Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Big Fish

Monday, March 23, 2015

Jon & Me (Updated)

The End....?

Saturday, March 21, 2015

"A Very Sensitive Subject"

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Odesnik's Statement

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Wayne Odesnik: Suspended from participation for a period of 15 years

18 Mar 2015

Decision in the case of Wayne Odesnik

18 March 2015 – London, ENGLAND - The Tennis Anti-Doping Programme (the “Programme”) and the United States Anti-Doping Agency (“USADA”) jointly announced today that Wayne Odesnik has committed a second Anti-Doping Rule Violation. 
Mr Odesnik, a 29-year-old player from the USA, provided an out-of-competition urine sample to USADA on 14 December 2014, and further samples to the ITF (on behalf of the Programme) on 17 December 2014 and 12 January 2015. Those samples were sent to WADA-accredited laboratories in Salt Lake City, USA and Montreal, Canada for analysis, and were found to contain one or more of: metabolites of methenolone; metabolites of androst-(2,3)-en-17-one; and GHRP-6. All are Prohibited Substances under the 2014 and 2015 WADA List of Prohibited Substances: methenolone under section S1 (Anabolic agents); androst-(2,3)-en-17-one under section S4 (Hormone and metabolic  modulators); and GHRP-6 under Section 2  (Peptide hormones, growth factors, related substances and mimetics). They are therefore also prohibited under the 2014 and 2015 versions of the Programme. Accordingly, Mr Odesnik was charged with an Anti-Doping Rule Violation under Article 2.1 of the Programme. 
Mr Odesnik’s commission of an Anti-Doping Rule Violation under Article 2.1 of the Programme was confirmed, which was his second such violation, having been sanctioned in 2010 for the possession of human growth hormone. It was, therefore, determined that he is suspended from participation for a period of 15 years, back-dated to commence from 30 January 2015, and so ending at midnight on 29 January 2030. It was also determined that Mr Odesnik’s results at the Happy Valley Challenger event, Australian Open and Maui Challenger event should be disqualified, with forfeiture of the ranking points and prize money that he won at those events. 
This case featured extensive cooperation between the ITF (on behalf of the Programme) and USADA, including information sharing, use of the expertise of each organisation and a consolidated approach to the results management process. These contributions are hereby recognised and held up as an example of the benefits of cooperation between Anti-Doping Organisations. 
The Tennis Anti-Doping Programme is a comprehensive and internationally recognised drug-testing programme that applies to all players competing at Grand Slam tournaments and events sanctioned by the ITF, ATP and WTA. Players are tested for substances prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency and, upon a finding that an Anti-Doping Rule Violation has been committed, sanctions are imposed in accordance with the requirements of the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme and World Anti-Doping Code. More background information on the Programme, sanctions, tennis statistics and related information can be found at
USADA is a signatory to the World Anti-Doping Code and fully complies with the World Anti-Doping Code’s International Standards. USADA runs the anti-doping program including education, sample collection, results management, and drug reference resources for athletes in US Olympic, Paralympic, Pan American, and Parapan American Sport, including all Olympic sport national governing bodies, their athletes, and events throughout the year. Additionally, USADA’s commitment to clean competition and the integrity of competition also includes programs aimed at scientific research and education & outreach initiatives focused on awareness and prevention.


Sunday, March 8, 2015


How many sports could this phrase be applied to?
“For a long time, the main focus of U.C.I. leadership was on the growth of the sport worldwide, and its priority was to protect the sport’s reputation; doping was perceived as a threat to this...the emphasis of U.C.I.’s antidoping policy was, therefore, to give the impression that U.C.I. was tough on doping rather than actually being good at antidoping.”

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Murray, Walsh, and Armstrong

The recent edition of The Sunday Times (subscription required) features a piece by renowned anti-doping cycling journalist David Walsh interviewing Andy Murray. During the interview, Murray asked Walsh a series of questions about Lance Armstrong:
"We're about to leave when he brings up Lance Armstrong. What can you tell me, he asks. I want to play the small-time mafia guy in the interrogation room: I know nothing. But Murray is not taking no as an answer. He has seen the documentaries, he has read the books and he needs more. The gym where he does his peak oxygen uptake testing used to have an Armstrong poster on the wall and before the Texan was banned, he said to the lady in charge he thought she should take it down.

"The poster has gone now, as have the two Livestrong bikes at another gym he uses in the US. Murray wants to know about the $10m (PS6.5m) Armstrong has been ordered to pay SCA Promotions and how many cyclists died from EPO abuse and what happened to the blood bags in the Eufemiano Fuentes case and why they weren't analysed."
One hopes that this is the just the beginning of Walsh getting involved with tennis.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

USADA Final 2014 Statistics

USADA individual athlete testing history as of Q4 (December 31), 2014 is posted. The full year testing of tennis players....

12 Athletes Selected
76 Total Tests

Athlete Name
Test Count

Michael C Bryan

Robert C Bryan

Jamie Hampton

John Isner

Madison Keys

Bethanie Mattek-Sands

Christina M McHale

Wayne Odesnik

Sam Querrey

Sloane Stephens

Serena J Williams

Venus E Williams

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Sergio Giorgi

 Camila Giorgi's father has some things to say:
"Doping in tennis exists. Some athletes have doctors who are able to cover them up, but it's easy to understand that it is there just looking at some WTA players' muscles or seeing the athletic capacity of some other players on the ATP tour. You see those things and you do understand that there is something going on. Controls are worthless. I also believe that athletes should be left the chance to dope if they want..."

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

ITF 2014 anti-doping statistics are up

The statistics are up. Overall the numbers are up across the Board compared to 2013.

The one curious exception is in-competition blood testing, which decreased significantly year-over-year (364 samples collected in 2013).

In-Competition testing - (Urine)

Total specimensMale specimensFemale specimens
1883 1038 845

In-Competition testing - (Blood)

Total specimensMale specimensFemale specimens
207 106 101

Out-of-Competition testing - (Urine)

Total specimensMale specimensFemale specimens
300 169 131

Out-of-Competition testing - (Blood)

Total specimensMale specimensFemale specimens
1139 612 527

Total testing (in and out of competition, for urine and blood)

Total specimensMale specimensFemale specimens
3529 1925 1604

Source: ITF

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Good reads

A couple of good pieces by Roger Pielke Jr.:

1. Gather data to reveal true extent of doping in sport

"In my opinion, anti-doping agencies suffer from a sort of institutionalized blindness that has been characterized by Steve Rayner, who studies science and civilization at the University of Oxford, UK, as the “social construction of ignorance”. This is a strategy that organizations use necessarily to make their way in a complicated world. Organizations also create zones of ignorance to ‘manage uncomfortable knowledge’, and this can sometimes lead to dysfunction.

"In the case of doping in sport, uncomfortable knowledge includes the possibility that doping among athletes is much more prevalent than is recognized and that anti-doping programmes are not very effective." 

2. Anti-doping agencies are failing in assessing the scale of the drugs problem

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Offered Without Comment

January 15, 2015
Viktor Troicki

Q.  You were sort of punished for something you didn't deliberately try to do.  Did you ever think, You know what, I'm just going to walk away because I was treated unjustly?

Saturday, January 10, 2015

2015: Storylines to Ignore

It's been mostly quiet on the anti-doping front in tennis. In fact, the ITF's 2014 anti-doping programme, so far, hasn't triggered any violations or adverse results (publicly, that is), although there was a high profile junior violation caught by Australian testing.

That said, here are the stories that the mainstream tennis media will continue to either ignore and/or downplay and/or fail to do any in-depth investigation:

1. The ITF's investigation of Dr. Luis Garcia del Moral (ex-doctor for Lance Armstrong) and his more than decade long involvement with tennis players. Read here and here.

2. The ITF's investigation into Biogenesis.

3. Operation Puerto and Dr. Fuentes.

4. The allegations of former Spanish tennis federation president Pedro Munoz.

5. Abnormal blood values of top player players.

6. Wayne Odesnik.

7. Panic Room (no sample was collected).

There are other issues, of course. For example, whether the ITF has ever retested a stored sample, and how long they store samples. Or, how many players have faked injuries or concocted other stories to cover-up a provisional suspension.

Happy New Year!