Sunday, May 27, 2012

Doping Control: French Open 2008 (Men)

Now that Roland Garros 2012 has officially started, I suspect reader traffic will begin to pick-up. To start us off right, I've gone through the testing statistics for Roland Garros 2008 for the men. For new readers, who have received most of their information about tennis doping control from Jon Wertheim (see this post), here are some things to keep in mind:


(1) The doping controls span across five draws: qualifying, singles, doubles, mixed doubles, and juniors. As result, while the list seems long, the amount of testing done for any specific draw is pretty low.

(2) Loser-targeted testing was conducted. There was no off-day testing. Among winners, only tournament champions were tested.

(3) No player was tested twice within a single draw. The only time a player was tested more than once was if they entered multiple draws (e.g., Jonas Bjorkman, who played singles and doubles). So, players like Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, who only played singles, were only tested once during the entire 2-weeks of the tournament. And their tests occurred after the final.

(4) Anyone who thinks this is rigorous/stringent/strict testing is naive, delusional, or dishonest.

Without further ado, here is the list:


Last NameFirst NameTest dateDrawRoundResult
IGNATIKVladimir22/05/2008Qualifying2Lost
DORSCHBENEDIKT22/05/2008Qualifying2Lost
CRUCIATADRIAN22/05/2008Qualifying2Lost
AndersonKevin22/05/2008Qualifying2Lost
VEMICDUSAN22/05/2008Qualifying2Lost
KLECIVO22/05/2008Qualifying2Lost
DecoudSebastian23/05/2008Qualifying3Lost
ALVESTHIAGO23/05/2008Qualifying3Lost
LOPEZMARC23/05/2008Qualifying3Lost
OUANNAJOSSELIN23/05/2008Qualifying3Lost
OLEJNICZAKDAWID23/05/2008Qualifying3Lost
SCHUKINYURI23/05/2008Qualifying3Lost
DANCEVICFRANK25/05/2008Singles1Lost
EyssericJonathan25/05/2008Singles1Lost
OUANNAJOSSELIN25/05/2008Singles1Lost
GREULSIMON25/05/2008Singles1Lost
SCHUETTLERRAINER25/05/2008Singles1Lost
PASHANSKIBORIS25/05/2008Singles1Lost
GASQUETRICHARD26/05/2008SinglesWithdrew
MAYERFLORIAN26/05/2008SinglesWithdrew
BJORKMANJONAS26/05/2008Singles1Lost
ZVEREVMihail27/05/2008Singles1Lost
MONACOJUAN28/05/2008Singles1Lost
LUCZAKPETER28/05/2008Singles1Lost
DARCISSTEVE28/05/2008Singles1Lost
VLIEGENKRISTOF28/05/2008Singles1Lost
BellucciThomaz28/05/2008Singles1Lost
BERDYCHTOMAS28/05/2008Singles2Lost
GRANOLLERSMARCEL28/05/2008Singles2Lost
ClementArnaud28/05/2008Singles1Lost
LISNARDJEAN-RENE28/05/2008Singles1Lost
MAHUTNICOLAS28/05/2008Singles1Lost
WASKEALEXANDER28/05/2008DoublesWithdrew
LEEHYUNG-TAIK28/05/2008Singles2Lost
TROICKIVIKTOR28/05/2008Singles1Lost
YoungDonald28/05/2008Singles1Lost
LEVINSKYJAROSLAV29/05/2008Doubles1Lost
SKOCHDAVID29/05/2008Doubles1Lost
ROGER-VASSELINEDOUARD29/05/2008Doubles1Lost
SIMONGILLES29/05/2008Doubles1Lost
HORNALUIS29/05/2008Singles2Lost
ANDREEVIGOR29/05/2008Singles2Lost
ACASUSOJOSE30/05/2008Doubles2Lost
PRIETOSEBASTIAN30/05/2008Doubles2Lost
SchwankEduardo30/05/2008Singles3Lost
FALLAALEJANDRO30/05/2008Singles2Lost
BOLELLISIMONE30/05/2008Singles3Lost
YOUZHNYMIKHAIL30/05/2008Singles3Lost
ODESNIKWAYNE30/05/2008Singles3Lost
HEWITTLLEYTON31/05/2008Singles3Lost
MELZERJURGEN31/05/2008Singles3Lost
ALMAGRONICOLAS31/05/2008Doubles1Lost
HERNANDEZOSCAR31/05/2008Doubles1Lost
ROBREDOTOMMY31/05/2008Singles3Lost
ChardyJeremy31/05/2008Doubles1Lost
GUEZDAVID31/05/2008Doubles1Lost
SANTOROFABRICE31/05/2008MixedWithdrew
SERRAFLORENT31/05/2008Singles3Lost
WAWRINKAStanislas31/05/2008Singles3Lost
SODERLINGROBIN31/05/2008Singles3Lost
KERRJORDAN01/06/2008Doubles2Lost
KNOWLESMARK01/06/2008MixedWithdrew
CERMAKFRANTISEK01/06/2008Doubles2Lost
VERDASCOFERNANDO01/06/2008Singles4Lost
ChardyJeremy01/06/2008Singles4Lost
LLODRAMICHAEL01/06/2008Singles4Lost
MATHIEUPAUL-HENRI01/06/2008Singles4Lost
HUSSSTEPHEN02/06/2008Doubles3Lost
STEPANEKRADEK02/06/2008Singles4Lost
BENNETEAUJULIEN02/06/2008Singles4Lost
HUTCHINSRoss02/06/2008Doubles3Lost
BJORKMANJONAS02/06/2008DoublesQLost
GinepriRobby02/06/2008Singles4Lost
ULLYETTKEVIN02/06/2008DoublesQLost
DARCISSTEVE03/06/2008DoublesQLost
ROCHUSOLIVIER03/06/2008DoublesQLost
ALMAGRONICOLAS03/06/2008SinglesQLost
GULBISERNEST03/06/2008SinglesQLost
TIPSAREVICJANKO03/06/2008DoublesQLost
TROICKIVIKTOR03/06/2008DoublesQLost
GONZALEZFERNANDO04/06/2008SinglesQLost
FERRERDAVID04/06/2008SinglesQLost
SOARESBRUNO05/06/2008DoublesSLost
BHUPATHIMAHESH05/06/2008MixedWithdrew
KUNITSYNIGOR05/06/2008DoublesSLost
TURSUNOVDMITRY05/06/2008DoublesSLost
VEMICDUSAN05/06/2008DoublesSLost
PellaGuido06/06/2008BoysSLost
MONFILSGAEL06/06/2008SinglesSLost
RAMIREZCesar06/06/2008BoysSLost
DJOKOVICNOVAK06/06/2008SinglesSLost
ZIMONJICNENAD06/06/2008MixedFLost
BRYANBOB06/06/2008MixedFWon
NESTORDANIEL07/06/2008DoublesFLost
HORNALUIS07/06/2008DoublesFWon
ZIMONJICNENAD07/06/2008DoublesFLost
CUEVASPABLO07/06/2008DoublesFWon
NADALRAFAEL08/06/2008SinglesFWon
JANOWICZJerzy08/06/2008BoysFLost
FEDERERROGER08/06/2008SinglesFLost
YANGTsung-Hua08/06/2008BoysFWon

Sources:

Testing Statistics: ITF
Match Statistics (to match test dates with matches): Tennis Explorer

15 comments:

  1. Hey guys.. Roland Garros order of play for second day here
    Roland Garros 2012 Order of Play

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  2. To sum up for new readers: Dope testing in grand slams is completely predictable. Players will only be tested when they LOSE a match. (Apart from the overall winner who will be tested after the final, like the runner-up will). Which means anyone who suspects it's highly unlikely they will be knocked out early can microdose or use PEDs which are out of the system quickly, or easily masked quickly. They can use PEDs on off days and still not test positive the next day even if they do lose.

    Can't believe that Madrid newspaper Marca claimed that during Grand Slam events players are tested every day. That's just propaganda rubbish aimed to counter the claims about Nadal and other Spanish players, to be totally frank. Where a journalist and paper comes up with such wrong information is anyone's guess, but it wasn't from proper research. It's pure propaganda.

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    Replies
    1. This is far too risky to be a believable rationale going through the head of more than a tiny minority of players. There is no way to predict a serious injury that would result in a loss, for example. It would be playing with fire. I think it's more likely that they simply know they are using things that they can't be tested for, or they timed their cycles to be clean for the slams.

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    2. @Swoon,

      Sure the significant doping (EPO, HGH, and steroids) is taking place before event. But we know for a fact that there are testosterone treatments that clear the body within hours. So, there can be little doubt that players are using sophisticated micro treatments to recover after winning a match. Just slap on a patch before going to bed, knowing they won't be tested for about 36-48 hours.

      The microdose will keep T/E ratios below the 4:1 ratio. And I'm willing to bet that the ITF is only using carbon isotope ratio testing to find synthetic testosterone when a player's ratio exceed 4:1. Victor Conte has pretty convinving in arguing that CIR testing should be the standard (and the recent MMA and boxing positives have shown him to be correct):

      http://sportsradiointerviews.com/2011/12/19/mlb-milwaukee-brewers-ryan-braun-ped-testing-victor-conte/

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    3. Swoon: well yeah, but they can also use microdosed PEDs and even in the event they have an injury and they do lose, know that they won't test positive.

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    4. @Swoon,

      One more thing, cycling still catches athletes for in-competition doping and they do way more testing than tennis. Thus, while some players may be using undetectable substances as you suggest, I think a lot of conventional products are being used. You've seen the doping stats, so I'm not quite sure how you're coming to the conclusion that the risk of in-competition doping using even conventional products is high.

      Again, by all appearances, at a Grand Slam event, doping up immediately after a win seems to be without risk, if you dose properly. After all, no tennis player has ever tested been busted for synthetic testosterone.

      What's your reasoning?

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  3. Sen: I think Swoon was saying that players won't risk doping in say the first week of a slam just because they will only be tested after they lose, in case they lose through injury for example. But as you point out they can dose and get away with it even if they are tested.

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  4. I think Swoon was saying that players won't risk doping in say the first week of a slam just because they will only be tested after they lose, in case they lose through injury for example. But as you point out they can dose and get away with it even if they are tested.
    ------------------------------
    Good point! I always wondered why Nadal was struggling so much in many of his 2st week slams!


    Regarding 2008 FO final....Federer must have mixed up the sleeping pills with the EPO ones!

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  5. I meant to say *1st week slams.

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  6. Is it allowed for players to take banned medication during tour because he has valid TUE for the drugs? Is the TUE still valid during the tour?

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    Replies
    1. The short answer is yes. When a player gets a TUE they are allowed to use a normally prohibited substance. The TUE will specify the usage/dosage.

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  7. Sen, it's clear that targeting losers is a deliberate strategy. This pattern is so non-random that even the ITF would have to admit this.

    So: surely, there has to be a valid, justifiable reason for loser-targeted testing. Are you prepared to speculate what it is? How does it work and in whose favour?

    To be fair, assuming that post-match testing is at all capable to catch someone out, I'd like to propose the following counter-arguments on behalf of the ITF (who aren't saying much themselves).

    1) If you test all losers, then you are guaranteed to have tested all players at least once in the tournament because unless you are the eventual champion, then it is certain that you will lose at some point in the tournament. Then, of course, you test the champion as well.

    2) No player can rely on the eventuality of winning any given match, unless it is fixed, so therefore cannot assume that he will not be tested after that match. Therefore he cannot also assume it is safe to use a detectable illegal substance prior to that match. You can always throw a match if you have to but how do you ensure a win if your opponent is competing just as hard as you are?

    3) If you know that doping will get you through the tournament easily (and thus avoid loser-targeted testing), then what do you do when you reach the final?

    4) How can you be sure that your opponent isn't going to out-dope you, anyway?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I've answered this before, but I'm happy to do it again. My view is that loser-targeted is done because (1) it's easy and cheap; (2) it gives the impression that a lot of players are being tested; but mainly (3) its a risk minimization strategy.

      By risk minimization, I mean that it minimizes the chances of catching people and creating bad PR. For example, imagine they did a barrage of off-day testing in the first week of play, expedited the test results, and found out at the beginning of week 2 that a few of the quarterfinalists tested positive in week one. Suddenly, you have a bunch of players withdrawing from matches because they are "injured" or "ill", but really they're serving provisional suspensions. A Grand Slam event would be ruined by such an occurrence.

      Therefore, loser-targeted testing makes things predictable for everyone. Only the stupid would get caught, and in most cases it doesn't matter because they lost anyways.

      All players know in advance approximately when there next match is, so if they plan on doping they have a very good idea about how much time they have until their next test. As a result, they can dose appropriately to guard against testing positive if they lose. Or in the case of the final, if they win.

      I don't see a legitimate reason for loser-targeted testing. In my opinion, it's the equivalent of the Tour De France testing the last place riders (or those that dropped out of the race) after every stage and only testing the top finishers after the last stage was complete. How many positives do think they would get with that test distribution?

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  8. I think the point is that the in-competition testing is predictable. Although it would be risky that an individual player would presume to win their next match (and avoid the test), the players still know that there is no off day, or pre-match testing.

    It would be risky for a player to take anything in-competition that doesn't clear their body in less than 36 hours, but anything that does clear the system quickly, is virtually risk-free (as long as it is taken well before their next match).

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    Replies
    1. Sen is right. Loser Targeted Testing is done, not as a favour to the players, but out of sheer cowardice that they might catch someone AND have to do something about it!

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