The assembled press came to see one loser as Maria Sharapova admitted taking the recently banned substance Meldonium. But there was another one on show: an innocent carpet, left bruised and with its shag swept against the natural lay.
As she offered up her alibi and vowed to fight for her career, the tennis star took an unnecessary swipe at the decor, saying if she were to announce her retirement it would not be 'on a shabby carpet like this.'
The carpet is understandably reeling from the invective and if it had got wind of being roped into the tennis star's speech, it would not have turned up to the event. It is thought to be a freelance carpet, and could have been working at any one of several other jobs offered that day.
Critics have noted that a combination of nerves and her fashonista status led Ms Sharapova to make the comments, but also that it was no excuse for such an underhand remark. As the Russian's PR team swept into action to quell the negative publicity, questions were being asked of the carpet's background.
'How did a carpet of medium quality from the lowest origins - a local business in rural Suffolk - make its way firstly to a pretty decent hotel, then under the feet of one of sport's most recognizable beauties?' said an anonymous source.
Rumors of performance enhancing drug use soon surfaced. A Carpet Union spokeswoman countered by putting on a staunch underlay.
'Of course our client will submit to testing but any positive result can be attributed to Ms Sharapova's presence on the carpet. You couldn't see it in her T.V. address but behind the podium she stripped her shoes and nestled her toes in the fibers of the carpet - it was certainly good enough for her then. Any chemicals in our client's system are from that woman's crack-riddled sweaty feet.'
It looks like this one is heading for a tie breaker, but whatever Ms Sharapova thinks of the carpet, it may be about to be pulled from under her feet.