've already wrapped up the #1 ranking for the fourth year in a row.

Posted by Sam 11/01/2007 at 04:00 PM

Sherlock: Vitus lost the 1979 USO final to Mac. He won the AO in Dec. 1977 (there was another AO played that January).

http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/history?type=men

Posted by tina 11/01/2007 at 04:03 PM

Ian - I don't know where you live, but no, cocaine usage didn't die out with the 1980s. People are still using it the world round - and not just Wall Streeters.

jbrad: congratulations on 5+ years!

Posted by jbradhunter 11/01/2007 at 04:07 PM

Thanks Tina! I haven't done it by myself!

Posted by E$ 11/01/2007 at 04:12 PM

First set 6-4 Nalbandian.

Posted by tina 11/01/2007 at 04:14 PM

And Sherlock, you are so right - though yes, Vitas did win in Australia once. If I remember correctly, Vitas was actually wearing a coke spoon on a chain during a US Open final, in addition to the fact that he was a Studio 54 regular at the height of the coke-disco years. So yeah, if it enhanced performance on a tennis court, he might have won that US Open final. Ironically, his opponent was John McEnroe, someone we also know is no stranger to "Bolivian Marching Powder."

Hingis might enjoy a "rockstar" life for all I know, and there's plenty of coke to be found in London, but I really can't see it at all. It seems much more likely that something else caused the false positive.

Posted by Papi 11/01/2007 at 04:16 PM

Although I was never a fan of Ms. Hingis (I rooted voraciously for Steffie in that 97 French Open Final), I must agree with the majority posting here today.

During her time, Hingis changed and redefined tennis. Her comeback cemented her status as a top level player--even after so many years off the tour.

I believe her lawyer is right and I believe Hingis is innocent of the allegations.

Best to you, Martina. Sorry to see you go out like this, but I applaud you for doing it on your own terms.

Posted by Ryan 11/01/2007 at 04:18 PM

DISASTEROUS DAY FOR SWISS TENNIS. ROGER--WIN ONE FOR THE CHUCKSTER!!!!!!!

Posted by Pete 11/01/2007 at 04:20 PM

Madame Highpockets - your observation about "I believe" just killed what was going to be my opener in a follow-up post. It jumped off the page at me, just as it did at you. Great minds and all that . .

Personally, I think if Martina did dip into the blow, it was as for recreational purposes

Posted by GVGirl 11/01/2007 at 04:21 PM

I think the point is that cocaine is an illegal drug not whether or not it's performance enhancing.

Posted by Ryan 11/01/2007 at 04:21 PM

Obvs. She'd totally crash on the court if she used it for "performance enhancement." That'd be a disaster.

Posted by Sherlock 11/01/2007 at 04:23 PM

"Vitus lost the 1979 USO final to Mac. He won the AO in Dec. 1977 "

Cool, Sam. Thanks. Was the Mac loss close?

Sorry for the off-topic.

Posted by coco 11/01/2007 at 04:25 PM

I'm quite surprised that most people here are assuming martina must be innocent, just because she doesn't seem like the type to do drugs. Not that I want to condone drug use, but in many, many social circles cocaine is as regular a thing as alcohol. I assume none of us knows Martina personally nor who she hangs out with, so how can we know what she would or wouldn't do?

The statement does say "a metabolite that stays in the system for some time following cocaine use", meaning she wouldn't have taken it during the tournament. That for me would be the most surprising thing, not that she did drugs but that she would do it during a Grand Slam.

Posted by Sam 11/01/2007 at 04:29 PM

Sherlock: Mac won that match 7-5, 6-3, 6-3

Posted by VV Varaiya 11/01/2007 at 04:32 PM

Amoxcillin can cause a false positive for cocaine. It is occasionally used for Acne treatment... which Hingis suffers from.

Posted by Samantha 11/01/2007 at 04:33 PM

Oh, my god, this is unbelievable. Does anyone know if these tests are reliable and also the fact that she's retiring, makes her look guility, like she has something to hide or is running away from something. If you're innocent, then you stay and fight for your good name.

Posted by Todd and in Charge 11/01/2007 at 04:34 PM

I'm an attorney -- the "I believe" language keeps options open in the wake of evidence that Martina's attorney probably has not yet seen. There's nothing inconsistent with saying "I have never done drugs" and "I believe I am innocent."

Remember the doping rules do not require intent, or even knowledge. It is a status offense - whether you believe you did the drug or not, if it is found in your system you are "guilty" under their rules.

Posted by Christopher 11/01/2007 at 04:34 PM

"I'm quite surprised that most people here are assuming martina must be innocent, just because she doesn't seem like the type to do drugs. ... but in many, many social circles cocaine is as regular a thing as alcohol. I assume none of us knows Martina personally nor who she hangs out with, so how can we know what she would or wouldn't do?"

I think the point her is not just Martina as a person, but rather Martina as a particular type of professional athlete. Wouldn't we be more surprised to hear that Fed was doing blow than to find out that, say, Nalbandian was? As fans we don't really "know" more about either of them as people, but we do know the kind of dedication and seriousness with which they approach their profession. From what we do know about Martina as a tennis player, I think it would be surprising. Shocking and impossible? No. But surprising.

Posted by Ryan 11/01/2007 at 04:37 PM

Samantha, now is absolutely not the time.

Posted by mixedsingles 11/01/2007 at 04:39 PM

I am a huge Hingis fan, but I think she may have retired to avoid being banned from competition.

This isn't steroids, this is a recreational drug.

Plus, of course her independant lab result proved innocent. But the B test, also tested positive.

Posted by highpockets 11/01/2007 at 04:40 PM

Pete, based on what "coco" said above, it's possible she dipped into a snowy mound BEFORE Wimby and it was still in her system. Perhaps it was one night of lousy judgement. How many of us have been guilty of that?

If that's the case, come clean now, Martina... don't do a Marion Jones for years and years. Secrets like that will eat away at you.

Posted by jbradhunter 11/01/2007 at 04:45 PM

Ros- are the courts playing as slow as the look?

Posted by highpockets 11/01/2007 at 04:48 PM

Todd and in Charge, gotcha! That's what I meant when I said that maybe someone slipped the coke into her Gatorade. No intent or knowledge ... same as if she took something that had similar characteristics or if the test was messed up.

I still think it sounds funny though.

Posted by 11/01/2007 at 04:55 PM

Ok... who can come up with the best new nickname for Martina Hingis?

Posted by ron 11/01/2007 at 05:00 PM

i am just so devastated by this shocking news...yes, she weren't able to regain her old form, but certainly she hasn't gone into doing drugs or so...as she said, the only enhancer for her is her LOVE of the GAME!!!...damn... to hingis...please don't give up...we are still here supporting you!!! don't retire yet...please...you are so fun to watch... i don't like tennis anymore again, coz you are gone again!!!

Posted by tina 11/01/2007 at 05:00 PM

yes coco, in many circles cocaine is as common as alcohol - perhaps especially in London. And I suppose I could see her going out to the Groucho Club and hanging with, I dunno, the bass player from Blur, or Damien Hirst, and well, the silver tray comes around.... It's true, we don't know who her friends are or what she gets up to in her off-court life. And only time will tell what's really going on here - I guess? Or will we not know anything because she's retiring?

But to be honest, I actually can't see her at the Groucho - or even using alcohol.

Posted by Ali C 11/01/2007 at 05:03 PM

Hmmm...didn't she break up with Radek just after Wimbledon? Perhaps he spiked her drink after a spat...

Posted by Ryan 11/01/2007 at 05:10 PM

I absolutely cannot handle today.

Posted by E$ 11/01/2007 at 05:10 PM

Nalbandian again!!

Posted by Elevennis Anytwo? 11/01/2007 at 05:15 PM

This is a maddening revelation. I can't believe that Hingis would do cocaine on purpose. There must be some sort of mix-up.

Meanwhile, this story gets headline play and people all over think Hingis is a druggie and tennis is tainted. Just what we need....

This is why accusations of doping should be kept private until guilt or innocence can be proven and all appeals are concluded. The result could then be disclosed. Because these aren't criminal cases, there is no need for public awareness. An independent, extra-tennis committee could look at the case if anyone had any concerns after the fact. This way, the reputations of the athletes could be maintained.

It seems so unfair to tennis that, because of its exceptional drug-testing regime, it gets loads of bad publicity for its rare cheats, while in other sports and the Olympics, dozens of doping athletes escape scrutiny. Moreover, there are lots of gray areas where the testing is suspect, the doping is accidental and minute, or the ATP gives out laced energy drinks, which can create the situation we have today with Hingis. I shudder to think what would happen if Federer or Henin were to be wrongly accused.

In any event, something must change and Hingis does not deserve such an ignoble exit from her beloved profession. This should never happen again.

Posted by frances 11/01/2007 at 05:16 PM

Right on Pete and Highpockets. I read the same thing: "..I believe" I'm innocent. Wah? Anyway, my thoughts are, if girlfriend wants to do cocaine, it's her business -- not ours. Just like a few minutes ago, I ate a whole box of Lorna Doones. Now really. How many miles do I have to run -- How many vegetable juice fasts do I have to do to pump all those chemicals, preservatives and all that white sugar out of my body? A lot. But hey, it's my business if I want to beat up my body. Not anyone else's. Same with drugs.

Posted by nyc 11/01/2007 at 05:17 PM

Rough day for Switzerland.

What an awful year for Martina. The end of her engagement and this mess. I hope that someone analyzes the situation soon and clarifies.
Is cocaine a performance enhancer? or just an illegal drug? I wonder what she will do next? Does it matter? What she do next? Where do you go and what do you do if you retire at age 27, with a cloud of mystery and suspicion over your head? I think tennis is all she has (and millions of dollars). What's her next chapter? So many questions...

Posted by nyc 11/01/2007 at 05:18 PM

oh yeah, and terrible day for tennis. ITF, ATP and WTA need to hire a PR spinmeister.

Posted by the tennis fan 1 11/01/2007 at 05:24 PM

I cant believe martina went out like this. she was one of my favorite players. she is innocent. although she hasnt won a slam in a long time i think she is one of the best female players ever. she became #1 when she was 16. ill miss u martina

Posted by Samantha 11/01/2007 at 05:27 PM

Can someone explain to me how cocaine can make you a better tennis player or enhance your performance? Does it make you faster? Also, very sorry to all her fans, but don't you think she would look more innocent if she stayed and fought the charges? I'm just asking.

Posted by codepoke 11/01/2007 at 05:32 PM

Yeah. Hingis is my absolute favorite, and I'm so sorry she never hit the gym and figured out how to hit with the big girls. The first words in her statement that really zinged me were, "I believe," also. How does one "believe" one is innocent of illegal recreation?

Still, that could be a lawyerese loophole fudge. I choose to believe she attended a couple parties and knows she was exposed to cocaine but didn't intentionally partake.

In the end, I think the big point is her motivation. She won't get into the big show until she adds muscle mass and that ain't gonna happen. I'm sorry to see her go, but it's the only possible outcome to her comeback.

Posted by 11/01/2007 at 05:32 PM

Martina has retired from tennis to oversee the ATP's anti-gambling unit.

Posted by creig bryan 11/01/2007 at 05:36 PM

Question:

When did Martina break up with Radek?

Keep Smiling

Posted by jhurwi 11/01/2007 at 05:45 PM

Temes: re false positives:
Sometimes the "positive" result in a lab test for a certan banned substance is caused by taking a prescription or over-the-counter medication that contains a related chemical compound. For example, pseudephedrine, an ingredient in many cold/decongestant medicines such as Sudafed, is related to meth and can produce a positive result for meth.
You might want to check the link posted earlier by E$: http://www.askdocweb.com/falsepositives.html
This list contains relatively few products or conditions which can cause a false positive for cocaine as compared to those which can cause false positives for some other drugs. In the earlier post, E$ mentions amoxicillin (an antibiotic commonly prescribed for ear infections in children--I'm sure all mothers of my generation remember the pink bottles that had to be kept in the refrigerator)The list also mentions synthetic penicillin, liver infection, and tonic water (not sure why tonic water, since quinine is not listed as giving a false positive).

Posted by audrey 11/01/2007 at 05:47 PM

Pete,

Pls define "recreational" (I am going to get in trouble with the moderator again). If you mean, it is not for performance enhancement, I concur. But if you mean Hingis can do or not do coke at her own discretion, I am afraid I cant agree.

"IF"(just to be diplomatic and non-combative here, since it is non-Rafa related) the test result is correct, very sadly I think she is pretty hooked. If she knew she would be tested, she still took that substance; it is not "recreational", which has a harmless connotation, anymore.

I agree today is a sad day for the Swiss tennis team, Hingis, Warinka and Federer all "outed" on the same day.

Posted by ptgarner1 11/01/2007 at 05:49 PM

total BS...She said she has never done drugs...now how often would
someone taking cocaine claim that with all the potential witnesses
that would show up to the contrary. Inocent and I hope her lawyer
sues the pants off them...furious

Posted by anonymous 11/01/2007 at 05:51 PM

"Also, very sorry to all her fans, but don't you think she would look more innocent if she stayed and fought the charges? "

Not a huge fan, but no. A person is innocent until proven guilty regardless of how something "looks." The "B" sample that tested positive is much worse because it's actual evidence. But I'm not going to judge a person whose circumstances I'm not intimately familiar with simply because her actions "look" bad.

Posted by tina 11/01/2007 at 05:56 PM

yeah, codepoke, I agree that the big point is her motivation - and how Champions continue to stay motivated is one of the things that keeps me so obsessed with this sport.

I must confess, though: all this talk of cocaine, and memories of Vitas playing the 79 USO final wearing a coke spoon, and imagining El Maratski snorting a line in some Moscow strip club, well, it's making me nostalgic for the days when I could also "test positive" - but due to (unrelated) neurological issues, those days are long over for me. I wouldn't want to go back, but it's simply a fun trip down memory lane - or maybe I'm just coming down off the sugar rush of last night....

Posted by jb 11/01/2007 at 05:59 PM

Samantha - there are times you don't brutally bash your head into a wall to attempt to prove something to strangers. Not everyone who's 'right' has the energy, the time or the wherewithall to stand up for themselves, let alone win in a long, painfully drawn out battle where everything is stacked against you, and chances are very great you won't actually 'gain' anything.

I chose to believe that I don't know. We have very few facts and can't judge.

I do know that i'm infinitely disappointed, as she is a great champion and i've floved the opportunity to see her play again. I feel badly that this will be forever linked to her second retirement. To quote her swiss compatriot, 'its a pity'.

Posted by superSnark 11/01/2007 at 06:02 PM

sniff sniff... oh well, I hope she's innocent, but since I know ppl who have dabbled (including W), I won't hold it against her.

Posted by tina 11/01/2007 at 06:08 PM

Posted by superSnark 11/01/2007 @ 6:02 PM
sniff sniff...

LMFAO!!

Posted by Samantha 11/01/2007 at 06:08 PM

JB, I see what you mean, but if you read what people are saying at other sites, they're making the point that when you run, or retire, it's like you're saying, I'm leaving tennis, so don't investigate any further. To many people, it just gives the appearance of guilt. For those who say that appearance doesn't matter, the legacy of an athlete and their integrity is all they leave the game with. If you stand and fight, maybe your gain your good name, but if you run then you leave people with doubt. But yes, I see your point that she can't win no matter what she does.

Posted by Sophia 11/01/2007 at 06:10 PM

I think it's so sad that so much controversy is clouding the end of such a great year of tennis.

Who knows if she is innocent or guilty, but a few things bother me with that statement and her accompanying retirement. I really hope she is innocent, but unfortunately for her, the mere accusation will taint her name and career.

For the record - I felt incredibly sorry for Davydenko today and thought the umpire behaved apallingly!


Posted by anonymous 11/01/2007 at 06:15 PM

"To many people, it just gives the appearance of guilt. For those who say that appearance doesn't matter"

It doesn't, because ultimately it relfects on the person judging, not the one being judged. There's a reason circumstantial evidence isn't allowed in court.

Posted by Lucy 11/01/2007 at 06:16 PM

This is really bizarre... what a way to end a remarkable career. Gah! It just sucks. I really like Martina.

I don't really have anything to add to the discussion, but I felt the need to commiserate.

Posted by anonymous 11/01/2007 at 06:17 PM

*Typo: Make that "reflects".

Posted by chuck 11/01/2007 at 06:18 PM


from Swiss media (Tages-Anzeiger.ch):

Swiss Olympic chief physician: "No Doubt" about Hingis Positive Cocaine test

(basically the doctor says that the "Hair Test" cited by Hingis is irrelevant, because it was administered more than 2 months after the urine positive and it only can prove that Hingis is not a habitual cocaine user, and has no bearing at all on the positive Wimbledon test)


«Haarprobe nicht relevant»
Swiss-Olympic-Chefarzt Dr. Beat Villiger zweifelt nicht am Kokainmissbrauch der gefallenen Schweizer Tennis-Queen Martina Hingis.

«Der Urintest ist für den akuten Nachweis im Normalfall wirksam», beurteilt der Sportmediziner den Skandal. Den Versuch von Hingis, das Ergebnis der beiden Dopingproben mit einem negativen Haartest anzuzweifeln, schätzt Villiger als wertlos ein. Villiger: «Mit dem negativen Haartest kann Martina Hingis nur beweisen, dass sie nicht chronisch kokste», erklärte der Direktor des Paraplegiker-Zentrums Nottwil auf Anfrage.

Hingis ordnete Mitte September - über zwei Monate nach dem positiven Befund in London - eine Haarprobe an. Koksspuren waren keine mehr vorhanden, was bei gelegentlichem Konsum gemäss Villiger nicht unüblich ist. Die missbräuchliche Einnahme der «Partydroge» war früher vor allem im nordamerikanischen Basketballsport weit verbreitet.

«Vielleicht ging es Hingis wegen der Schmerzmittel nicht gut», mutmasste Villiger, als er von den negativen Schlagzeilen um die frühere Weltnummer 1 vernahm. Der Version aus dem Hingis-Clan, jemand könnte der Ostschweizerin böswillig Kokain in ein Getränk gemischt haben, schenkt Villiger wenig Glauben: «Wer sich im Spitzensport bewegt, kennt alle Tücken. Kaum jemand trinkt aus einer unverschlossenen Flasche. Und an einem Turnier sind die Sportler bestens überwacht.»

Posted by The Original French(ie) 11/01/2007 at 06:23 PM

wasn't wilander accused of using cocaine? It did not ruin his career obviously.

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C02E3DE1038F934A25756C0A961958260

Posted by The Original French(ie) 11/01/2007 at 06:27 PM

well OK wilander retired afterwards, if I'm not mistaken but his reputation did suffer, that's what I meant.

Posted by Andrew 11/01/2007 at 06:28 PM

Er... hi Lucy!

Where ya been?

Posted by jbradhunter 11/01/2007 at 06:31 PM

The Swiss doctor must be forgetting that cocaine lasts about 3-5 days in the urine-- why would Martina "take" some coke again when she knew she'd be tested... also, a hair sample tests for a 90 day period-- basically the hair grows 1/2 inch per 30 days... so 1 & 1/2 inches from the scalp is often tested to look at a standard 90 day interval-- however, with Martina being a woman with long hair, who didn't ever show up looking like Demi Moore in GI Jane, then the testing could cover much longer than 90 days...

Posted by Samantha 11/01/2007 at 06:34 PM

Swedish is very close to German, so I can understand most of what they're saying and her urine tested positive. I'm not sure she can get around it, very sad way to leave the game. Again, like Lucy, I'm so very, very sorry for her fans. For those who want to judge, maybe she was going through a difficult time with the break up and her injuries that she thought drugs were the answer. We all make mistakes, and I hope her fans stand by her. "No doubt", that is pretty conclusive. Although I think she's guilty, I wish her the best and I hope people remember her as a great champion.

Posted by The Original French(ie) 11/01/2007 at 06:36 PM

espn post on hingis
http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/news/story?id=3088189

Posted by Lucy 11/01/2007 at 06:40 PM

Salut, Andrew! I've been, you know, busy and stuff. Nothing as interesting as testing positive to cocaine. It's nice to see everyone on a confusing day like this.

Posted by Ruth 11/01/2007 at 06:45 PM

anonymous: Circumstantial evidence IS allowed in court, but it has to be pretty strong and convincing to be of any value. If the courts had to rely only on eyewitness or firsthand evidence, there'd be very few convictions.

I'd really like to know what is the schedule for when the WTA and ATP are told of the positive tests of players. The strangest aspect of this whole thing, to me, is the report that Larry Scott supposedly knew nothing about it. I would assume that he'd be told when the player is told.

I was hoping that Haas would play badly when Blake was still in the running for a place in the YEC, but now...pfft -- Youzhny? Haas? I don't care!

Posted by jb 11/01/2007 at 06:49 PM

jbrad - if the cocaine stays in the hair - then a hair sample from now would also prove it? i mean - its only six months...

do the players give 2 samples at different times - or 2 samples at the same time?

oh dear, haas and mikhail looking like they want to play the serving hot potato game...

*waves gloomily at Lucy* - its an odd day in the tennis world, f'sure.

Posted by jbradhunter 11/01/2007 at 06:54 PM

JB- maybe they should yank some hair out now and test-- though it may be a bit too late

Posted by anonymous 11/01/2007 at 06:55 PM

Point taken, Ruth, I was too general and admittedly don't know much law beyond what I learned on high school mock trial team, heh.

Still, my main point was I think the reasoning "why would she retire if she weren't guilty" would be objected court of law. Not saying the court of public opinion should always follow rules as strict as a court, but neither should people jump to conclusions about guilt just because of how it "looks." That's why people remember the accusation and not the outcome, which may have cleared the accused of all charges, you know?

Posted by anonymous 11/01/2007 at 06:56 PM

Typo: _in_ a court of law. Geez, I can't type today.

Posted by Rosangel 11/01/2007 at 06:58 PM

Terrible story.

I have no idea what to believe regarding Hingis - I don't know her, after all.

Grant, you said above that "I tend to assume that most super-wealthy young people has done cocaine at one time or another". You're wrong. I have come across plenty of high-earning privileged people in the industry I work in - some do, and some would be horrified at the very thought. You absolutely cannot generalise. I know you didn't say "all", but I think it's a stretch to even say "most". If you'd said "some", I'd agree. But being able to afford to use expensive recreational drugs shouldn't imply that a person actually does use them.

I could definitely afford to use illegal drugs, as do some people I know through my work, but the whole idea is completely out as far as I'm concerned.

Posted by Myskina+Trains=Tolstoy 11/01/2007 at 07:05 PM

"The strangest aspect of this whole thing, to me, is the report that Larry Scott supposedly knew nothing about it. I would assume that he'd be told when the player is told."

Ruth, this what I don't understand either. In fact, I assumed that he would've been told first and then he, along with the drug testers, would've told Martina. This is all quite bizarre.

Posted by Sherlock 11/01/2007 at 07:17 PM

Pffft. Who cares about Martina. Lucy's back!! :)

Posted by jb 11/01/2007 at 07:21 PM

jbrad -but if its stays in the hair then it could be done now. I've still got the hair from the spring, so should she.

agreed its VERY odd that larry scott didn't know. I mean, who's running the show? what the heck is going on?

And shouldn't things be settled before they're announced? Because once you're tried in the court of public opinion, you are NEVER cleared. People will always half remember things, and many will make up their minds on half the evidence, so no matter what - its a done deal.

Posted by Andrew 11/01/2007 at 07:45 PM

I was offered cocaine on one, possibly two occasions, and politely declined each time. Alcohol has always been my drug of choice.

Posted by Lleytsie - Fan 11/01/2007 at 07:52 PM

HEY ALL

Great to see ya all .... but felt very bad seeing marty and cocaine

felt terrible

hi lucy - hi jb

Posted by Samantha 11/01/2007 at 08:00 PM

Andrew, candy and anything sweet is my drug of choice. Poor Martina, I apologize for anything bad I ever said about her game. You have to be in a really sad place in your life to use drugs. Her entire legacy is ruined, and many people will only remember the bad. I'm reading the tennis forums in Europe and US and the things people are calling her are very sad.

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