Hot topic: Wild-cards for a dopping offender?

Sesil Karatantcheva, 18 yo player from Bulgaria, was banned for two years on January 2006 after being tested positive for nandrolone on Roland Garros 2005. Karatantcheva, who was just 15 yo when she reached Grand Slam quarter-final and WTA #35 rank, unsuccessfully claimed the nandrolone was self-produced due to pregnancy and later abortion. Now, on January 2008, she has paid her offence and ready for a comeback, but she may face antoher problem. She has no ranking points so she is not able to enter tournaments directly and must rely on invitations (wild-cards) from the tournaments. But many organizations do not want to give a wild-card to a dopping offender.

In fact she was already denied a wild-card for qualies in $25000 ITF tournament in Tampa (Florida). USTA (United States Tennis Association) stated that they'd rather give the wild-card to an american young player, but finally gave it to Stephanie Herz from Netherlands. And for $25000 ITF tournament in Surprise (Arizona), she has been forced to play a pre-qualy event to get a qualification wild-card.

On the one hand some people state that no benefit should be awarded to a player who has committed a doping offense and that she should start from the lowest, playing qualies of $10000 tournaments in case draw is not completed with ranked players. The most strict people even suggest that dopping bans should be for life.

On the other hand some people think that she has already paid for what she did, so she should be considered as any other player. And any player with her potential and past results wouldn't be denied a wild-card. And she hasn't asked for a WTA tournament, but just a $25000 qualification. Moreover she was just 15 when dopped, so she wasn't totally responsible and that mistake shouldn't condition her whole career.

So what's your opinion? Leave a comment if you feel.

UPDATE: Karatantcheva got the qualy WC in Surprise as she won the pre-qualy tournament. And not only she passed the qualy in without dropping a set, but she also won the whole tournament. I hope next time she will get a well deserved WC.


Juan said...

I think that everyone deserves a second chance and about tennis I'm willing to watch her playing again.

fattysausage said...

She was once ranked 35...I think she deserves a W/C for a 25k event. After all, she was only 15!