Since 2007, Hope Solo has been testing the theory that there is no such thing as bad publicity. She is the second most famous athlete this week to run afoul of the USADA over doping allegations. Why the US Dairy Association cares about doping is beyond me, but that's the America we live in now. For those of you who get your news about the US women's national team from ussoccer.com - well, tough crap, I guess. The Fed released a statement about Hope and dope, but lotsa luck finding it on the official website.
As an aside - it must be tough to run an official website about an entity frequently in the news. But there are ways to handle the outside world besides just drawing the blinds, Fed. Frexample, if you were looking for news about Megan Rapinoe's orientation announcement, ussoccer.com is the last place in the world you would look. Don't believe me?
What? No, that's not what I meant!
We live in cynical times, where even people are clearly innocent as Roger Clemens and Ryan Braun are maliciously reviled in the kangaroo court of public opinion. (For those of you who don't follow Major League Rounders - that's a joke. Those guys had more juice than Sunkist, more needles than RCA, more 'roids than Al Bundy.) "Yes, but technicality" should keep people out of prison, because that's a cornerstone of civilization. That doesn't and shouldn't invalidate people from drawing conclusions. People shouldn't jump to conclusions, but they also shouldn't used "convicted criminal" as the only rationale for criticism.
In this case, though, Solo's explanation is so plausible that you have to wonder why the result was even publicized in the first place. This wasn't even then-Red Bulls Jon Conway and Jeff Parke taking something over-the-counter and getting a goofy result - this was for something genuinely medical. So why did we hear about this? Solo isn't running for office. We don't need to know her medical history.
It isn't like the USADA is in the habit of cutting people slack based on celebrity. Why, I remember this one time when they went after the most famous bicyclist who ever lived. Come to think of it, the USADA was in court with Lance Armstrong the same freaking day that Solo's test was announced.
Another amusing aside - the case against Armstrong relies heavily on his former teammates breaking a code of silence. Using perhaps unwarranted inference, we can assume that if Solo had been engaging in an ongoing conspiracy to smuggle unicorn testicles, her teammates probably wouldn't have covered for her. She strained her triceps pretty badly when she threw Briana Scurry under the bus back in 2007, an that injury was aggravated when Abby Wambach and Kristine Lilly threw her under the very same vehicle.
For some reason, Solo now has to put up with silliness like this. I have no idea whether sheknows.com is reputable at all, but it comes up on the Google search of "Hope Solo drug test," along with legitimate media reporting the story in two terse paragraphs and Bleacher Report idiocy. But why is "Hope Solo drug test" showing up on Google in the first place?
If Solo never tests positive for anything ever again, this warning doesn't matter. And if a vial of her pee comes back with more red flags than a Urawa Diamonds match - then this warning doesn't matter.
Maybe I'm just being grouchy - I should be fine for the rest of the week. As long as an annoying team doesn't join the second division, or unless someone suggests that Bob Bradley should be the next Timbers coach.