Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Hope Solo Is Guilty
Hope Solo is the face of US Women's soccer. During the 2011 Word Cup the story of her overcoming personal and professional adversity made her a crowd favorite. US soccer fans around the world were pulling for her to write a fairy tale ending to her turbulent past.
Although the US team ended up losing to Japan in the final game Solo's popularity was on the rise. She appeared on numerous talk shows, endorsed various products (including Nike and Gatorade), was a semi-finalist on Dancing With The Stars, and posed nude in ESPN's 2011 edition of the body issue. There is no doubt she is a media darling and the public adores her. Is this why she gets a slap on the wrist for failing a drug test?
In a society where athletic governing bodies are hypersensitive and paranoid about the use of banned substances Hope Solo got away with a verbal warning. Marion Jones lost all her gold medals and went to prison for taking a banned substance. Diana Taurasi was suspended from her European hoop league for failing a drug test that ended up being a false positive. Two Minnesota Vikings defensive linemen got suspended for taking a substance that wasn't even listed on the label's ingredients. Why the double standard for Hope?
Sports loses credibility when governing bodies arbitrarily decide when and if they will enforce the rules. It is clear Hope Solo is getting preferential treatment for violating the USADA's drug policy. Whether or not she intentionally violated the policy is irrelevant. The consequences associated with a failed drug test should apply to everyone. I guess if you're pretty and charismatic you can get away with anything huh?