Laure Boulleau is a left back for a Paris Saint-Saint Germain club on its way to becoming one of the world’s elite. She has featured prominently with the French national team, who expects to contend at the upcoming Women’s World Cup. She has a sizable fan following as a player and personality, all of which is great but may pale in comparison to her new role as an unwitting revolutionary. Boulleau may be breaking down barriers, as it appears she is a world-class cheater. Progress!
In November, the French agency for the fight against doping (AFLD) issued a warning that an unnamed player for PSG had been a no-show to three anti-doping controls. According to the World Anti-Doping Code, a player skipping out on three tests in less than 18 months is subject to a possible two-year ban. It appears that player was Boulleau. With the World Cup and Olympics both falling into that window, 28-year-old Boulleau isn’t just cheating, she’s risking everything left in her prime playing years. If you’re going to break the rules to get an advantage, you may as well do it when you have the most to gain. Laure Bolleau is a visionary.
This is some Major League Baseball level shit, here. This is “I not only want to complete but fucking win this year’s Tour de France” commitment. Laure Boulleau is looking beyond the women’s game to the whole soccer landscape and asking, “Can we go so far, we go wrong?” She’s not only pushing the envelope – she’s ripping it up.
Someone, somewhere once said, “If you ain’t cheatin’, you ain’t tryin’.” No one knows who this person is. They were most likely a criminal making excuses for their blurred sense of morality, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t wise. In many contexts, but particularly in sports, attempting to bend or flat-out break the rules is a sign that you’re really invested. You’re willing to go above and beyond – far enough to incorporate elements that were never intended to be there. Maybe the people who wrote the rules were wrong. Oversights happen all the time.
Who’s to say that Boulleau wasn’t simply having alarm clock troubles? There’s a chance that these agencies are jumping to conclusions. Getting an Uber ride in Paris can’t be easy. There are unlimited reasons why she may have decided to skip testing. Maybe she doesn’t like a bunch of strangers all up in her business like that. These anti-doping agents don’t know her!
Don’t worry about what she’s doing, AFLD. Are YOU doping, Mr. Labcoat and Rubber Gloves? Back off, bro. Let Laure live.
Fans usually look to positive milestones as signs of progress for women’s soccer. Formations of new leagues, increased TV ratings and attendance are all signs the rest of the world is figuring out what supporters of the women’s game already know. That’s all fine, but in a wonderfully perverse way, bad behavior can be positive, too. FIFA may not take the game seriously, but the women dedicating their lives to it clearly do.
No one has ever cheated out of indifference. Bravo, Laure Boulleau. Future generations will remember your sacrifice.