Sharapova on May 24 in Chicago at the 'Sugarpova' chocolate launch // Getty Images

Sharapova on May 24 in Chicago at the 'Sugarpova' chocolate launch // Getty Images

Doping

Maria Sharapova, common sense and “intent”

It verges on the comical to read Maria Sharapova’s indignant assertion, after she was tagged by an anti-doping panel Wednesday for two years for meldonium, that the decision is, in her words, “unfairly harsh,” and that she intends to appeal to sport’s top tribunal, the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Have at it. Indeed, it’s way more likely that the relevant authorities are going to want to appeal because, in a passage that surprisingly has drawn little attention in the avalanche of stories about Wednesday’s decision, the ruling threatens to blow a barn door-sized hole in the rules as they not only were meant to be but have to be in order to have any chance at working.

Yulia Stepanova, competing under her maiden name, at the 2011 IAAF world championship 800-meter semifinals // Getty Images

Yulia Stepanova, competing under her maiden name, at the 2011 IAAF world championship 800-meter semifinals // Getty Images

Doping

WADA did not just sit idly by

Fat headlines are fun. A rush to judgment can feel so exhilarating. Yet serious decisions demand facts and measured judgment.

To believe the headlines, to take in the rush, one would believe that the World Anti-Doping Agency sat around for the better part of four years and did nothing amid explosive allegations of state-sponsored doping in Russia sparked in large measure by the whistleblower Vitaliy Stepanov, a former Russian doping control officer, and his wife, Yulia, a world-class middle-distance runner.

Aries Merritt showing off his kidney transplant scar at a pre-Pre news conference

Aries Merritt showing off his kidney transplant scar at a pre-Pre news conference

2024 Bid Cities, Sochi 2014, Tokyo 2020, Track and field

The incredible Aries Merritt, and more

A dozen musings on track and field, on the 2024 Summer Games bid race and more:

1. At a news conference Friday in Eugene, Oregon, before Saturday’s line-up of events at the 42nd annual Prefontaine Classic, the question went out to Aries Merritt, the 2012 London men’s 110-meter hurdles champion who is also the world record-holder, 12.8 seconds, in the event: on a scale of one to 10, where did he fall?