Mistakes outweigh greatness

Athletes will be remembered for their faults.

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Mistakes outweigh greatness

Alyssa Alvarez, Sports Editor

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There is a difference between making an honest mistake because of ignorance and making a mistake because you never thought you would get caught.

Maria Sharapova, the highest-paid female athlete in the world, says she has made a “mistake.” Sharapova admitted in a press conference last week to failing a drug test at the Australian Open.

The five-time Grand Slam champion confessed to taking the recently banned drug meldonium, which she claims she did not know was prohibited. The substance was allegedly prescribed by her family doctor to help with medical issues she was dealing with in 2006. 

For many athletes who take performance enhancers, the thought of getting caught, banned or suspended never crosses their minds. They feel invincible because they are succeeding in their sport and in the prime of their careers.

This doesn’t apply to Sharapova’s case. She had been taking meldonium for 10 years, before the ban existed.

There should be different consequences depending on the evidence and the person’s background and experience in the sport. Critics and tennis fans should keep in mind Sharapova has never been subject to such allegations and has had a respectable reputation in the tennis community throughout her whole career.

Athletes should not have their reputations and triumphs within their sport ripped away from them if they supposedly did not know what they were doing at the time.

More times than not, people are quick to judge when they hear words or phrases such as “steroids” and “performance enhancing drugs.” Although it is always the athlete’s wrongdoing, it may not be caused by the want to get ahead and cheat.

Sports fans should look at this incident with Sharapova and build off of it and realize that not everyone is the next Alex Rodriguez or Barry Bonds.

Sharapova’s fans and critics need to listen to her and investigate her side of the story instead of jumping to conclusions and basing their opinions off of history or their ignorance.

A historic and legendary career like hers should not be tarnished because of what is a lack of knowledge. This mistake should never outweigh her victories on the court and accomplishments off of it.

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