Monday, May 28, 2012

Pat Cash: "C’est le sport parfait pour se doper..." (Updated: Proper Translation)

Once again, courtesy of our reader Vincent (who was the source of this site's exclusive translation of Yannick Noah's article from last year), we have a proper translation of this interview with Pat Cash from Le Nouvel Observateur.

It is a strange interview. Cash says tennis is "perfect" for doping (Jon Wertheim and Stuart Miller would be surprised by Cash's statement as both assert tennis doesn't lend itself to doping). However, Cash also says the sport is clean because he believes wrongly (like Wertheim) that there are stringent doping controls. It's obvious Cash hasn't looked at the ITF's statistics because he suggests that there's a lot of out-of-competition testing and that the testing is too strict. This is certainly not the case by any means.

Here is Vincent's (thank-you) translation of the relevant section:

Q : A word on doping. It is a word that is never pronounced in tennis.
A : Because it is clean. I think it is. There are so many tests! I even think there are too many. This invasion of privacy is ridiculous. And all those tests during trainings... I really think it is too much.

Q : But isn't it necessary ?
A : It is. But really, they have to tell each day where they are, what they are doing. It is a total violation of their privacy. But if there are few positive tests, this means the sport is clean. In fact this is curious, as it is the perfect sport to dope. With nandrolone for instance, to play those matches every day. But tennis isn't one of those sports where there are drugs. There is no dope culture, I don't think so. Of course, there were rumors on certain players.

Q : Often about Nadal...
A : Often about Nadal, yes. He finished a season really thin and came back two months later... pow ! [He's mimicking huge muscles]. He said he didn't lift weights, so...

Q : Where did it come from then ?
A : I don't know. But people were saying the same things about me when I had thick legs.

Q : In your autobiography, you are talking about your drugs consumption when you were a player. There were also Agassi, Navratilova, Becker... Why ?
A : When I started to play, it wasn't unusual for a guy to propose you a joint, to smoke with four or five others when there was no match planned in the following days. It was like having a beer. And it's the same in fact, I don't know if you smoke or not, but it's the same : you're high for a few hours, you're having fun, you're drinking some and then you come down, and you can train the day after. There was some cocaine going around, I saw that but I only tried it at the end of my career, when I wasn't at the top anymore. We didn't know anything at the time, it was only having fun. It was a recreative drug, no doping. We're not different from the rest of society.

49 comments:

  1. http://www.usatoday.com/sports/tennis/story/2012-05-28/mardy-fish-heart/55244236/1

    Was waking up with his heart racing at 180bpm for extended periods.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was going to say that had he died, it would be a wakeup call for tennis, but then I realized that they would just chalk it up to a "heart condition" and Jon Wertheim would continue to say tennis is clean.

      Delete
    2. Is it the general consensus that Fish's condition is the result of doping? I mean the guy should be in the best shape of his life after losing all those extra pounds. Now the heart condition appears out to of nowhere. I'm no expert but I'm certainly suspicious.

      Delete
    3. @Lopi
      I don't have an answer to that question. However, I can refer you to this article:

      Illicit drugs and cardiac arrhythmias in athletes.

      Furlanello F, Serdoz LV, Cappato R, De Ambroggi L.


      Source

      Arrhythmias and Electrophysiology Center, Department of Cardiology, IRCCS Policlinico San Donato, University of Milan, Italy. riccardo.cappato@grupposandonato.it


      Abstract

      The current management of athletes with cardiac arrhythmias has become complicated by the widespread use of illicit drugs, which can be arrhythmogenic. The World Anti-Doping Agency annually updates a list of prohibited substances and methods banned by the International Olympic Committee that includes different classes of substances namely, anabolic androgenic steroids, hormones and related substances, beta2-agonists, diuretics, stimulants, narcotics, cannabinoids, glucocorticosteroids, alcohol, beta-blockers and others. Almost all illicit drugs may cause, through a direct or indirect arrhythmogenic effect, a wide range of cardiac arrhythmias (focal or reentry type, supraventricular and/or ventricular) that can even be lethal and which are frequently sport activity related. A large use of illicit drugs has been documented in competitive athletes, but the arrhythmogenic effect of specific substances is not precisely known. Precipitation of cardiac arrhythmias, particularly in the presence of a latent electrophysiologic substrate including some inherited cardiomyopathies, at risk of sudden death or due to long-term consumption of the substances, should raise the suspicion that illicit drugs may be a possible cause and lead cardiologists to investigate carefully this relationship and appropriately prevent the clinical consequences.

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17667636

      Delete
    4. There's a pretty vast literature about this:

      http://scholar.google.ca/scholar?as_ylo=2011&q=arrhythmias+in+athletes+doping&hl=en&as_sdt=0,5&as_vis=1

      Delete
  2. Pat Cash is probably out of touch with the tennis scene by now. He genuinely believes testing is stringent.

    Those in favour of relaxing doping controls love to build that straw man argument about "invasion of privacy". They emphasise the constant inconvenience and embarrassment of reporting whereabouts and having to urinate in front of others.

    Whereabouts testing hasn't worked. It's out of date and dopers have figured it out. Time to step up the fight on other fronts. Give the whingers what they want for now. They'll be sorry in the long run.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just in reply to your comments that I'm probably out of touch with the tennis scene by now. I have played all of the Grand Slam seniors events over the past 6 years which means I am in the same locker rooms treatment rooms and restaurants as the players chatting with them daily. I write for the Sunday times in the UK, commentate on all the Grand Slams and other events as well, coach some of the worlds leading junior players, play 12 - 16 legends events each year, am a patron for a charity campaigning at a grass roots level for free tennis courts in the UK. Presenter and interviewer on CNN's monthly tennis program in which from time to time I get to play with the tour players as I did this month with David Ferrer. Worked for several years with the world leading biomechanist on tennis. Do i need to go on? I can do so Oh did I mention that I have played in 5 Grand Slam finals and won 2 Davis Cups for my country? And I'm out of touch am I? Its clear as daylight that you are out of touch. I will never understand why people like you sit on their bums being critical of people like me who know what they are talking about.
      What the drug testers do is an invasion of privacy pure and simple, did I say that this is not the way it should be? no! You are putting false words in my mouth. Tennis is clean sport by and large. It is stringent and drug cheats get caught. These are tennis players not world wide drug smugglers. Do you think they try and figure it out? You are poorly informed and your thoughts that you put down on this blog are laughable. Stay in the dark with your imagination.

      Delete
    2. Mr. Cash,

      One question for you: Have you ever reviewed the ITF's anti-doping statistics, or is all your information about testing anecdotal?

      In 2011, the ITF conducted a total of 216 out of competition tests on 132 players. That averages to less than 2 tests for the year. Some of these player may be getting additional tests from their national organizations, but not the ITF. For example. Serena Williams was not testing out of competition for all of 2010 and 2011 by the ITF or the USADA. Andy Murray was not tested out of competition in 2010 by the ITF.

      Here's a link to the ITF's statistics: http://www.itftennis.com/antidoping/

      Delete
    3. Pat remember the Australian Open final (of course you do). One of the greatest matches I ever umpired that one. Or on the positive side of the ledger when you beat Boris at the Sydney Indoor in the semi-final in 3 tough sets before Ivan pipped you in the final.

      It is a brave man who suggests that Pat is out of touch. There are fewer people in greater contact with the day to day circuit and the current players than Pat.

      I think that most sports including tennis are clean by and large. But tennis is a sport at massive risk of doping. Doping agents are best employed to help players build stamina, recover more quickly after long matches, heal injuries faster and generally run longer and harder than the other guy not on the juice.

      With doping agents a tennis player can play more events, train longer and harder and return to court quicker form injuries. Doping could mean the different between lingering outside the top 1000 and cracking the top 500. Or struggling to break into the top 100 and hitting the top 50. Or consistently hanging outside the top 10 and breaking into the top 10.

      Those differences (for example between being stuck outside the top 1000 and breaking into the top 500), for those players, are huge in terms of income, respect from their peers. So in my 10 years experience running anti-doping programs and seeing and knowing how athletes dope tells me that tennis is a high risk sport of doping.

      So how many are doing it? Who knows. But with 5000 ranked players from every conceivable nation across the world, there will be some, there must be some who will cheat once, twice or more times each year. And the ITF testing program, as it is now or even of it is enhanced, will only catch a fraction of them.

      Think of testing as a speed camera. It gets set up on a road and the cops pick up speeders. Not all. Some. And then there are some drivers who slow down because the speed camera is around and then put their foot down around the bend.

      We will never catch them all. But we can do a better job of catching more of those that are doping. And the ITF program in my 10 years of anti-doping experience has room for improvement especially in OOC testing and blood testing and whereabouts.

      Delete
    4. Another question for Mr. Cash:

      You once wrote (I believe it was in an article for the UK Sunday Times) that there was suspicion on the tour that Andre Agassi was using "substances" and that he had a "dubious" withdrawal from the 2002 Australian Open.

      Would you care to elaborate on any of those thoughts?

      Delete
    5. Here's a reference:

      Australian Pat Cash, who admitted in his own autobiography to smoking marijuana on the night before each match of his Wimbledon debut as well as to out-of-competition cocaine use in his own ''regrettably lower moments'', said he was not surprised by the news of Agassi's drug-taking, but had been ''amazed they were of the recreational variety''.

      Cash said there had long been suspicion among tour players that Agassi may have used performance-enhancing drugs to help build his renowned fitness and strength. ''There were some dubious circumstances, none more than his early-morning withdrawal from the defence of his title at the 2002 Australian Open, citing a wrist injury,'' Cash wrote in his column in London's Sunday Times.

      http://www.theage.com.au/news/sport/tennis/agassi-reveals-another-drug-incident/2009/11/01/1257010108655.html

      Delete
    6. How do we know if this is the real Pat Cash or an imposter? You all seem to think it's the real deal? How do you know? Has anyone contacted him to check?

      Delete
    7. Same question for Richard Ings. How do we know this guy is real? I assume he is, but how do we know?

      Delete
    8. Henman Bill,

      When I interviewed Richard Ings, I verified his identity through his twitter account and work e-mail.

      As for Pat Cash, click on his name link on his comments. It will take you to his Google+ profile, which lists Daniel Cash Kristi in his circle. Daniel Cash is Pat Cash's son. So, I assume it's the real Pat Cash.

      Delete
  3. "Interesting seeing my old mate ‪#Yannicknoah‬ comments on drug cheats in sport. I'm convinced MEN'S tennis is virtually clean."

    http://twitter.com/TheRealPatCash/status/140381364531896320

    ReplyDelete
  4. Is he suggesting that women's tennis is not?

    ReplyDelete
  5. http://blogs.montrealgazette.com/2012/05/15/another-guppy-caught-in-tennis-doping-net/


    Some more cynisism from the media about the ITF's efforts.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Here is my translation. From it it seems clear Pat Cash is covering things up. He knows what is going on, even goes so far as to cast some suspicion on Nadal, but then backs up. Strange interview...

    ---

    Roland-Garros : "Tsonga and Berdych, the 2 who are menacing the top 4"

    Q : A word on doping. It is a word that is never pronounced in tennis.

    A : Because it is clean. I think it is. There are so many tests ! I even think there are too many. This invasion of privacy is ridiculous. And all those tests during trainings... I really think it is too much.

    Q : But isn't it necessary ?

    A : It is. But really, they have to tell each day where they are, what they are doing. It is a total violation of their privacy. But if there are few positive tests, this means the sport is clean. In fact this is curious, as it is the perfect sport to dope. With nandrolone for instance, to play those matches every day. But tennis isn't one of those sports where there are drugs. There is no dope culture, I don't think so. Of course, there were rumors on certain players.

    Q : Often about Nadal...

    A : Often about Nadal, yes. He finished a season really thin and came back two months later... pow ! [He's mimicking huge muscles]. He said he didn't lift weights, so...

    Q : Where did it come from then ?

    A : I don't know. But people were saying the same things about me when I had thick legs.

    Q : In your autobiography, you are talking about your drugs consumption when you were a player. There were also Agassi, Navratilova, Becker... Why ?

    A : When I started to play, it wasn't unusual for a guy to propose you a joint, to smoke with four or five others when there was no match planned in the following days. It was like having a beer. And it's the same in fact, I don't know if you smoke or not, but it's the same : you're high for a few hours, you're having fun, you're drinking some and then you come down, and you can train the day after. There was some cocaine going around, I saw that but I only tried it at the end of my career, when I wasn't at the top anymore. We didn't know anything at the time, it was only having fun. It was a recreative drug, no doping. We're not different from the rest of society.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks again, Vincent! I've replaced the Google translation with yours.

      Delete
  7. Regardless of this interview, Cash is and has always been a bit of an idiot in my opinion. What he says here makes little sense too, about this idea that there are "too many tests", and that giving whereabouts information (which if you're unlucky will be used two times a year) somehow means testing is stringent. That whole argument is becoming so boring. Unfortunately people like him hear players complain about having to give whereabouts, and in their mind this somehow morphs into every player having testers bang on their door at 6am every day. When this does NOT happen.

    Years ago now Cash wrote an article, quoted on this site (on the left further down), basically accusing Agassi of deserving major doping suspicion. Now he comes up with this nonsense? As Michlob says above, Cash really has no idea, but he just parrots what he has read, or heard, that testing is just soooo draconian. Which, as you Sen have pointed out here time and time and time again, is utterly UNtrue.

    And yes, he seems to be saying that women's tennis is not clean!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So Mystery Man I'm a bit of an idiot according to your view on tennis, well that maybe true but I do know a lot more about tennis than you so that would make you a bigger idiot.
      A couple of things Yes the testers do bang on players door at 6 in the morning all the time many many players have this happen to them. I talked to 2 last week.
      So according to you theres only two times a year if your lucky? Another player (not the ones I talked to last week) told me they were tested 12 times in 6 months.
      You can make up your own mind about invasion of privacy but what I say is truth.
      and you say I have no idea??
      @Michlob I'm out of date with tennis these days hey? Well the next time your in the locker room at a Grand Slam let me know as theres a good chance I will be there I have been in every one for the last 5 years or so. If you dont wanna learn something dont read what I have to say.

      Delete
    2. Many many players door banged at 6 am... TRUE
      Last week 2 doors were banged.. TRUE
      a player tested 12 times in 6 months... TRUE in competition mostly after loss

      Predictable in competition testing... TRUE
      AFLD a.k.a harder test proposal rejected by ITF.... TRUE
      Reduced no of ooc test.... TRUE
      Lack of transparency in publication of tst result/suspension.... TRUE

      Delete
  8. I agree with Vincent. Cash knows but cannot say. If you are in teh business and make a living of it either by playing or commentationg you simply have no choice about following the omerta rule.

    As simle as that. Until WADA comes back with more proof there is absolutely nothing those guys can say.

    ReplyDelete
  9. @ Mystery - Regardless of this interview, Cash is and has always been a bit of an idiot in my opinion.
    ------------------------------------
    Yes that's certainly what I used to think. However I have listened to his commentarty more recently about tennis and in particular the importance of the new string technology and how it affected the game and he was spot on.

    People might be surprised to hear this but the new string technology (introduced by Guga (Kuerten) end of the 90s) is actually what makes "tennis the perfect sport for doping". When players used to play with natural guts a shot had to be hit flatter to generate pace and that meant more risky tennis involving a great deal of talent. The new string technology allows for topspin, giving much safer margin, invting to rally more than risking a winner.

    The combination of strings, muscles/stamina and larger balls used since 2002 have greatly contributed to the increase in longer rallies and therefore need to dope.

    Murray, Djoko and Nadal are prime products of this tennis. As long as there are fit they are in no danger of losing in an early round of a slam. Their fitness and the long rallies secure win.

    Look at Djoko's yesterday match for instance: close first set, a bit less close in the second and completely one sided in the 3rd. That is a typical score showing teh implementation of "physical tennis".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Andrea,

      I like you string change concept as the data sure fits; and in more ways than one. It would be interesting to compare how players were described during the gut days and then compare that to how players are described now. I know today we have: overpowering, stronger, ability to wear down opponents, etc.

      Thoughts?

      Delete
    2. Victoria Azarenka battled back from a set and 4-0 down to defeat Italy's Alberta Brianti and avoid becoming the first top seed in history to be knocked out in the French Open first round.
      World No.1 Azarenka staged a thrilling recovery to defeat world No.105 Brianti 6-7 (6-8) 6-4 6-2 and will next face German qualifier Dinah Pfizenmaier.
      But for much of her rollercoaster battle with the 32-year-old Brianti, who had never won a match in four previous main draw appearances at Roland Garros, the Belarussian struggled.

      Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/sport/tennis/i-was-lucky-admits-azarenka-after-first-round-scare-20120529-1zfwl.html#ixzz1wGwvfeCx

      Delete
  10. Pat Cash is no different than all the other old glories from the other sports. Especially cyclists. Even during cyclism's darkest years, I seldomly heard a word of condemnation or regret from the great ones, Eddy Mercks, or Bernard Hinault for instance... Laurent Fignon was the closest I could find of a star coming clean, but it was only after he discovered he had a cancer.

    It's simple, like Andrea said. There were part of it, they are living of it. They know they can sometimes go a bit far, say some edgy things, even throw some suspicions, provided they make it look like an one-off, or like an innocent thing. Like recreative drugs. It's all about keeping a fine balance between getting some headlines and not getting shut out by the tennis world.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it is less than useful to categorise people like Pat you don't even know except by highlight reels as being this or that.

      Pat is a decent bloke. He was an excellent player on the Tour in his day and still rates as one of the greatest Davis Cup players ever for his tenacity and grit beating some of the world's best. Plus he is a Wimbledon Champion and the greatest terrace climber into the player box ever seen at the Championships.

      And since retiring he has kept close contact with the circuit as a coach, commentator. media reporter, senior tour player, and general elder statesman of the circuit.

      And in my day I had my fair share of run ins with Pat (so I am not kissing babies here) which I am sure he well remembers. Pat had a few more runs ins with Rich Kaufman (remember Dusseldorf Pat and the drizzle on clay decision to play on…your ham sandwich line still rates as one of the too player come back lines to an umpire in the annals of umpiring history) and he had big issues with an old friend of mine Paulo Perreira (you and Pat Sr were a bit tough on poor Paulo Pat..he is really a top bloke and was a very good umpire). But he had his issues with me as well.

      In the Cash era of tennis, the issue on the circuit was one of recreational drugs. It was a party scene for some players at many events. Like travelling rock starts they were. Witness the Agassi book on his use of recreational drugs.

      Between 1986 and 1993 I lived full time on circuit as a travelling full time umpire. I was on the circuit full time some 35 weeks per year in the same hotels, locker rooms, transportation as all the players. My job was to uphold the rules on court and off court. And while recreational drug use was the talk of the locker room (remember there was no testing back then), there was then no suspicion of PED use. Which is not to say there was none. There was just no locker room gossip about it and gossip rules in the locker room.

      Delete
  11. Omerta is a powerful tool. It is also I think a bit naive to think that doping in tennis started with Nadal. The same for cycling, Armstrong and Cavendish aren't the ones who have discovered doping. There is a very famous interview with Henri Pelissier from 1924:

    "We suffer on the road. But do you want to see how we keep going? Wait...'

    From his bag he takes a phial. "That, that's cocaine for our eyes and chloroform for our gums..."

    "Here," said Ville, tipping out the contents of his bag, "horse liniment to keep my knees warm. And pills? You want to see the pills?" They got out three boxes apiece.

    "In short," said Francis, "we run on dynamite.'"

    Coppi admitted using ’la Bomba’ – amphetamines in 1949 and so on and so forth.

    Merckx failed THREE dope tests in his career and introduced Armstrong to Ferrari. Hinault is as old skool as they come.

    The stars of the 1980s aren't going to come out and call the Williams or Nadal out for doping because they don't want people asking questions about their own era and because to borrow the Omerta phrase 'you don't spit in the soup'. Cash, Courier etc don't want to be exiled the way the likes of Paul Kimmage, Simeoni and Bassons have been in cycling.

    What annoys me most of all is the hypocrisy of the media. You can bet that if a big name is busted then the likes of Bodo etc will come out and say 'I knew all along' and pretend that they didn't cover up for the player. It is the same in cycling - the media fawns all over riders even though their performances are 'out of this world' and then when they get busted their is a collective re-writing of history and all of sudden the journalists knew all along that person x was a doper.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment is spot on.

      But we do not need to jump back in time to the tennis in the 80s to say that doping is not a new thing. Lets go to 1998 to 2002 and then 2003 to 2007

      1998 A player starts as a professional at 17.
      2000 First final at 19, lost.
      2001 First title at 20
      Summary by 2002: 10 singles finals between 1998 and 2002, of which he won four and lost six.
      This player is now 23 year old

      Now there is some sort of mutation that Les Guignols should investigate further because...

      2003: 7 titles including 1 GS and tour final
      2004: 11 titles, including 3 GS and Tour final, reaching also RG final.
      2005: 11 titles including 2 GS, reaching Tour finals and 2 GS SF
      2006: 12 titles, including 3 GS and Tour final, reaching also RG final. (yes, as in 2004 completely dominant from January to December)
      2007: 8 titles including 3 GS and Tour final, reaching also RG final (yes, as in 2004 and 2006 completely dominant from January to December)

      Delete
    2. Your post has nothing to do with my post. So please don't distort my post.

      Bottom line, like Armstrong, Ben Johnson, Barry Bonds, Cavendish, Nadal is the poster boy for rampant unrestricted doping.

      Trying the old bait and switch by saying X was doing it first so therefore my boy isn't so bad is nothing more than a specious red-herring.

      Delete
    3. Bore-uful,

      So, when this same player, who by your own admission "must be doping" because he won a few tournaments earlier this year (of course, you never mentioned that they are lesser tournaments), gets thrashed by Djokovic or your hero next week, will you be touting the same line?

      I'm waiting for the new "first time poster" who "occasionally visits this site" to corroborate your arguments....

      Delete
    4. BDS-Moonax,

      How do you explain that your posterboy Federer changed so drastically between 2002 and 2003 when he was 23-24 y.o. and moved then from average to GOAT? To me that is as suspicious as it can be.

      Moonax, I just try to point out that Federer is as suspect from doping as Nadal is. I think they are both amazing tennis players and enjoy their matches, regardeless of the winner.

      Also BDS, following your logic, when Federer thrashes Nadal at the ATP finals 2010 (best Nadal year to date) or kills Djokovic at the RG SF 2011 (best Djokovic year to date), that would mean Nadal and Djokovic are not doping anymore? Your logic fails when you try to defend in Federer what you attack in Nadal and Djokovic.

      Delete
    5. No, all you are doing is trolling and creating strawman arguments to try to absolve your boy of his crimes.

      Delete
    6. Apanchu-man,

      I'm not going to engage you in arguments which have been hashed, re-hashed, and re-re-hashed on this blog. You are grasping at straws. You should have gone back to posting as the Djokovic-attacking GutterDandy; that case was much more credible.

      To the bigger picture: Everyone here sees your purpose, as one poster put it, "to muddy the waters concerning Nadal's doping". No matter how many aliases and different angles you come up with, you are not fooling anybody.

      So why don't you give up while you're behind.

      Delete
    7. Moonax, you might call me troll, that is an easy "way out". But I am not absolving anyone of any crimes, quite the contrary, I am on the condemning side. Straw arguments? Well, maybe in your view.

      BDS, you do not need to engage, I am more than happy with that

      Delete
    8. Apanchful,

      To ask what happened to Federer in 2002-3 displays complete and utter ignorance of facts and history....

      "Roger dropped another first-rounder that season at an August tournament in Toronto. He stuck around to compete in doubles, but was basically just partying at night instead of preparing for his matches. One evening, Roger went out for beers with some other players after attending a Cirque du Soleil performance, and ignored Lundgren’s repeated attempts to summon him on his cell phone. Finally, his coach called Wayne Ferreira and got through to Roger. Peter Carter was dead, Lundgren told Roger. Talk about guilt—it was at Roger’s urging that Carter had gone on safari in South Africa. His vehicle had veered off the road and fallen into a ravine. He and the driver were killed instantly.

      Roger lost it. He bolted into the street. When he couldn’t find a cab, he panicked and just started running. He ran more than a mile until he gained his bearings and made his way back to the hotel. Roger returned to Switzerland to see to the arrangements for Carter’s funeral. The body arrived in Basel on his 21st birthday.

      Carter’s death forced Roger to focus on his life, his game and his relationships. As a young pro, he had brushed aside some of what Carter had taught him about being a good player and a good man. Now he wanted to honor his old friend by finally embracing these qualities."...from a Roger Federer Biography (http://www.jockbio.com/Bios/Federer/Federer_bio.html)

      ....also nothing, absolutely nothing, changed about him physically....he didn't start serving harder, running faster, running longer.....he didn't add suspicious muscle...didn't begin to claim mysterious injuries....didn't begin to show incredible stamina in majors that disappeared weeks later in lesser tournaments...he began to show the most remarkable consistency ever shown in tennis history...the player that had beaten a just-out-of-his-prime Pete Sampras at Wimbledon showed up on a regular basis.

      Does this all mean that there's no way Federer uses EPO or HGH?...nope it sure doesn't...but to claim that Federer's "transformation" is "as suspicious as it can be" it ludicrous...."suspicious as it can be" is Nadal's newest claim that "this year" he has "learned" after "tying last year" to hit his forehand "faster"....even more suspicious than that is Nadal's 2010 US Open discussed ad nauseam here...even more suspicious than that is a player now going on 7 solid years of knee tendonitis somehow being healed and strong and fit as ever every French Open except for the one year the French announced their intent to "target test"....and so on and so on...

      Delete
    9. Well, if you are expecting that a Roger Federer Biography will tell you the truth about doping I am flattered when you call me utter ignorant :-)

      Why don't you read Nadal's biography? you might be pleasantly surprised and start liking Roland Garros again. I have heard it is all filled with facts and history too...

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  12. All good comments here. I agree that Nadal is certainly not the one that started it but I have always believed he is one player who simply base his success on that combination of power and stamina. If you look at his game it;s pretty obvious he goes for high percentage shots and has to compensate for that with extra muscle power and amazing stamina. This stamina needs extra help by time taking between points something whcih is not much discussed here but that extra time between point has the same purpose of EPO. It actually maximises the EPO effect.

    Spartina I play tennis and string racquets in my club so I clearly undertsand how a string can affect a game. In the past a tennis player was taught to keep the centre of the court cause once you were driven outside the centre, in the trameline you chance of pulling a passing winner or just win teh rally were pretty slim. Nowadays being sent in one corner of the court is/can be actually an advantage as it offers more angle to pass or even unbalance the opponent thanks to strings which keep a very decent pace despite huge amount of spin. If you watch the AO 2009 final you will see plenty of rallies where the winner is actually the one who is first sent to the trameline if not beyond. Thanks to today fitness and strings what those guys can do from what woudl have been losing positions pre-2000 is simply amazing. Well amazing...very physique anyway!

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  13. Federer was NOT 23/24 in 2003 when he won Wimbledon. He was 21. Nothing suspicious about improving aged 20/21. Djokovic won his first Grand Slam aged 20, Nadal was 19 and Murray was 21 when he reached his first final.

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    1. Well he was nearly 22. And the suspicion comes not only because it was at 22 that he won the first, but because after that one he did not stop winning them year after year from January to December... and you could argue that the antidoping system worked better then than now but I would find that suspicious :-)

      Suspicion is a very subjective matter I believe, just read this blog. People is suspicious of Fish, Tipsarevic, Monaco, Soderling, Murray, Djokovic, Tsonga, Ferrer, Nadal, Gasquet, Simon, Berdich, Verdasco, Agasi, Safin, Borg, McEnroe, Lendl, Wilander, Connors... Actually... is there anyone that is not under suspicion?

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    2. hard to swim in muddy waters, isn't it?....where is the prevailing opinion on this blog that specifically Fish, Monaco. Tsonga, Gasguet, Simon, Safin, Borg, McEnroe Lendl, Wilander or Connors are/were dopers?....Federer's potential for PED use has been discussed more than all those guys combined....you MIGHT find an occasional comment by a random poster on a few of those guys but HARDLY prevailing opinion....however, to the contrary, I can point to several posts of Sen's that point to his opinion that no one, including Federer, is above suspicion, and can point to several strings where Federer was specifically discussed and incriminated by several non-Boremans (myself included) in regards to being suspect for EPO use....you don't like to hear that though because it doesn't fit into your sorely mistaken "this blog only accuses Nadal" victimization plot line and refuse to acknowledge that Nadal is discussed most because he is far and away the most suspect....add to that the unintentionally-irony-filled posts by the likes of you that simultaneously hurl accusations at Federer while crying that the blog doesn't allow accusations to be hurled at Federer (hopefully you do understand that's a perfect example of irony) and you have the proof that the likes of you aren't at all concerned with doping in tennis - you're just concerned with trying to deflect attention from the the magnet of attention that is Rafael Nadal....are we having fun yet?

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    3. Do you know what subjective means, swisschease? English is not my first language but I have a strong feeling that "subjective" and "prevailing opinion on this blog" are different things (with some irony and having fun of course, because the prevailing opinion on this blog might be very subjective :-) ).

      The actual generation are all suspect dopers, and that is my opinion, subjective, but also based greatly on what I have read on this blog.

      The old generation, Borg, McEnroe, Lendl, Wilander, Connors... are they not suspects for you? They are for me (subjective again, and still having fun), and I would find it difficult to say who I find less suspicious.

      Federer is a strong suspect? yes he is, and it seems you agree (only sometimes, some other times you thing the biography, which might not be objective at all, is a better reference)
      Did I say I am the first one to say that? no
      Did I say you did not say that? no
      Do I know why you are so upset? not a clue, but it is of more importance to you, so relax and sort it out (not having fun now)

      Do I have to agree with people like Andrea below that say Nadal can not play tennis? No I do not.

      Do I support Nadal over Federer, yes, but only the same as you might support Manchester United over Liverpool or Barcelona over Real Madrid. Silly but mostly harmless.

      Would I be disappointed if Nadal would be proved a doper? yes, as any Federer fan would be if that happens to him.

      Any other questions I will gladly answer, and will try to have fun

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    4. A few more questions for you then:
      1) what do you do in life?
      2) how many hours a day do you devote attacking Federer and
      3) what is your financial incentive for doing this?

      I want it also noted that you are brazenly misrepresenting facts by claiming some of the posters said Federer was a strong suspect.
      What those people really said is that nobody is above suspicion, including him, NOT that he is a strong suspect. You and your other incarnations IS the only one claiming that here.

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  14. From Apanch : "Moonax, I just try to point out that Federer is as suspect from doping as Nadal is."

    You clearly have little understanding of tennis and this is I guess why you are supporting a cheat with a muscle coat.

    Yes Federer might be doping...I don't know for sure. But he is certainly not "as suspect as Nadal!". Federer knows how to play tennis. Nadal doesn't. It's as smple as that. When Nadal is not pumped up like in end of season he gets beaten by everybody...Federer still hold his own...all year long! He even bagels Nadal. That's the difference.

    Regarding the 2002/2003 improvement from Federer, I agree that suddenly everything seems to click in but you woudl expect that from such a talented player. Federer also changed racquet in 2002 (bogger frame (85 to 90in) and adopted the new luxilon (on the crosses) and that may have had teh same effect when the talented McEnroe adopted the larger grahite frames in 83....giving him an amazing 84 season!

    Federer in 2001 showed teh world he had teh talent by beating Pete on grass. It was just a question of time before his talent mixed with confidence would really make him an exceptional player.

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  15. My point about the racquet is not so much that the racquet itself does the trick but having a bigger sweet spot, it gives the player a sudden surge of confidence. That confidence is crucial for players like Federer who hit their spots.

    Nadal moonballs with ridiculous save margins so the risk of making UEs is ridiculously low compared to other players.

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  16. Apanch - Your English is much better than your tennis knowledge.

    When I say Nadal doesn;t know how to play tennis, it's true. Not a proper coach is going to teach his style. Too gruelling and inefficient. Nadal's game really get to be efficient when he is "slam fit". When not fit he is no better than Dodig or Mayer....despite still a superior fitness than them....but just not good enough.

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  17. Andrea, thanks but I can not agree, and you see, when I say that, that is really really true :-)

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  18. Pat, I'm just curious. Why don't you answer the questions posed to you instead of posturing about how you 'aren't out of touch'? So you are back on the inside and doing very nicely out of it aren't you, so it's in your interests to maintain omerta. Don't want to bite the hand that feeds you now do you?

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