If you have been following tennis in the last 4 years or so, Richard Gasquet is likely a name you will have remembered. Most people would agree that there are only a handful of players on tour with his kind of talent.
If a list were to be made of players who have failed to live up to the expectations set for them, Gasquet would most certainly be near the top.
While I never thought Gasquet would fail a drug test, if he did, I would have expected it to be a performance-enhancing drug rather than a positive test for cocaine. So it is with this sad news that we may be looking at a contributor, if not a focal point of Gasquet's spiral down the ranks in the last few years.
For some time now many critics have wondered if the pressure from within his own country to succeed and ultimately live up to expectations has been too much for Gasquet to handle. In between flashes of sublime brilliance, are stretches where he looks little better than a player ranked 100 or worse.
Roger Federer last year said that his year-after-year success had created some kind of monster. So now we must wonder whether this positive test is indicative of an occasional drug habit, or a monster much worse than Federer's. Either way, Gasquet has a three month ban ahead of him.
Sports is literally littered with the shortened careers of players who's life becomes encompassed by drugs. We can only hope that Richard can clean himself up and realize what is most important in his life. It doesn't have to be tennis, but it must be something more important than cocaine.
Regardless though of what happens, Gasquet's story will be a warning to players either dabbling in drugs themselves, or are contemplating it. In the end of the day, it's not worth it to your career, but most importantly it's not worth it to yourself and your health.
Gasquet it seems, has confirmed that both his A, and B samples both tested positive for cocaine. His last hope was for his B sample to be clean, and now it appears the news has turned bleak for him.
He's maintaining his innocence, but I don't know how he can explain it. I was surprised and shocked when Martina Hingis tested positive and she was one of my all-time favorite tennis players. I didn't give her a pass, and I can't give Gasquet one either.