I remember watching Maria Sharapova win her first Wimbledon title. She was only a little younger than me and she was crowned a champion in 2004. That left an impression on me.
I always cheer for her to win because of this and when I read in the newspaper that Maria was holding a news conference my first thought was that she’s going to announce her retirement. I had thoughts of what tennis would be like without her, what would Wimbledon be like? I was ok with it since it’s really her decision and that she has had some injuries. I’m not a die hard fan of Maria’s but if she’s playing a match I will be on her side regardless of who the opponent is.
However I wasn’t prepared to learn that she had failed her doping test. This was huge. Although I will miss her not playing on the court she now carries the stigma of failing the test and time off court. From the circumstances that are reported, I’m willing to give Maria the benefit of the doubt and believe this was an honest mistake.
Many have been very quick to distance themselves from Maria. It’s unfortunate but they can’t be giving the sense that they condone un-sporty behaviour. I feel the press aren’t giving Maria the slack anyone who is admitting to something should get. Yes the rules have been breached but she is admitting to it and is “accepting full responsibility”. Should we be so harsh on someone who is saying they’re sorry? It’s not like other athlete’s who had been cheating knowingly over a long period of time denying it until proven.
I hope the best for Maria in the future and that we’ll get to see her play again and then to retire on a much happier note.