Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3492: Maria Sharapova Admits Failed Drug Test - Body Language Tells (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

On Monday, Maria Sharapova gave a press conference where she admitted to her ten-year usage of a newly banded substance. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) had added Meldonium (also known as Mildronate) to its list of banned substances on 16 September 2015 which came into effect on 01 Jan 2016. The Tennis star tested positive in January at the Australian Open.

Meldonium is used by some physicians to treat ischemia (a relative reduction of blood flow) - particularly in cases of angina or heart failure. The drug is manufactured in Latvia and is used in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania as well as Russia, but its use is not approved in the remainder of Europe or in the United States.

Ms. Sharapova is very accustomed to being in the spotlight - yet not in this manner. What follows is a partial nonverbal analysis of the five time grand slam winner's statement.

Throughout much of her appearance, Ms. Sharapova had her hands clasped on the lectern.

Although this body language configuration is very commonly used, the vast majority of the time it's ill-advised.

During 0:25, as she says the word "... doctor ..." (then immediately clarifies "... by my family doctor ...), Ms. Sharapova exhibits and increase in her Blocking Behavior as her left hand slides up her right forearm. This is an example of what in the nonverbal terminology is known as a "MAP" (Manipulator, Adaptor, Pacifier) and is a variety of Self-Touching. In this same second, she also exhibits a hard swallow with a very short-lived (a microexpression) mouth display of regret.

About a minute later Maria displays this same increased blocking behavior once again (this image captured during 1:25 as she says, " ... diabetes ...") with her finger sliding beneath her sleeve.

Once again, although not quite as pronounced, a third display of this MAP at 1:46 as Sharapova says, "... and I really hope that I'll be given another chance to play this game ..."

Here Ms. Sharapova was smiling very subtly (and in other, later portions of this clip it was more pronounced). This was a sincere although largely suppressed smile - and in this context it is a form of duping delight. Her joking regarding the carpet and what many thought may have been a retirement announcement serves as a decoy, e.g., - for it to be okay for the act of smiling out of context. This is a common subconscious and edge-of consciousness reflex behavior - and serves as camouflage during such smiling-out-of-context scenarios.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3492: Peyton Manning Retirement Press Conference

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3489: Margot Robbie wants Prince Harry

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3478: Donald Trump Jr Does Not Like his Father's Statement, "I Love the Poorly Educated"

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3465: Hillary Clinton's Dominant Spider

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3469: Leonardo DiCaprio and Dame Maggie Smith on BAFTA Awards Kiss Cam - The British Academy Film Awards

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3073: Russell Westbrook - Execution Interview

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 1863: Sharapova's Lips of Anger