Update: April 24
Interesting, Steve Tignor read the Stuart Miller interview (linked below) from last week and makes the following comments at Tennis.com:
...It’s not easy to get much out of the ITF on the subject, and Miller sticks to tried and true answers here about how the organization does its work. At one point, though, he claims that all of the tests are unannounced, though most of them are done at tournaments after a player loses.
Next project for the Top 4: More money for tennis’s underfunded anti-doping program.
Dr. Stuart Miller (2007, ITF World): "...from the ITF’s point of view, having a programme which is free of suspicion, which is transparent and cohesive, is very important."
This represents another interesting statement from Dr. Miller. It is interesting because Dr. Miller's actions are the polar opposite of his words. The statistical information published regarding the ITF's anti-doping program has seen a significant decrease in transparency under his tenure.
In 2006, the year Dr. Miller assumed the helm, the ITF's anti-doping statistics indicated (1) which tournaments had testings and how many tests were conducted at each tournament; and (2) the date on which each player had a sample collected (in- and out-of-competition) and the test type (i.e., blood, urine, and/or EPO). This was useful statistical data.
|In 2006, the ITF's anti-doping statistics were very detailed.|
By 2011, the details given in 2006 were gone. The ITF no longer states which tournaments conducted doping control. Further, instead of publishing the dates on which players had samples collected (and the type of test conducted), the ITF now just publishes ranges for the number of samples collected from players (i.e., 1-3; 4-6, and 7+). This data is next to useless for analytical purposes.
|By 2011, the ITF's anti-doping statistics had been stripped of important details.|
Also, with respect to transparency, we know that the ITF does not publicly announce provisional suspensions unless the player is found by a Tribunal to have committed an anti-doping rule violation. As a result, it appears the ITF has tacitly deemed it acceptable practice for players under provisional suspensions to fabricate injuries to explain their absence from the tour while their case is pending. If the player is exonerated by an anti-doping Tribunal they return to the tour, and the provisional suspension is never announced. To be fair, this particular practice existed prior to Dr. Miller assuming leadership of the ITF's program.
The overall lack of (and reduced) transparency of the ITF's anti-doping program is another signal that it is time for Dr. Miller to step-down as head of the ITF's anti-doping program. He has shown time and time again that he is not up to the job. Someone with a solid knowledge of anti-doping practices (e.g., test distribution planning) and a commitment to enforcement and transparency is needed.
PS: If you haven't already, give a read to Dr. Miller's latest pearls of wisdom and maybe make some suggestions.