Monday, April 30, 2012

Francesco Ritti Bitti on Doping

Who is Francesco Ritti Bitti? He is the President of the International Tennis Federation. He's been President since 1999. Mr. Ritti Bitti doesn't seem to make many public statements, but this is what he's had to saying about doping in tennis:

Bitti (2001): "Professional tennis has had few problems with drug abuse and it is our intention to continue to keep our sport clean...We hope that this campaign will reinforce to junior players that drug abuse is a danger to their health. The virtual absence of drugs at the professional level sets a good example for the junior player but sometimes something stronger, like this campaign, is needed to make the point."

Bitti (2005): "I don't think tennis has a real doping problem compared with other sports...But we need to be vigilant."

Bitti (2005): "Many cases are due to simple ignorance by the players."

And from the ITF's 2009 AGM (p. 6): "Regarding the WADA Code and the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme, [Bitti] emphasised the need to maintain the regime of off-court testing (the Whereabouts rule) while making the intrusion into players' personal lives acceptable – a difficult balance, but one which had to be found."

I guess we now know the "balance" that was "found" for the level of "intrusion" deemed "acceptable," no? And I presume Mr. Ritti Bitti fully supports the anti-doping program being "administered" by Dr. Stuart Miller (such as the 33 percent reduction in blood testing between 2006 and 2011) as well as Dr. Miller's views on PEDs and tennis.

I'd suggest that Mr. Bitti Ritti reconsider his views. If he's not careful, Mr. Ritti Bitti may be remembered as the Bud Selig of tennis. And we all remember Bud's famous words:

Bud Selig (1995): "If baseball has a problem, I must say candidly that we were not aware of it. It certainly hasn't been talked about much. But should we concern ourselves as an industry? I don't know, maybe it's time to bring it up again."


  1. Another young athlete dies suddenly:

    "Norwegian swimming world champion Alexander Dale Oen has died of a cardiac arrest in Arizona at the age of 26, the Norwegian Olympic Committee said on Tuesday."

  2. The head of the British Olympic Association says that Wada is doing a poor job of keeping CHEATS out of competition.

    1. Why are you using an iteration of my screen name?

    2. Yeah, I actually wasn't being funny. The name that I always use at was used above by someone else (after adding a letter to it). My suspicion is that it's somebody associated with this site, so they can provide more "commentary" to the argument while looking like multiple posters. I appreciate what the site is doing, but it makes me uncomfortable to possibly have things attributed to me that I have not posted.

    3. This is unfortunate. I didn't even notice the extra letter until you pointed it out.

  3. When will the ITF introduce the biological passport?

    "A Portuguese long-distance runner has become the first track and field athlete suspended for doping based on the "biological passport" program that monitors blood profiles for signs of cheating."

    Read more:

    1. I should have added: When will the ITF collect enough blood samples to even be able to consider adopting the biological passport?


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