Friday, November 02, 2007

Goodbye Hingis and good......

And now to resume programming, an insidious commentary on Martina Hingis' departure from professional tennis following allegations of cocaine drug (ab)use. [link]

Now, lets dissect this denial of sorts and try to detect a pattern in all denials of this nature -

"Hingis, a five-time Grand Slam champion and former Wimbledon winner, denied using cocaine."
Of course, who wouldn't? I don't get it, do I have to pretend to be surprised or what? Tom, Dick, Harry and his left ball wouldn't be surprised, why should I be?

"I find this accusation so horrendous, so monstrous that I've decided to confront it head on by talking to the press," she said.

Yes, a very logical strategy - after being accused meet the allegations head on by talking to the press. Not that talking to the press doesn't help,, but how does that count as confronting the allegations head on? Maybe my brains aren't fried enough to get it.

Her voice broke as she fought back tears in reading the statement. At the end, she took no questions and left the news conference. Oh! you poor poor girl!! my heart goes out for her, doesn't yours?

Hingis said the positive test, which could lead to a doping suspension of up to two years, led to her retirement because she doesn't want to spend years fighting the case.
Wow! this kind of logic could rid the world of poverty and disease!! After burdening the cogs of her addled brain she came up with this? hmmmm...... how does one confront allegations head on? apparently, its to meet the press and quit not only trying to fight the allegations but also your profession!! Flawless eh?

"They say that cocaine increases self-confidence and creates a type of euphoria," she said in a statement. "I don't know. I only know that if I were to try to hit the ball while in any state of euphoria, it simply wouldn't work. I would think that it would be impossible for anyone to maintain the coordination required to play top class tennis while under the influence of drugs. And I know one other thing — I would personally be terrified of taking drugs."
This is the clincher! List the effects of drug abuse and speculate on it in a manner indicating that you don't have the first clue as to what that they mean - as though it lived in a realm well outside your sphere of comprehension. And then, get on firm ground (good psychological ploy mind you) on what you can talk as - a tennis player. Start to discredit some (most people will not notice that some aspects are left unaddressed) of these ill effects and say with authority that any tennis player will not be able to cope with tennis if playing under the influence. She says that while feeling euphoric one cannot be that coordinated and perform at peak efficieny to play professional tennis - now, while this sounds definitely plausible she has left out the 'self confidence' effect of drug use. Even if our rationality tells us that this feeling of self confidence is only faux, for the sake of argument can I not argue that while feeling euphoric might not be the best for your ATP rankings, doesn't self confidence count for anything while playing? Aren't self confident players better at the game than doubting thomases who might be a shade better in terms of playing ability?

The swiss miss, keeping up the image of an innocent school girl, seems to be talking of recreational drugs (the ones that don't help athletes but are the forte of party animals). Come on Martina, don't pretend you've never heard of performance enhancing drugs - the ones that do a lot more for your performance and ranking than just giving you an ego boost.

Hingis said she later underwent a privately arranged hair test which came back negative for cocaine. The official backup "B" sample test on her Wimbledon urine sample, however, tested positive for the drug.
Again, like the first paragraph who would be surprised at this "independent" verification. Definitely not Tom, Dick, Harry and his left ball!! To aid in constructing a pattern - this constitutes an attempt to create 'reasonable doubt' against the official position, a sort of scientific vindication to her (as yet) moral arguments.

Hingis said she hired an attorney who found "various inconsistencies" with the urine sample taken during Wimbledon.
Now, the pattern is getting so banal that even Harry's right ball wouldn't be surprised! Of course, the attorney found something. Its his job to find 'inconsistencies' isn't it? Why would you pay him money if he looked at it and said "Sorry, you are doomed. The case is air tight in their favor".

"He is also convinced that the doping officials mishandled the process and would not be able to prove that the urine that was tested for cocaine actually came from me," she said.
I don't know what else to say about self serving lawyers who are 'convinced' about 'various inconsistencies' in the process. From a viewpoint of gleaning a pattern, an attempt to further strengthen the 'reasonable doubt' argument.

Hingis said it could take years to fight her case. "I have no desire to spend the next several years of my life reduced to fighting against the doping officials," she said. "The fact is that it is more and more difficult for me, physically, to keep playing at the top of the game.And frankly, accusations such as these don't exactly provide me with motivation to even make another attempt to do so."
Perhaps a kernel of truth there?

WTA Tour chief executive Larry Scott said the tour had not received any official information about a positive test and "as a result we are not in a position to comment on the matter. However, it is important to remember that in the area of anti-doping, all players are presumed innocent until proven otherwise," Scott said.
This is bizarre!! WTA hasn't received any confirmation of a failed dope test and our precious school girl quits in a huff and tries to discredit Wimbledon and the redressal process? Her approach to this allegation puzzles me a great deal especially when the WTA hasn't received anything official yet. All I see is her guilt (relatively speaking) plastered all over her loosely pieced together arguments and moral rhetoric.

Now, if you've been following the pattern of her arguments -
Firstly, moral shock and outrage at the allegations. Next, remind everyone of her moral credibility and then speculate about the 'what if' aspect. Get some 'independent' voice to cast aspersions on the other side and create grounds for reasonable doubt in the minds of the readers/fans/general members of the audience. Quit well in advance citing flaws in the system that make it look like she has already been handicapped even without anything taking flight. A quit while you are ahead strategy except make it look like the decision to quit was forced on you because of the faulty system. Its not me, its the system!

This pattern reminds me of oft adopted approaches to allegations by disgraced public figures. Et tu Brutus?

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