Coke is It: The Simon Larose Obituary

Posted on February 17, 2005

By Richard Vach

Canadian Simon Larose's partying ways caught up to him this week when it was announced the ATP had levied a two-year penalty against him for testing positive for cocaine.

Larose, who has been off the tour essentially since last summer with a back injury, says he will retire from tennis rather than ride out the two-year ban.

"I've been injured for most of the past year and maybe it's a message that it's my time to retire," Larose told the CBC. "I just didn't want it to happen this way."

Retire at 26?

The announcement was a blow for Tennis Canada, which had allocated a great deal of financial backing and tournament wildcards to Larose in an effort to break a Canadian into the Top 50 on the ATP Rankings.

Larose made his Davis Cup debut for Canada in 1999, going 1-1 in singles versus Colombia. After first-round losses with his first two wildcards at the ATP Masters Series-Canada in 2001 (losing to Lleyton Hewitt in three sets) and 2002 (l. to James Blake), Larose showed some promise in 2003 at the MS-Canada with wins over Gustvo Kuerten and Jose Acasuso before being stopped by Andre Agassi in the round of 16.

Larose was told his two-year suspension might be reduced with arbitration, but says he will give up the pro game.

"I made a big mistake," Larose told The Canadian Press. "I was at a party with some friends and some people I didn't know were passing a joint around. I didn't know it was laced with cocaine until my test came back positive."

While Larose's pro career has been an almost constant schlep through the futures and challenger tournament ranks, it is difficult to believe the Canadian would have otherwise retired this year, coming off a career-best year in 2004 with a career-high No. 189 ranking.

Instead of hitting the gym and rising to new heights in 2005, Larose decided to hit the bammy laced with coke, the funny stuff, the giggle weed, to toak-up, to harvest the wacky tobacky, to tap the bomber, to pat the catnip, to chase cheeba, to climb the cochornis, to dance with Dona Juanita, to drag the doobie, to pass the fatty, to grab the gange, to hang with the green goddess, to jones on the jay, to work the joy stick, to partake of the prescription, to meet the rainy day woman, to snop the sasafras, to drop by the tea party, to torch the torpedo.

For Tennis Canada it is an inadvertent black eye, coming at the same time as the announcement of a new title sponsor for the Masters Series-Canada, and coinciding with the rise of 20-year-old Canadian Frank "You Can" Dancevic. Dancevic last week qualified and won a round at San Jose, and this week qualified at Memphis and won his opening-round match.

With a bad back and a game featuring no outstanding weapons, Larose was unlikely to crack the Top 50 on the ATP Rankings during his career. But instead of 2005 continuing his rankings climb, he will instead be remembered as the coke-laced pot-smoking Canadian who once beat Gustavo Kuerten and finished with a career 11-19 singles record.

Freed from the shackles of watching his diet, hitting the weight room and hitting cross-court forehands, Larose is now ready for the time-honored tennis retirement tradition of taking the local teaching pro position, getting fat and, in his case, enjoying some quality Mary Jane without the specter of drug testing.