Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Stuart Miller Needs To Step Aside: Part III

Parts I (here) and II (here).

Why is out-of-competition (OOC) testing in tennis so inadequate? Here is some more insight into the views of Dr. Stuart Miller that may helps explain things: "[Dr. Stuart] Miller believes that the policy is unworkable in tennis because of the peripatetic nature of competitors [...] and that it could lead to a surge in bans." (The Guardian, Wednesday 18 June 2008)

Well, we certainly haven't seen a "surge in bans," have we? It's hard to have bans when you rarely test player out of competition.

Here's the full Miller statement on OOC from the 2008 Guardian article:

"Tennis is not like athletics in the sense that those taking part do not map out their training programme and the two or three events they are going to take part in at the start of the year...Tennis players take part in single-elimination competitions and if they get knocked out on day one of an event they'll simply move on to another one, go home or go on holiday...The most important thing from the point of view of the whereabouts provision is that they are not going to be where they said they would be and if you imagine all the players in our pool having to provide us with constantly updated information and us having to keep track of that, it's fair to say there are going to be significant problems going forward. Many players could easily fall foul to a series of missed tests or filing failures quite quickly."

With this view, is it any surprise why the tennis anti-doping program has shown such little progress on OOC testing? Why does Dr. Miller continue to manage the tennis anti-doping program?

Time for a change.


  1. This is why I struggle when Richard Ings attributes every screw up to incompetence.

    Miller is more of less a Comical Ali type figure who is wheeled out to parrot these lines.

    I find it hard to believe that he can actually believe the things he is saying.

    He is of course lucky that the mainstream media are so willing to uphold omerta in return for the free press passes and 'exclusive interviews'. So no one ever calls him for his BS. Although cycling has plenty of omerta upholders within its ranks at least it has the likes of Paul Kimmage, David Walsh etc.

    I find it hard to believe that an organization such as the ITF (like FIFA, IOC, UCI etc) which are involved in running a global sport, dealing with sponsors, TV organizations and do so quite competently can suddenly put on Yakkity Sax and turn into Benny Hill/Three Stooges when it comes to dealing with doping matters.

    More to the point - if they were serious about clamping down on the cheats and dopers you'd have thought that it would be in their interests to become more competent and to get rid of the incompetence.

  2. Judging by the number of tennis-playing twitterers, i think players have no problem keeping the world updated on their whereabouts.

  3. I have previously suggested that using smartphones and GPS in some structured way that protects privacy would solve once and for all the whereabouts issue for no notice OOC testing.

    1. I agree, Mr Ings. Testing must be anytime, anyplace. Is there any point in ringing a doorbell at 6:00AM? Unless you have immediate access to the athlete, then the possibility of adulteration can never be excluded.

      I wonder whether tests could be performed on saliva, hair, or cheek cells? That might make the sampling procedure a lot quicker, easier and a less irksome. Maybe cheaper, too?

      Does Stuart Miller also have any creative ideas, or does he only poo-poo all suggestions?