Tuesday, February 28, 2012

EPO Testing Revisited: 2006-09 (Part Seven)

Before anyone gets fixated on the names on the list below, a few points. First, the list shows all the players with 4 or more EPO tests from the ITF between 2006 and 2009. Second, I chose 4 or more tests to capture players who averaged at least 1 test a year over the 4 years; there aren't many. Third, notice the low the averages; the players at the top of the list only averaged 1.5 tests per year. Last, a few of these players had a majority of their EPO tests conducted in a single year (e.g., Groenefeld had 4 in 2006).

Stringent testing? The players averaging 1 or more EPO tests a year between 2006-09.

8 comments:

  1. Your stamina for this topic is unusually unrelenting - if I didn't know you better, I would accuse you of taking EPO...

    These governing bodies surely make a lot of money, but yet they seem to put so little of it into actually testing players stringently for drugs use. EPO is a prime candidate drug for tennis players, I should imagine.

    I know it's been mentioned before but it's time to say it again: given that testing for EPO can be conducted using urine samples, why are so few EPO tests issued? Have I been stupid and missed some vital information (I do kind of scan this website rather than look into it in a detailed manner)? Surely, it would be so simple to conduct EPO tests on a very regular basis and that it should be a standard substance that is checked for every urine sample that is obtained, wouldn't it?

    The effort is shambolic - and to think there are players who claim that the current testing system is 'unfair'. Players are tested so infrequently, get blood tested even more infrequently and get tested specifically for EPO even more infrequently. The notion that it would be 'impossible' for a top player in pro sports to cheat is absolutely fallacious.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The argument would be that a EPO urine test is one of the most expensive PED tests. The EPO blood screen is about $60 per while the EPO urine test is about $400 per test. Evidence points to the ITF doing as little testing as permissible at least cost.

      Delete
    2. Indeed, though it's an extremely weak argument because there is a heck of a lot of money in tennis. Henman Bill sir, you have put it brilliantly!

      You are successfully exposing the drugs testing 'regime' for what it is; an absolute sham.

      Delete
  2. $400 per test? So a mere $40,000 to test the top 10 players 10 times a year each. It's a tiny fraction of their prize money and TV rights. Can't believe that's a huge issue.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree. However, it looks like the ITF is nickle and diming on testing. Why? Only they can answer that question.

      Delete
    2. Independent of the specific costs of the tests there are the people that do the testing that must be on salary, their travel, their accommodation, etc.

      Delete
  3. By the way, you saw yesterday's Nadal interview? Not a huge amount of new stuff in it to be honest but might be worth posting.

    This was a relaxed 40-minute TV studio interview with a Spanish channel
    http://www.rtve.es/deportes/20120227/rafa-nadal/501857.shtml
    From about 19 minutes. She is talking about first Rafa's reception at the French Open and he says positive things about that. He says that simply the French would like a change and someone different, perhaps one of their own, winning in France.
    She then shifts tack slightly, saying (19:40) something like "we are now viewing an image of cycling, and I ask you about doping". Doping exists in sport, she adds, and perhaps says something like "it would be absurd to deny it" and she asks, "do we have a problem in Spain?" He says (~19.50) "I don't know. I can't tell you because to tell you the truth I don't know because I am not very informed about those topics. I can talk about what I know..I think no.. I think we don't have a problem in Spain. I think doping exists in Spain, France, in any/all place in the world, in any/every country doping exists..there are always people ready to cheat..that's the reality..(one) thing I am sure about is that there is no elite sportsman that is competing that is doped.. that is not possible today ". She then (~20.30) says "Why?" He replies "Because we have a brutal antidoping control regime. I have to say 365 days of the year where I will be. I have to reserve one hour of these 365 days of the year for the antidoping control people..one hour." He goes on to give an example that if he wants to stay over at a friend's house in a different city he has a problem because he has his antidoping hour at 7-8am the next day He says he would have had to advise the doping control people that he changed place. He says at what moment (assuming a night out or dinner with friends) would he be thinking about that? (Implying that it isn't normal to be out drinking with friends thinking about these kinds of issues.) He then says something that happens if you miss 3, maybe "sancion"? meaning ban. He discusses that this is negative in terms of privacy. He says this can't be right what happens to us. He says he is the first to want a clean sport and want antidoping controls but can't agree with the way it is done because it seems unjust.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I tweeted this story to some journalists, hoping to get some English coverage. Got nothing.

      Delete