Leave Her A-Bloody-Lone

Here at Swimwatch we have seldom discussed any subject except swimming related issues. We did comment on the ridiculous criticism John Key levelled at Kim Dotcom for owning an issue of “Mein Kampf”. And we did discuss the likelihood of the All Blacks winning the World Cup. But that’s about all.

And then last night on Television One news I watched various tennis professionals rip into Maria Sharapova for being given a wild card entry into the Porsche Grand Prix in Stuttgart, Germany. Leading the character assassination was the Canadian Genie Bouchard. She is reported to have said:   

She’s a cheater and so to me … I don’t think a cheater in any sport should be allowed to play that sport again. It’s so unfair to all the other players who do it the right way and are true. So, I think from the WTA it sends the wrong message to young kids—cheat and we’ll welcome you back with open arms. I don’t think that’s right and … [she’s] definitely not someone I can say I look up to anymore because that’s definitely ruined it for me a little bit.

Sharapova answered the best way possible by refusing to comment and winning her two first games; beating Roberta Vinci 7-5, 6-3 and Ekaterina Makarova 7-5 6-1.

Most readers will be aware that Sharapova has been serving a one month ban for taking meldonium. There were however extenuating circumstances. The drug was only banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency in January 2016. Sharapova, who had been legally taking meldonium for a medical condition, was caught about a month after the ban. She says she did not realise the drug had been banned.

For a professional of her standing, I agree, not realising is not a good enough excuse. In fact it is no excuse at all. And so her 15 month ban was more than deserved.

But she has done her time and now needs to be able to return to the work where she makes her living. Anything else would be an illegal restraint of trade. World Tennis has acted entirely properly in arranging for her to enter and compete in the Stuttgart tournament and the two events that follow Stuttgart.

And as for the precious Genie Bouchard, Shakespeare penned a short message for her.

The quality of mercy is not strained. It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest: It blesseth him that gives and him that takes. But mercy is above this sceptered sway. It is enthroned in the hearts of kings; It is an attribute to God Himself; And earthly power doth then show likest God’s When mercy seasons justice. Therefore, Jew, Though justice be thy plea, consider this: That, in the course of justice, none of us Should see salvation.    

For Ms Bouchard a touch of humility would improve her humanity no end. Sport at any level can do without the likes of Ms. Bouchard.

And so Maria play well in Stuttgart, and best wishes from us all at Swimwatch at the French Open. Go that girl.


0 responses. Leave a Reply

  1. Swimwatch


    Be the first to leave a comment!

Comments are closed.