Today is Martina Hingis’s 29th birthday and the last day of her two-year drug suspension. Jon Wertheim has an interesting interview with her posted on the Sports Illustrated website. Click here to read it if you haven’t already (yes, she answers the comeback question.)
Here’s what really got to me:
The amount (of cocaine metabolite found in Hingis’s system during Wimbledon, 2007) was so trace that, in marked contrast to Richard Gasquet — who was cleared to return after completing a 2½-month ban in July when an anti-doping panel ruled that he accidentally ingested cocaine by kissing a woman at a nightclub — Hingis was at a loss even to fashion a plausible theory about how she could have tested positive. (In the past few months the British media have reported about trace levels of cocaine turning up everywhere from the Thames River to restroom sinks.) Though circumstantial evidence is just that — circumstantial — it defies logic that a veteran player who had passed upwards of 100 tests, some of them unannounced and out of competition, would dabble with cocaine in conjunction with a Grand Slam, knowing with virtual certainty that she would be tested.