Martina Hingis Announces Retirement After Testing Positive for Cocaine
by Sean Randall | November 1st, 2007, 3:11 pm
  • 24 Comments

Wow. What a stunner from the tennis world today. Martina Hingis announced earlier that she is retiring from following a positive cocaine test result at Wimbledon this year.

Hingis coked up? Unbelievable.

In a statement Hingis denied ever having taking cocaine, much less any drugs. “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.”

She goes one to say, “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.”

A few quick, initial thoughts on this developing story.

First, too bad for Martina, too bad for tennis. I have long been a Martina fan, and it’s sad to see her go especially in this manner. I hope she turns out to be innocent.
Second, Martina if you have “never taken drugs” or cocaine as you say then why did the test come back positive?

Third, if you are so sure of your innocence why retire? Injuries aside, retiring like this only makes you look more guilty. Or maybe this was a “you can’t suspend me because I’m retiring” situation.

Fourth, I presume, and I hope, that you and your attorney will take this matter to court to clear your name.

Fifth, how does former fiancée Radek Stepanek figure into all this? Were they not at one point planning to get married sometime after Wimbledon? How about Sergio Garcia??

Plenty more to come I’m very sure on this breaking story. Including Federer’s reaction.


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24 Comments for Martina Hingis Announces Retirement After Testing Positive for Cocaine

SG Says:

…maybe the coke was one of the reasons she always had that strange smirk on her face? all kidding aside, i like the way martina hingis plays tennis. she should have been born 10 years earlier. let’s hope she’s vindicated.


J. Mutch Says:

Umm, why do they even test for non-performance-enhancing drugs? I couldn’t care less what recreational drugs a player uses or doesn’t use. I’m only interested in knowing if a player is cheating. I’ve never heard of anyone taking cocaine to improve their tennis. This is absurd.


SG Says:

well, cocaine is an illegal substance whether it’s performance enhancing or not. Tim Raines, a former MLB player was suspended from baseball for using cocaine. i don’t think tennis wants its reputation tarnished by a bunch of coke heads. it’s bad for sponsorship and it’s pretty bad for the players too. if you’re going to make your living off public support, than your rules should reflect the values of that public. generally speaking, i think most tennis fans believe that drugs and drug abuse are not a good thing.


SG Says:

and cocaine is a drug that is highly addictive and potentially lethal.


Sean Randall Says:

Here’s what Martina said about cocaine: “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.”


zola Says:

Sean,
I agree with your post here. She has to take this to the court. Also I don’t know if they keep frozen blood or urine samples, but those could get re-tested.

As for why is it positive? two reasons :1) she really used cocaine, 2) the test result is not right. sample mix-up, sabotage, or even an incompetent tester or testing company.

I think she and WTA should disclose the full case. How many times was she tested? How many came positive? Who did the test and for what? sometimes a substance that is a marker for cocaine, can be an ingrediant in a cold medicine or something else.
everything is so vague now. I think as fans we need to know the whole thing. But like you I will not deem MArtine guilty until it is proven otherwise.


Skorocel Says:

What a bad day for the Swiss tennis! Fed & Stan out, and now this… Poor guys!

Agree with SG… Too bad she didn’t arrive 10 years sooner! Graf vs Hingis vs Seles – now that would be some matches! Tenniswise without any doubt the best player (at least) of this century – always a joy to watch for my eyes, but unfortunately, the raw power of the Williamses or Davenport was too much for her… And now with all those “ovas” on the scene, it would only get worse for her… Can’t understand why she ever considered a comeback (?)… What a sad end!


jane Says:

I like Martina’s play too. On one hand, this is surprising news.

But on the other hand, I noticed that she looked, hmmm, how shall I put this, strange at the USO? Extremely thin. And someone I know who is, honestly, a reasonable guy, commented that her face was very hairy. Weird, I know. But couldn’t this be a side-effect of steroids? Maybe the test detected cocaine when it was in fact some-kind-of steroid?


Lloyd Says:

No one would have thought it would be Hingis who would turn to taking cocaine on the WTA tour but then again it doesnt surprise me. She was away from tennis for two and a half years prior to her come back. no one knows what kind of things she was getting up to while off the tour, she may have dabbled in drugs recreationally whilst away and then tried to clean up her act by coming back on tour. But the habit of drug taking once you sample it is a hard thing to let go of. Im not saying she was a hard addict but she may have just lost her way a little.

As one person stated the drug of cocaine can give a user a sense of euphoria when feeling low. in her comeback she had more lows then highs in terms of a winning ratio on the court. she may have turned to the drug to help her overcome some bad loses. all of this is supposition but i believe theirs no smoke without fire. her imminent retirement after the revelation compounds the guilt in my view. UK


Daniel Howard Says:

remember how bad her teeth were when she was a teen, just before she got braces? Looks like she had been doing some crystal meth back then.


michelle colbert Says:

Oh for God’s sake. She said she has never done drugs. Accept it.


jane Says:

It’s hard to take the player’s word for it when the test says otherwise, but you’ve got a point; tests can be wrong.

The only reason I mentioned the way Hingis looked at the U.S. Open is because someone with whom I was watching said then, “it looks like she’s on steroids or something” so this news simply triggered that discussion.

Either way,it’s a crappy thing to happen and a worse way to retire: hopefully she will fight to clear her name rather than wither. Time will tell.


johnnhoj Says:

Can anyone compare this to Jennifer Capriati’s marijuana “scandal” back in 1994? I think Capriati had only been arrested for possession, but never tested positive in any drug test. Did she drop out of the women’s tour on her own, or was she handed a suspension?


dblick Says:

So long Chucky. Nice knowing ya! Hope Radek stayed away from the blow. But I bet Sergio didn’t.


SG Says:

Sean Randall Says:
Here’s what Martina said about cocaine: “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.”
——

As I remember Tim Raines career with the Expos, his best years were when he was on drugs. And you know guys like Vitas must have tied one on somewhere and went out to play tennis the next day. I want to believe hingis is innocent. i really do. unfortunately, athletes are taught to immediately refute all allegations…see Ben Johnson, Floyd Landis, Barry Bonds, Lance Armstrong, Raffy Palmeiro (who even lied to Congress) etc., etc. and we all know how innocent these guys are. Even Marion Jones initially lied before finally coming clean. And being involved in cocaine possession could lead to criminal proceedings so it’s best to deny everything and give your legal representation a chance to defend your interests.


magritte Says:

Tim Raines best years were not when he was on cocaine. He went into rehab after the ’82 season (which was a disappointment compared to his rookie year). His best years were much later–’85-87.

As to Hingis, I have no idea, but it certainly didn’t enhance her performance. She lost to Laura Granville at Wimbledon.


SG Says:

Raines was not near the base stealer after the suspension that he was before it. I think the coke made him fearless on the base pads.


andrea Says:

Bizarrely enough, wimbledon’s offical ‘a’ and ‘b samples of her urine came back positive, but the test she did with an independant medical party came back clean.

???

If she doesn’t end up getting cleared on this charge, maybe it’s a higher power’s way of telling her she shouldn’t have served underhand to Steffi Graf in a final….tsk, tsk.


John (1) Says:

From what I’ve read, Martina had an immediate hair sample test done. My question is, why would a hair sample test not pick up cocaine in her system? Or would it? Anyone know?


Skorocel Says:

I’ve read on one Swiss website, that (according to one Swiss drug expert) a hair sample would only prove that she wasn’t taking the drug continuously (i.e. it wouldn’t deny the result of that Wimbledon drug test)…


Purplerussian Says:

Her attorney is taking issue with the chain of custody, which means that the samples as tested are presumed not to be valid, or otherwise attributable to Martina. In other words, it is someone else’s sample.
Logically, she has chosen to portray herself that would seem to endear herself to criminals and drugdealers. Why would anybody do this. Its obvious, she wants them to accept her as one of their own.
It would appear that Martina has a life that we don’t know about. That explains this whole situation, as well as the fake retirement related to the ankles. Oh, and by the way, the hip problems are not authentic either.


FloridaMan Says:

I normally think the ATP is much too tough when it comes to drugs in tennis…I mean, suspending a player just because he took a common cold or pain medication that happened to have a banned drug in it? That is terrible. But cocaine is a much more serious issue, and as such must be dealt with far more seriously.


Chris Sporting Says:

Sad, but looks like it was dealt with today with her being banned for two years.


2008: Federer Eyes Olympics, Svelte Serena Focused on No. 1 Says:

[...] Now for some holiday housekeeping… * Martina Hingis was officially slapped with a two-year ban from tennis on Friday. Of course it doesn’t matter much to Martina since she immediately retired from the sport in November once word leaked that she tested positive for cocaine at Wimbledon. Martina maintains her innocence, but as I said before, if you really are innocent you don’t quickly retire. You fight and try to clear your name. [...]

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