So much has been written about Sharapova lately. On social media Sharapova’s fans are at loggerheads with the rest of world and jeers of Shreikapova, and Dopapova flood the social media landscape ever since Stuttgart announced its wildcard for Maria.
Doper or not?
Many feel quite strongly about Sharapova receiving wild cards rather than doing it the hard way to expiate for ingesting, for over 10 years, a drug which is not only banned in the US but also has documented performance enhancing affects. And lo and behold, by her own admission, Sharapova even upped the dosage before important matches! Many feel that even if Meldonium was not in the banned substances list for tennis until January 2016, it is still quite obvious that she took it as a performance enhancer and she should therefore make serious efforts to prove otherwise if she did not. Merely saying that she had a heart condition and was therefore asked to take that medicine by some quack somewhere will just not cut it any further.
The victim card
For the last year and a half Sharapova, after accepting that Meldonium was found in her system after its ban, has been claiming that she was wronged because she never got the memo. This is as childish as the dog ate my homework excuse that even I once put up as an eight year old. Apparently the WTA picked out their star player to hurt with a doping ban! The same WTA that has been welcoming Sharapova and marketing her return as if the survival of the tour depended on her also conspired to have her banned!! How ridiculous is that? The WTA is so blinded by their love for Sharapova that, in the absence of Serena, they could find no one else except a tainted player to market as the face of the tour! Perhaps now they have in Genie an equally marketable persona who not only reached the top 5 without the suspicion of PEDs but also got the better of Sharapova on court after openly criticizing her off it. Hey, why not market Genie, or Karolina Pliskova, who is not only an amazing player but also an ace machine, the face of the WTA?
If Sharapova doped with the knowledge that Meldonium enhanced her performance and facilitated recovery after strenuous matches or practices then that knowledge is her karma to bear all her life and beyond ; and time and again when the stakes get high enough it will extract its justice. The only way to balance negative karma is to have humility and atone and make up by taking the hard road and paying the dues all over again. However, the allure of the easy road is not so easy to forego and Maria will try to get as many wild cards as she can to make her comeback a success. But karma has a funny way of showing up again and again till the dues are paid in full; and Sharapova should know that too.
However, if she had no idea that Meldonium had even the tiniest of performance enhancing affects and really did never receive the memo detailing the ban on Meldonium then she has obviously served her time for not only her ignorance but also oversight.