When Maria Sharapova alerted the media she was making a ‘major announcement’, most of the speculation was that she was about to retire. And she kind of was.
The Cinderella story of the world’s richest sportswoman has quickly unravelled since she revealed she flunked a drug test.
When the clock struck midnight, that was the last she saw of her Tag Heuer timepiece, her Porsche turned into a pumpkin and Nike left her in unbranded rags.
In the greatest ignominy of all, she did her press conference against a beige backdrop. Beige. The horror. Don’t get me started on the carpet.
And for what? The whole time she’s been on meldonium, a drug Soviet troops took in the 1980s to give them stamina to fight the Afghans — and look how well that worked — she hasn’t beaten Serena Williams once.
Maria’s yet to hear how long she’s banned from going to the ball but let’s just say there’s no one walking around with a size 11 glass slipper and a ticket out of the basement.
The head of Russian tennis, Shamil Tarpishchev, isn’t concerned though. “I think this is just a load of nonsense,” he says. “I think Sharapova will play at the Olympics.” Yep, so someone needs to find out what he’s on.
In one of the week’s more bizarre stories, the world’s most famous sports doper, Lance Armstrong, was invited to speak about sports governance at the University of Colorado. I know, I laughed too.
There he described the US Anti-Doping Agency, USADA — you know, the mob that took him down — as ‘one of the most ineffective organisations in the world’. I know, I laughed too.
Still, here’s a reminder how tough it is to be a cyclist at times.
Two Nigerian buddies got into the Ronaldo versus Messi argument this week. And one of them died when his mate stabbed him with a shard of glass.
The moral to this story is, if you’re ever in a situation like this, ask yourself if Ronaldo’s worth dying for.
On a brighter note, Sammy Brooks, college wrestler, has just won a pretty big tournament. It was a massive moment for Sammy and he really made the most of it.
Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager John Hughes couldn’t contain himself during his team’s Scottish Cup quarter final against Hibernian.
Down 1-nil, Hughes showed a little too much exuberance when his lads levelled the score, giving midfielder Liam Polworth an impromptu deep tissue massage and dacking the goal scorer, Andréa Mbuyi-Mutombo, at full-time.
Still, Polworth can count himself lucky that he didn’t require the services of these Israeli medics. This video is best watched to the Benny Hill theme tune.
Shane Warne was finally evicted from the celebrity jungle this week, after dining on all manner of creepy crawlies, reigniting his feud with Steve Waugh and regaling us with his theory about our alien origins.
During his stay, Warnie was also bitten on the head by an anaconda and the arachnophobe went ten terrifying rounds with a venomous spider. Plus he dropped 13 kilograms. Though not for long, I suspect.
Finally, check out this fine piece of racquet work from Dominic Thiem.
So here’s an idea. Wouldn’t it be better if, instead of giving players a caution when they go all artistic with their frames, they were forced to keep playing with their refashioned equipment?
I reckon racquet abuse would disappear overnight.
Have a good weekend, everyone. Don’t forget to check your emails.