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Chris Chase

Sealed with a kiss: Gasquet cleared from positive cocaine test

Busted Racquet

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Nobody ever admits to failing a drug test. There's always a convoluted reason that the results came back positive, whether it be eating a poppy seed bagel or living downwind of Tommy Chong's house. Most of the time, the excuses of the accused athlete are dismissed and they have to serve whatever suspension is handed down. Not for French tennis player Richard Gasquet.

This spring, Gasquet tested positive for cocaine after withdrawing from a tournament in Miami. He claimed that the result was erroneous and that the trace amount of coke in his system came from making out with a woman named "Pamela" whom he met while watching a French DJ perform at a dance music festival "notoriously associated with use of illegal recreational drugs including cocaine."

Amazingly, it worked. A tribunal panel believed Gasquet's story and cleared him of the charges, saying "he is a man of integrity and good character ... and neither a cheat nor a user of drugs for recreational purposes." That's awfully high praise. Maybe the three-lawyer tribunal had just finished kissing some chick who recently took ecstasy.

I would have thought Gasquet's excuse would have gone over as well as the time I told a cop that I was speeding in the HOV lane because I was driving my pregnant wife to the hospital. Only, I was alone in the car and driving on the road leading away from that building.

We're not here to assign guilt or innocence, but this "making out with a random girl who may have just had some coke" is the "my dog ate my homework" of failed drug test excuses. It's theoretically possible, I suppose. But there are two big problems with the tribunal buying this story.

First, we're supposed to believe that Gasquet remembers the name of the random girl he was making out with at a club in Miami one month after the fact? Gasquet is young, rich, handsome, famous and French. I'm sure the list of girls he "meets" make it daunting to remember the names of the woman he's with at any given moment.

And more importantly, now that the precedence has been set that making out with a girl on banned substances can induce a positive test, won't all athletes will try to start dating Lindsay Lohan so they can blame any failed exam on her?

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