Maria Sharapova isn’t the first athlete to have her career hang in the balance as a result of suspension, but she is one of the most prolific.
Sharapova was recently suspended by the International Tennis Federation for two years after testing positive for Meldonium, a drug that was added to the prohibited substance list this year. The tennis star is claiming that she was consequently not aware of the rule change, and knew the substance by an alternate name, Mildronate. Sharapova additionally said that she had been taking the drug since 2006 for wellness dilemmas which comprised a magnesium deficiency combined with a family history of diabetes.
This decision has been nothing short of contentious, as Sharapova is one of the biggest stars the sport of tennis has ever seen. Her potential two-year suspension could be crippling to her illustrious career, and she will do everything in her power to ensure that doesn’t happen. She’s been a pro since she was 14, and after 15 years of exceptionally competitive tennis, a long suspension this late in her career could be something she might not have the ability to recover from.
There’s absolutely no surprise that Maria Sharapova will appeal the suspension, and after about a month of deliberation by the ITF, a choice should be made by July 18th.
If Sharapova’s suspension is carried on she will be synonymous with these sportsmen for a long time to come.
Josh Gordon, Wide Receiver, Cleveland Browns
Known for their recurrent losing streaks and problems at quarterback, the Cleveland Browns finally had a game altering player at wideout in Josh Gordon. He burst on to the scene as one of many finest offensive players in the game, after a breakout season in 2013.
That was the end of the fairy tale for Josh Gordon and the Cleveland Browns. The following season Gordon was suspended for driving while impaired. Gordon only played in five games during the 2014 season for the Browns and was caught with pot. He was primed to make a comeback, but failed another drug test and was suspended for the entirety of the 2015 season. Just like Gordon, Sharapova is losing some prime years of her career.
Alex Rodriguez, Third Baseman, New York Yankees
This suspension has all of it. One of baseball’s most renown franchises, and one of its most popular players of all time. Baseball in the 21st century was marred by scandals and performance enhancing drugs. Icons like Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Rafael Palmeiro all have spots on their careers due to being wrapped up in the steroid accusations, and Alex Rodriguez also. A-Rod’s standing took one of the biggest hits of all-time in 2009 when a story came out that he took steroids in 2003 during his career as a Texas Ranger. He attempted to rebound from that, for using Human Growth Hormones, but for 162 games, an entire MLB season, Rodriguez was suspended in 2014. HGH was the most popular steroid of choice in the last decade in the MLB and using it cost A-rod more than simply cash.
Rodriguez and Sharapova are some of the most high profile athletes that their respective sports have ever seen, and for them to cope with such a hit to their career will link them together forever.
Cyclist, Lance Armstrong
Among the most challenging doping scandals to swallow in American sports history is the saga of Lance Armstrong. From cancer survivor to the cyclist that is best the world had ever seen and ultimately a pariah that lied to the American people, Armstrong’s career is one for the history books instead of the record books. Winning the Tour De France seven times from 1999 to 2005, Armstrong could do no wrong. He immediately became an American hero for his accomplishments in sport and in life and beat cancer prior to those titles.
His life has parallels to Sharapova because of the fact that Armstrong’s sponsors all left him. Sharapova lost Nike distancing itself from the athlete after the story broke about her as well as sponsorships from TAG Heuer and Porsche.