Wednesday, July 13, 2011

In Case Anyone Wonders Why Players Cheat...

I think this sums it up:
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- The U.S. Tennis Association says the singles champions at this year's U.S. Open will each receive a record $1.8 million.
Total prize money is rising by more than $1 million to $23.7 million, the most ever for the Grand Slam tournament.
It also shows just how absurd it is that a clean player would be calling for LESS stringent and LESS invasive testing, which is why any player who regularly complains about drug testing should be considered suspect. With that kind of money on the line, I think I would cheat if I thought I could get away with it and it was the only way to successfully compete.

124 comments:

  1. I wonder what kind of turnover the tennis gambling industry worldwide has? They must be involved in some dirty goings-on as well.

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  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_Australian_Open#Prize_money
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_French_Open#Prize_money
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_Wimbledon#Gentlemen.27s_and_Ladies.27_Singles

    To Translate, winners get (in euros) 1,663,140, 1,200,000, 1,248,676, 1,264,253. (Currently high Australian dollar pushes their prize money equivalent well up)

    But this is for WINNERS, one person gets this. And prize money generally halves with each round loss. First or second round losers get around 20 - 40,000 euros. You pay for all your coaches, flights, hotel rooms, trainers, family etc to fly all over the world, at least some of the time, if you want to make a living you'd better be in the top 100 and if you want to set yourself up for a decent life you'd better be in the top 20 for a while! Who on earth wouldn't want a little "extra help" when you have been training for this your whole life and you have 10-12 decent years, at best, in this job. You'd better make some money while you can as the difference is enormous between making later rounds consistently and losing in early rounds.

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  3. I could still see clean players moaning about testing, tbh. The actual constant scheduling is very invasive, and would be extremely irritating actually being woken at ugly hours.

    What's really daft about the current system is it combines really pissing off the players, but is also comically ineffective.

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  4. Arf,
    If there were 1.8 million dollars on the line, I had a realistic chance to win it and I was clean and felt like my best competitors were juiced, I think the last thing I would be doing would be to complain about invasive drug tests. I would be running around like the anti-doping poster boy asking for even more stringent testing. Wouldn't you? And when players only get one out-of-competition test a year and appear to be tipped off when they are about to be tested, you can't entirely blame it on the testing. We don't know whether testing is ineffective, because it isn't being done.

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  5. I could see clean players complaining privately (in tennis the OOC tests are a VERY minor inconvenience).

    I cannot however see a clean player making a big stink publicly. Complaining about testing raises suspicions about the person complaining. There is nothing in it for a clean player to complain publicly(raises suspicions on themselves, and gives cover to the juicers).

    I VERY strongly suspect that almost ALL of the loudest public complainers of OOC testing are juicing.

    I see ARF/PhilosophicalARF(Id at Menstennisforums) is still "running interference" for Nadal (who is the loudest complainer, and biggest supporter of those who get caught).

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  6. I wonder if the players themselves know who is and who isn't juicing? I suspect they all keep very much to themselves. Clean players are afraid to point the finger in case they are proven wrong or perhaps they fear retribution? We need one or more players to stand up and make the accusation that blows the lid off.

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  7. michlob, no sane player would ever blow the whistle, even in retirement. Who wants to be known as a rat? And it would seriously damage tennis, especially when so many of the top players are doing it. I would love for it to happen but it won't. I'm sure players who are clean secretly hope and pray that these guys get caught but they would never rat out their fellow players.

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  8. TOP 100

    http://www.atpworldtour.com/Rankings/Singles.aspx

    Reader Poll: How many of these guys are "clean"?

    10%?, 20%, 90%, all of them? I know we all enjoy speculating here but to be honest I'm scared to even guess.

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  9. I could still see clean players moaning about testing, tbh. The actual constant scheduling is very invasive, and would be extremely irritating actually being woken at ugly hours.
    -------------------------
    Not really cause a clean player would still work very hard and knows that it's easy to cut corners and woudl not want to make things easy for teh many cheaters out there.

    This is in my view why Federer never complained about it. He might now thinking that the scheme tough and obviously doesn't work anyway.

    But the real temptation for cheating is not these $1.8M, though that's very tempting, it's the fact that in tennis you double your earnings after every win. This is teh best stimulant for doping. The difference between a first round loser and a 4rth round winner is huge and as ever it's down to a point or 2 there and there.

    This is why in my view tennis is one of the most affected sports when it comes to doping. Those guys are playing their lives, careers and they know that if you are a big name, like Agassi, you are safer than if you are not. So one might want to dope big if given the opportunity.

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  10. If Federer were to blow the whistle now then he would have left a truly valuable legacy and possibly also GOAT status. Someone will blow the whistle sooner or later. Better now.

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  11. PED cheating will die overnight if the discussion were brought out in the open and good people spoke out.

    ‘The only thing necessary for the triumph [of evil] is for good men to do nothing.’ - English philosopher, Edmund Burke.

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  12. OT: 38 yr. old German triathlete Normann Stadler had a life-threatening heart condition and needed surgery. The report here (in German) http://goo.gl/3ol7U quotes his surgeon who then smartly gives some "regular" examples for causing this condition such as valvular inflammation but does not state the cause for Stadler.

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  13. "I see ARF/PhilosophicalARF(Id at Menstennisforums) is still "running interference" for Nadal (who is the loudest complainer, and biggest supporter of those who get caught)."


    Use your brains for once. Why would I use the same ID? The same one I've used for years on tennis forums? The same one I'm a mod with at numerous gambling forums?

    Here's a thought: I know more about the subject in question (statistical analysis in tennis) than you. I post because it's of interest to me.

    On second thoughts, nah. It's all just a giant conspiracy.

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  14. Rather than blowing the whistle, why wouldn't clean players at the very least encourage more stringent testing? Then they would undoubtedly prove that they themselves were clean while at the same time making things tougher for the dopers. In other words, why wouldn't someone like Murray, rather than complaining about the OOC testing, say "hey c'mon test me even more. I have nothing to hide". That's why I'm skeptical about Murray after he complained about the early morning test. If the clean players were willing to undergo more tests it would put pressure on the dopers. But I guess since no one's really pointing any fingers or talking openly about the doping problem in tennis there's really no incentive to do this is there? It's not like Federer needs to prove he's not doping when the general public thinks everyone is clean.

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  16. Good men doing nothing? What about the ITF, whose job it is to keep the sport clean and knows very well who has tested positive and been protected?
    Federer is the very last guy who can afford to blow the whistle, even if he thought bringing down the sport that had given him everything (as he has put it) would be a good idea. The idiot media would crucify him (bad loser, bitter has-been, pathetic excuse-seeker, holier-than-thou, you can just see the headlines in the UK press) and so would the players, the authorities, the sponsors and all the other hangers-on who depend on tennis for their very comfortable livelihoods. And as Lopi says, who would want to rat out their fellow players? Added to which, unless Fed has an empty IGF-1 syringe complete with DNA or a Nadal muscle biopsy report, which I somehow doubt, he has no actual proof of what is going on.

    I don't doubt Fed, like many other players, knows a lot about what is going on, but that does not mean he can ever come out and say it even after he retires. I sincerely wish that someone a bit less prominent could - and maybe one day they will (someone inside the ITF or with access to the buried evidence?). I hope so, because tennis doping has so far robbed Fed of a dozen more slams - without superjuicer (i.e. if Nadal had been forced to play clean) his records would be out in the stratosphere and unreachable by anyone, juiced or not. What he has achieved despite superjuicer and now neojuicer and the rest is astounding and I hope he gets the full recognition for it one day.

    One good thing Fed has done is suggested that blood and urine samples be kept for 8 years (better still, more), as Olympic samples apparently are, in the hope that one day they can be subjected to better tests developed in the future. Might Nadal suggest such a thing? Sure, and pigs might fly too.
    But on that subject, what do people here know about IGF-1? Is it true, as this extremely interesting article says
    http://blogcritics.org/scitech/article/the-healthy-skeptic-igf-1-is/
    that it can be detected only by muscle biopsy? If so, no wonder urine testing is a joke.

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  17. Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams won the Best Male Tennis Player and Best Female Tennis Player awards, respectively, at the 2011 ESPYs.

    They should rename them the PEDDY Awards. What a joke.

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  18. @amaranth

    That article you refer to about IGF-1 is scary. It may be that sporting authorities have already given up hope. Here's a quote that sums it up:

    "As the world has finally caught on to the fact that world-class athletes from all sports have been using steroids and other performance enhancing drugs (PEDs), the athletes themselves have moved on to the next generation of substances.
    And they won’t be caught anytime soon."

    "Steroids represent the Stone Age with regards to these drugs and Bill Romanowski, Jason Giambi, Jose Canseco, Gary Sheffield and Barry Bonds and his trainer Greg Anderson are primitive cavemen. The drugs these guys used – even Human Growth Hormone – and the archaic and ham-fisted manner in which these guys used steroids are embarrassing."

    "...IGF-1 provides almost permanent muscle-creating, muscle-repairing, and anti-aging benefits and is totally undetectable."

    Read more: http://blogcritics.org/scitech/article/the-healthy-skeptic-igf-1-is/#ixzz1S8eS8x1O

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  19. For the sake of balance, here's another view on IGF-1:

    "It has been reported that some athletes use IGF-1 in an attempt to increase muscle bulk, reduce muscle cell breakdown and reduce body fat in the belief it will have the same effects as insulin in insulin-dependent diabetics."

    "There is no evidence to support the belief that IGF-1 produces performance or image enhancing effects. High doses carry the risk of significant adverse effects.

    Due to its insulin-like properties, IGF-1 can have serious and potentially fatal health effects including:
    - Diabetic (hypoglycaemic) coma
    - Heart palpitations (tachycardia)
    - Facial nerve pain or paralysis (Bells Palsy)
    - Swelling of the hands"

    SOURCE: http://www.med.unsw.edu.au/NDARCWeb.nsf/resources/NDARCFact_Drugs2/$file/IGF-1+NDARC+FACT+SHEET.pdf

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  20. DEER ANTLER SPRAY?

    "New Orleans Saints fullback Heath Evans is the latest professional athlete to admit using a product called The Ultimate Spray that is touted by its maker as containing the banned substance IGF-1."

    http://www.thepostgame.com/features/201106/thepostgame-exclusive-nfl-fullback-heath-evans-says-he-uses-controversial-swats-spra

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  21. Thanks for those links, michlob. Most interesting. If the (serious) potential side effects of IGF-1 prevent some players from using it, so much the better. But how many would still take the risk?
    I admit I find the article about the SWATS spray confusing. If it's known to contain IGF-1 and touted for that very reason, how come sportspeople get away with using it openly? Maybe the lack of a valid test for IGF-1 means that no ban can be enforced (yet), so the authorities turn a blind eye once again? Maybe they have reasons for not wanting a valid test??

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