Still my favorite.

Hope Solo was found to have a diuretic in her system this past June from a prescription PMS medication prescribed by her doctor according to a press release by the USADA. It is considered a rule violation and testing positive for a prohibited substance. (Notice how they never said she failed a drug test? The media certainly didn’t notice.)

She cooperated immediately, didn’t challenge them, and after all the info was reviewed it was resolved with a warning as an honest mistake. If you saw the banned substance list you’d know lots of substances show up in medicines for common uses like hers, they come in many names, and violations happen. Cough medicine ruined a Olympian’s career in the past for example when it had been taken for a cold during the games even though it wasn’t enhancing either.

Hope was served justice as they saw fit and she complied so the case is closed. It isn’t surprising though that with the USADA and a big name sports star involved what is also included with a warning is having steak sauce dumped on you and being thrown into the lions den of public opinion.

“A common diuretic in PMS meds. Basically they just confirmed she’s a girl.” – best twitter answer

Of course the media, with their sensationalist and misleading headlines, burried the facts behind links, added uneducated commentary often not related to her specific situation, and said that she failed a drug test. Wording which lead people to think it was steroids or something else ridiculous since people don’t realize there are separate lists of and different degrees of infringement.

Two things people need to know but seem to not:

1) Many PMS meds women take contain low levels of diuretics. Midol does in fact. There is nothing bad or enhancing about diuretics on their own. Perhaps if you’re trying hit a lower weight class and, ew, find a better way please. The fact she shared her medical records and was just given a warning implies she has documented reason for taking prescription PMS meds. A lot of men in particular don’t seem to realize how serious that can get. Yes, it worse than just cramps and a craving for frosting. Way worse in some cases.

2) The risk/benefit for a goalkeeper to cheat shouldn’t even really be much of a question if you know soccer. PEDs (something that wasn’t in her system anyway I might add) do not help goalkeeping. She has no need of endurance like a swimmer or a cyclist would as she stands around 90% of the time. She is lean, not bulky and doesn’t want or need to be bulky because it would slow her down.

Goalkeeping is a mental game anyway. You have to have a great attention span as well as split second decision making. That’s why they peak later in their careers. The physical side of it is almost secondary to being smart and you can’t dope experience. On top of that, she’s been a freak of nature physically her entire life. It isn’t like she went from average to fit in the last year or last four or last 12. She’s been in the spotlight since she was 15 at least and she’s always been a top athlete. Why would she suddenly need to do that a different way and with all the risk for a questionable bump at best?

The upshot of all of this:

The real crime here is the environment that has developed around this issue. Be it the media or the willingly ignorant public, everyone enjoys a good hanging these days.  Too many athletes are used as examples rather than taken as a case by case basis as it needs to be. And it must be case by case because for every MLB steroids case you have a perfectly honest minor infraction. You can’t hang everyone who makes a human error as though they are the worst of the worst offenders.

Bravo they sorted it out. It was still bad form to declare someone honest of willfully taking something, looking at everything in context, giving her only a warning…and then still decide to tarnish her good name by making it public. She did make a mistake. The level of mistake was quite evident. Turning it over to the public… Have you seen the public? The public are idiots. It’s why we have a court system and not lynch mobs anymore. If they handled this with dignity and discretion the results would have matched the crime more.

Can’t help but think if USADA had a better reputation themselves (less prone to drama and the need to remind everyone they are relevant by throwing their weight around) stuff like this wouldn’t end with instant tarnishing of someone’s reputation over an open and shut case. Public humiliation seems to be their preferred form of punishment.

What motivation does this give future athletes who find themselves in a similar situation as Hope? She chose not to lawyer up, challenge, do those things you so often see athletes do that muddy the process. She did exactly what you’d want someone to do. Yet here we are.

Thank god the media gets to make some money off it and the USADA gets some face time, right? The public are duped into thinking everyone is guilty. Always. And if there was an honest mistake, even with a substance that doesn’t enhance anything like in this case, new “morality” dictates society must come down hard on them and destroy their lives. Many people seem to be more of a fan of an old fashioned public hanging than the sport itself.

I’m glad they tried to rule fairly for Hope, but I am still disgusted with the end result.

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