Thursday, November 12, 2009

Wickmayer not talking about possible appeal

Yanina Wickmayer spoke with the press today, but evaded the question of whether she will appeal her one-year suspension. Given that the Belgian anti-doping tribunal prosecutor recommended she get a warning for violating the ADAMS "whereabouts" rule, most observers think Wickmayer would have a good chance if she appealed the decision. Perhaps she has not made up her mind, or perhaps her attorneys have advised her to not talk about her decision.

Wickmayer said that anti-doping officials are "are not really conscious of what this means for my future."

When she received the suspension, Wickmayer explained that she had had problems using her password when she tried to alert anti-doping officials of her whereabouts. Now--at least according to the not always reliable Associated Press--she is saying she was not sufficiently educated about the process.

Most of us, I think, are sympathetic to Wickmayer's plight. A year's suspension is very harsh, and also very suspicious, coming on the heels of Andre Agassi's "I took crystal meth and lied" world tour. But Wickmayer does need to take some responsibility; no one else has complained about not being educated about the rule. Also--probably because she is young and perhaps does not have sufficient guidance--Wickmayer does not appear to realize that having password problems does not mean that one stops trying to contact the anti-doping authorities.

I hope Wickmayer appeals, I hope she wins, and I hope she learns that she is ultimately responsible for abiding by the rules, no matter how silly some of them are.


Anonymous said...

Every once in a while, life IS fair.

Back in March, Wickmayer behaved like a person on steroids, slaming a ball into a line-woman's face, offering no apology except for the statement that "she didn't do it on purpose", and then had the nerve to appeal the standard rule that she lose all points from that tournament.

She destroyed the whole final day of play (was in the singles and doubles final).

Ironically that tournament benefits the Suncoast Boys and Girls clubs. She sure set a great example of behavior.

Based on the abandonment of the tournament website, one wonders if the tournament will come back for a sixth year next March.

This is a good example of the adage that rules are rules. It's fine for players to campaign for change, but I sure hope the current rules are enforced.

Hélène said...

What happens in March wasn't clever and I think we can't relate this behavior to her young age. If in the years to come, she doesn't get more mature and repeat this behavior, I would agree with what you're saying.

Concerning the current case, everybody - or at least almost everybody -, think that a year-one suspension is too extreme.

Of course she didn't respect the rules and so "earned" a sanction. But the Tribunal should have listen to the procureur who asked for a warning.

And the most ironic is that if Wickmayer wasn't Flemsih (north part of Belgium) but Walloon (south part of Belgium), she would have a different sanction because the law isn't the same in North en South Belgim.