Maria Sharapova’s reception a reminder of indifference to doping | Sean Ingle

15 January 2018 10:00
Melbourne crowds are likely to offer warm support to her this week and research suggests fans continue to back stars and sports laid low by doping scandalsHere is a prediction. Every time Maria Sharapova steps on to court at the Australian Open this year she will be greeted with shrieks of: “Come on Maria!” and elongated waves of goodwill. There will be smiles. And, before even the Russian’s first practice stroke, the unease generated when she received the honour of parading the women’s trophy at the draw last week will be ancient history – much like her positive test for meldonium at Melbourne Park two years ago, and her 15-month suspension.The thing is, we – the public – talk a good game when it comes to doping. Survey after survey reminds us that high numbers of us think it is bad and those who perpetrate it should be punished. We also know it perverts the spirit of sport – or whatever is left of it – ruins honest people’s careers and can potentially damage an athlete’s health. Yet while we talk the talk the research suggests we do not necessarily walk the walk. Related: IOC accused of 'backroom deals' with Russia over doping scandal Related: Strong case to ban all Russians from Winter Olympics, says chair of UK Sport Continue reading. . read full article

Source: TheGuardian