Brandi Chastain: Hope Solo’s drug test was distraction team didn’t need

LBS spoke with former gold medal and World Cup winning soccer player Brandi Chastain recently to preview Team USA’s chances at the Summer Games in London. Chastain spoke with me on behalf of the Capital One Cup, which was won by Stanford and Florida in 2012, and for whom she is a spokesperson. We discussed Hope Solo’s positive drug test, compared the World Cup to the Olympics, and talked about Team USA.

Chastain felt Solo’s positive drug test was an unnecessary distraction for the team ahead of the Games.

“It’s news that they don’t need,” Chastain told Larry Brown Sports. “As athletes, we have to be more careful. Whether you’ve been told one time something is OK, it’s always good to double and triple and quadruple check. Something as innocuous as a cold medication to clear up the sniffles could derail not only you as an individual, but perhaps a whole team.

“I was disappointed that it came up because for as careful as I think everybody is, I think we could all go without some medication for a short amount of time and not suffer too greatly,” she said. “The good thing about this news is that it’s at a time when we can still be able to talk about it, discuss it, get over it, and move on. There’s enough time before the start of the Olympics to put it behind them once they’ve taken care of it.”

Chastain says the drug testing process is a nuisance, but necessary.

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Hope Solo speaks openly on sex and debauchery in the Olympic Village

Some stories have managed to get out to the public realm, but, largely, the legendary amount of hooking up that takes place in the Olympic Village each Olympiad has been one of the better-kept secrets of the Games.

However, a tremendous, new ESPN The Magazine story is doing its part to blow the lid wide off on the frat house-like atmosphere of the swanky digs Olympians call home for two-plus weeks. In tremendous and shocking detail, too, thanks to several candid former and current Olympians.

One of the athletes who spoke openly about their wild experiences at the Olympic Village is massively popular U.S. women’s soccer team goalkeeper Hope Solo, who won gold four years ago in Beijing and has already had made her share of headlines this week.

“There’s a lot of sex going on,” Solo said. So much, in fact, that U.S. swimmer Ryan Lochte estimates that “70 percent to 75 percent of Olympians” engage in what Bill Clinton would call “sexual relations.”

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Hope Solo tests positive for banned substance Canrenone, gets off with warning

Hope Solo tested positive for a prohibited substance during a June 15 drug test, but the U.S. Anti-Doping Association (USADA) let her off with just a warning after she claimed a medication was responsible for the positive test.

The 30-year-old goalkeeper tested positive for Canrenone, which is prohibited by USADA, WADA, and FIFA.

USADA explains why she got off:

Canrenone is classified as a Specified Substance, and therefore the presence of Canrenone in an athlete’s sample can result in a reduced sanction. Solo was taking a prescribed medication, in a therapeutic dose under the care of a physician. The medication when metabolized resulted in the adverse analytical finding.

Solo defended herself with the following statement:

“I took a medication prescribed by my personal doctor for pre-menstrual purposes that I did not know contained a diuretic. Once informed of this fact, I immediately cooperated with USADA and shared with them everything they needed to properly conclude that I made an honest mistake, and that the medication did not enhance my performance in any way. As someone who believes in clean sport, I am glad to have worked with USADA to resolve this matter and I look forward to representing my country at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.”

Diuretics are often taken by people looking to flush their system after taking PEDs. Athletes are advised to consult USADA before taking any medication to avoid a positive drug test. USADA is raising suspicion by accepting this explanation, especially with the Olympics beginning in the coming weeks.

Photo credit: John Rieger-US PRESSWIRE

Hope Solo makes incredible save against Canada (Video)

We haven’t heard much from Hope Solo around these parts recently. Not since the afterglow of the U.S. women’s soccer team’s thrilling run to the World Cup finals last summer. But that’s kind of how it is for women soccer players. They become rock stars when major tournaments are taking place, and then, unfortunately, they more or less toil in obscurity the rest of the time (unless they go on “Dancing with the Stars” or pose naked or wearing body paint for magazines).

But the good news for Solo and the rest of the ladies on the USWNT is that the Olympics are coming up, and that’s a major tournament in women’s soccer. On Saturday, they won their final tune-up before heading to the U.K., beating Canada 2-1 in a sweltering Salt Lake City thanks to a late goal by Amy Rodriguez. But the Canadians almost got an extra goal in the closing moments of the first half. One Canadian player took a shot that deflected off a U.S. defender. Solo, moving to her right for the original trajectory of the shot, had to suddenly switch her momentum. She just barely stopped the ball from crossing the goal line and also secured the rebound. It was an impressive save and shows why Solo’s considered the best at what she does.

Video via Outside the Boxscore

Hope Solo open to dating again

Hope Solo is as busy as anybody can get. Between training with the U.S. Women’s National Team for the Olympics this summer, stints on “Dancing with the Stars” and playing for the Seattle Sounders women’s squad, she barely has any time to herself. But despite the active schedule, Solo is working on getting back into “the game.” And by “the game,” I mean the game of love.

“I make time for it all, and I don’t know how I do it because I feel like I never have time for my friends and family, or any of my loved ones, I guess you could put it,” Solo told YourTango.com (via the Seattle P-I). “But yeah, I like to try to remain balanced. And I can’t be all soccer — go, go, go, go — I need a social life, I need a life outside of soccer. So I very much welcome, you know, new love interests and dating and friends and family. You know, it’s all part of life.”

During the World Cup last year, Solo’s popularity reached such enormous heights that complete strangers longed for her hand in marriage. So I guess this is good news for all the delusional admirers who think they have a chance with her.

We wish Solo the best of luck in her quest for a companion. It can’t be easy with a surplus of sleazy dudes lusting after her. It’ll probably only get worse once the Olympics kick into gear and the USWNT is kicking tail. But maybe this is the open door that hopeless romantic C.J. Sapong has been waiting for.

Photo credit: John Rieger-US PRESSWIRE

U.S. Women’s Soccer Team Was in Separate Wing Of Hotel Doing Yoga When Deadly Shooting Occurred in Lobby

When a deadly shooting occurred inside the Sheraton Wall Centre hotel lobby on Tuesday in Vancouver, the U.S. Women’s soccer team was not far away. In fact, they were in the same hotel. According to the Vancouver Sun, a man is his 20s was shot multiple times and killed. No players or staff from the U.S. team witnessed the incident, but the shooting occurred a bit too close for comfort as Hope Solo shared with us on Twitter:

“Saved by our instant Yoga session,” Solo wrote. “Was about to walk to Starbucks when all hell broke loose in the lobby of our hotel! Life is precious…”

Fortunately, the team was in a separate wing of the hotel when the shooting occurred and no players or staff are believed to have been near the lobby. The incident was supposedly a targeted one, but still frightening for the soccer team nonetheless. There have been no arrests and no information is known about any potential suspects.  Thank God for yoga.

H/T to Dirty Tackle for the story

Hopo Solo Glad to Be Back Playing Soccer and Off Dancing With the Stars

Regardless of how she may try to sugarcoat it, Dancing With the Stars was an experience Hope Solo would like to forget.  A few weeks ago, Solo told the world about how the show featured her in a poor light and how the judges criticized her for having too much muscle. Last week, she returned to the place she belongs: the soccer field.

“The moment I walked onto the field, I was like, ‘Oh man, I’m getting dirty again, it’s OK to have muscles, it’s OK to get scratched up, I can wear my sweats,’” Solo said according to the USA Today.

In fact, Solo wants to completely put the DWTS days behind her and her teammates are well aware of that.

“We don’t talk about Dancing with the Stars,’” forward Abby Wambach explained. “She needs to be put in a normal world. This is soccer. This is camp. And we’re not going to treat her any differently than the way we’ve been treating her before Dancing with the Stars. No high heels here.”

Solo said the endorsement world shocked her a bit because everything was so scripted.  She explained that she was not accustomed to the spotlight treatment she received following the World Cup run, but that the Hollywood world would never affect her confidence.

“Much of it is scripted,” she said. “I went in thinking, ‘OK, if I can just work my butt off, I have an opportunity to compete and succeed.’ It’s not quite like that, because it is television. It was my first experience in that, and I was pretty naïve.”

Not all athletes are candid about it in the way Solo has been, but I’m sure plenty of them find themselves shell-shocked when they step off the field and into the Hollywood limelight.  Sports are on television, but they are not strictly television entertainment.  Shows like Dancing With the Stars are.  Solo is well aware of that now, and it sounds like it’s a lesson she’s thrilled to have learned.