Hope Solo Drug Test: Poorly Handled Situation Will Hurt Star's Image

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJuly 11, 2012

PORTLAND, OR - SEPTEMBER 22:  Goal Keeper Hope Solo #1 of the United States warms up against Canada on September 22, 2011 at Jeld-Wen Field in Portland, Oregon.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Being linked to a failed drug test can ruin an athlete's career—just ask Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds and...Hope Solo?

The goalkeeper and star player of the United States women's soccer team was issued a public warning by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, according to ESPN. The agency says Solo tested positive for a drug called Canrenone.

This is not a situation of an athlete taking performance-enhancing drugs to be better than the competition. Solo responded in a statement to the USADA: "I took a medication prescribed by my personal doctor for pre-menstrual purposes that I did not know contained a diuretic."

Athletes often use this type of excuse when in similar situations. The words "I did not know" are often littered somewhere in an apology, even though they should know better. The difference here is that the athlete is not really under attack from anyone in a position of power.

The drug test only comes up as a warning, and Solo will be able to compete in the Summer Olympics taking place later in the month. The USADA simply gave the drug test to make sure none of the competitors fail one that counts.

In this case, why did the warning need to be made public?

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

Officials could have easily held a private meeting with the soccer player and reached a resolution. Instead, the publicity can only hurt the star's image as she attempts to be a key player on one of the best Olympic teams America has to offer.

They say that no press is bad press, but Hope Solo and the U.S. women's soccer team have taken a hit.

Media outlets telling the world simply that she failed a drug test is misleading and gives fans the wrong impression. People have taken to Twitter to question the talented athlete, causing Solo to go on the defensive to explain herself.

For those asking, I didn't "fail a drug test" but rather had a diuretic in my system I shouldn't have had from a medication prescribed to me

— Hope Solo (@hopesolo) July 10, 2012

There is no denying that this whole situation could have been avoided if she had been more careful. Athletes under scrutiny should know exactly what they put in their body at all times and which substances are banned by their sport.

However, Solo will not miss any time in the Olympics and should be supported by all fans as she tries to win a gold medal.