Today, September 30, Martina Hingis is celebrating the final day of her two-year drug suspension, as well as her 29th birthday.
The former world No.1 discusses the ban for Sports Illustrated, how she dealt with the accusation, and once again claims she has never taken cocaine.
SI.com: From an emotional standpoint, how do feel you’ve handled the past two years?
Hingis: OK. There were hard times and it was frustrating knowing I did nothing wrong but couldn’t really fight this. It was my reputation and I knew the truth. But the process didn’t really let me fight.
SI.com: Given your outspoken personality, I think it surprised a lot of people that maybe you weren’t as forceful, deciding, for instance, not to appeal. Do you regret that?
Hingis: Like you say, I always spoke [honestly] even if I wasn’t always politically correct. I spoke the truth even when the truth may have hurt me. But the system was set up in such a way that there was nothing I could do.
SI.com: Bottom line: have you ever …
Hingis: No. Taken cocaine? Never. No [recreational] drugs. I don’t know even the effects. I’ve maybe been in a position where I could have. But never, no. If I had ever taken cocaine, I would have said so.
SI.com: Before this happened, did you ever worry about a situation like this?
Hingis: No, because I probably had between 80-100 tests and no problems. The only thing I would ever take was aspirin and I was very particular about these things. Even if I had a flu I’d call my doctor and say, “What can I take?” I was always very cautious. I never took anything that was not approved first.