Former Wahine star Willoughby suspended for steroids

Kim Willoughby
Kim Willoughby
Richard Matsushita
Richard Matsushita
Rudi Laarhoven
Rudi Laarhoven

By Zahid Arab - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Just months after former Rainbow Wahine standout and Olympian Kim Willoughby was convicted of second degree assault, the volleyball star digs herself in deeper trouble. The outside hitter is banned from volleyball for two years after testing positive for steroids.

"She was an exciting player," said Wahine fan Caroline Brown.

"She was an incredible player," said Wahine Fan Rudi Laarhoven.

For dedicated Rainbow Wahine fans, Kim Willoughby has always been a winner.

"We still idolize her," said Brown.

The 2003 National Player of the Year and 3-time All-American plays offense on the volleyball court. This past summer, it was defense, in the court of law for breaking another woman's nose and eye socket in a fight. Now, she tests positive for a performance enhancing drug after a match in April with her italian team. A committee has banned her for two years from the sport. Loyal fans feel differently.

"It was her choice, now she suffers the consequences," said Wahine Fan Richard Matsushita.

"We're just sad for her, I don't believe she did it," said Wahine Fan Joy Miller.

Others say, there's no way to block this bad publicity for the Beijing silver medalist.

"It's obviously not right, you just cant have the respect for her anymore. It can't be ignored, it's too big of a thing," said Laarhoven.

The former Rainbow Wahine serves her sentence, but whether Willoughby's blunder will kill her career remains to be seen. She currently plays for the italian team Perugia. Her suspension runs through July 10th, 2011.