In what has become a bit more of a frequent occurrence in the sport, former number one tennis star Jennifer Capriati was been hospitalized today for overdosing on an unidentified ‘prescribed medication’.
This has become an ongoing problem with a number of tennis stars in recent years headlined by the story of Andrei Agassi admitting in his recent autobiography, “Open”, that he did Crystal Meth during the peak of his career. Another recent incident included former world number seven Richard Gasquet testing positive for cocaine in March 2009. Gasquet was suspended, but later cleared following his explanation that the reason he tested positive was because he kissed a girl who he wasn’t aware had consumed the drug at a party.
Other incidences include Martina Hingis testing positive for cocaine and receiving a two-year suspension in 2007 which sent her into retirement.
Although many agree that professional tennis players today are much more disciplined than those of the past, the issue is one that still exists and needs to be carefully watched.
Capriati’s overdose does not come as too much of a surprise as she does have a history of getting herself into trouble. In 1993, Capriati was arrested for shoplifting in Florida, and the next year was arrested once again for possession of marijuana. That year she also spent more than a week in rehab and it was reported that she used crack cocaine and heroin prior to her arrest.
Despite the problems that Capriati had in her career, she still managed to maintain successful results on the court. As a fourteen year old, Capriati made it to the semi-finals of the French Open where she lost to eventual champion, Monica Seles. She won the Australian Open in 2001 and 2002, the 2001 French Open, and the Gold Medal at the 1992 Olympic Games. She was also ranked number 1 in the world in 2001.
Many people have been voicing their concerns for Capriati’s health including Serena and Venus Williams who both said today that they are praying for her recovery. Kim Clijsters posted on her twitter today, “I haven’t been able to stop thinking about Jen! I hope she makes it through ok and can get some help!”
We would like to wish her a speedy recovery.