Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Dr. Luis Garcia del Moral: The USADA's Charges

I thought I'd post the specific allegations made by the USADA against Dr. Luis Garcia del Moral by the USADA in its June 12, 2012 letter:

By Dr. Luis del Moral (Team Doctor):

(1) Possession of prohibited substances and/or methods including EPO, blood transfusions and related equipment (such as needles, blood bags, storage containers and other transfusion equipment and blood parameters measuring devices), testosterone, hGH, corticosteroids, and masking agents, as described in more detail above.

(2) Trafficking of EPO, blood transfusions, testosterone, hGH, corticosteroids andmasking agents as described in more detail above.

(3) Administration and/or attempted administration of EPO, blood transfusions, testosterone, hGH, corticosteroids, and masking agents as described in more detail above.

(4) Assisting, encouraging, aiding, abetting, covering up and other complicity involving one or more anti-doping rule violations and/or attempted anti-doping rule violations.

(5) Aggravating circumstances justifying a period of ineligibility greater than the standard sanction.

Dr. Luis Garcia del Moral was the Team Doctor for the USPS Cycling Team for the period from 1999 through 2003. Subsequently, Dr. del Moral continued to serve as a physician for many cyclists. He currently works as a sports doctor in Valencia, Spain.

With respect to Dr. del Moral, numerous riders will testify that Dr. del Moral gave to them, encouraged them to use and/or assisted them in using doping products and/or prohibited methods, including EPO, blood transfusions, testosterone, hGH, cortisone and infusions of saline, plasma and/or glycerol during the period from 1999 through 2005. Riders and other witnesses will also testify that del Moral worked actively to conceal rule violations by himself and others throughout the period from 1999 through the present.

How many in the tennis media do you think have taken the time to read the USADA's letter? Also, given the seriousness of the charges, why has the ITF remained completely silent regarding the connection between Dr. del Moral and professional tennis?

35 comments:

  1. Item (5) above is interesting. WADA Code Article 10.6, which defines "aggravating circumstances," makes clear that it doesn't apply to "trafficking" (Article 2.7) or "attempted administration to athletes" (Article 2.8), because those articles already provide for punishment of four years or more (and aggravating circumstances allows for a punishment to be increased to a maximum of four years). Having a doping plan or scheme does make you eligible for being prosecuted under "aggravated circumstances," but it's hard to imagine someone other than the athlete being involved in "aiding, abetting," etc. under Article 2.8 without being part of a doping scheme. It looks like USADA is just covering all of their bases, but the interplay of these Articles are interesting. It seems like a finding of guilt for items (2), (3), or (4) above would likely result in a sentence larger, or at least as large as a finding of "aggravating circumstances" would provide.

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  2. Do you think Del Moral could name tennis players to get his fine, term reduced?

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    1. At this point in time, I would be surprised.

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    2. The real issue is that there's no realistic way to keep dirty doctors from working with athletes in the future. There are obviously barriers for athletes that want to make sure they don't risk connections with a guilty doctor being made public post conviction. Victor Conte is living proof that athletes will not necessarily distance themselves from those situations. He still works with athletes. You can punish anybody, but it's not like they're calling up to WADA saying, "Hey, I'm about to inject some guy with EPO. I just wanted to let you know." If the "doctors" are advanced and at the top of their field, athletes will seek them out regardless of any punishment that has befallen the doctor.

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    3. The way to get your fine reduced is NOT to name tennis players. ;)

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  3. On to Wimbledon, Ferrer is looking so "strong" it's getting ridiculous. The guy can run down nearly everything. Yesterday he looked like Nadal at his peak.

    Del Potro might run hard to just get to a ball, and then throw up a backspin lob (as a hail mary). Ferrer will run hard again and again and just get to a ball, then let rip a strong top spin response, more often than not cross-court for good measure, and do it all again 2 points later.

    As others said two threads ago, for a 30 year old to do this, play at the peak of his career the last couple of years and going further into Slams than ever before when, frankly, the competition, with Nadal and Djokovic and Murray and Tsonga (though not Federer any longer), is higher than ever, is unbelievable.

    Then when you think that he trains with Del Moral, the doping doctor, it all starts to make sense....



    I felt sorry for Del Potro. He played tennis like it used to be played, like it should be played. But Ferrer just robot-ted him off the court. Boring. Murray be find it very hard indeed.

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  4. I agree about the Ferrer/Del Potro match. We saw a player of 5'9" outhitting - for sheer power - a player who is 9" taller. And being Spanish he could of course get to every ball. Commentator Greg Rusedski (who knows a little about doping since his nandrolone days) said, "I love the Spanish attitude, that there isn't a ball they won't try and get to. I have never seen a Spanish player who isn't a great athlete". Something in the Spanish water supply, huh, Greg? Nadal is gone but with Ferrer playing the way he is now - better than ever at over 30 - Spain could still have one of its own in the finals, and even lifting the trophy. I jest not. What Ferrer is doing out there is freakish and would take another 'superman' to beat him. He is way better - more powerful - than he was at 25. Age shall not weary them, etc (apologies to Lawrence Binyon.) Yannick Noah was vilified last year for daring to ask the question, just what is it that the Spaniards have discovered, like secret new training methods, that make them the best players (nay, sportsmen - see their football team this week) in the world? As our friend Swisscheese40 would say, "Nothing to see here, folks. Move on." What Spain is doing these days has a wonderful sense of deja vu; it brings back the glory days of East Germany and the other Eastern bloc states in the 70's and 80's. Plus ca change.

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    1. Microdosing between 11.00PM and 6.00AM is probably the answer.

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    2. I'm not sure he's a better player than he was at 25 - US Open semis that year, among a lot of other results.

      What is more interesting is that after that, he "went away" in latter 08 and 09, dropped out of the top20, before constantly improving since.

      Seeing this a lot in tennis atm, players having their first peak mid20s, dropping away, then coming back at 27/28 stronger and stronger. Seppi, Youzhny and Kohlschreiber, for example.

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  5. With Errani charging up the charts lately (thank god someone has beaten her already at Wimbledon - Ferrer in the qtrs, and probably going further, is already at the limits of what I can bear), and Ferrer now playing better than ever at the ripe old age of over-30 - given that they both work with Dr "Doper" Moral, it makes me think that the Good Doctor has perhaps rececntly discovered even better "treatment" he can give his clients that is, purely coincidentally of course, taking them both further than they have ever gone before. (And both at the same time!)

    Ferrer will seriously take some beating. There is nothing subtle about his play at the moment. You can smell dope a mile off. And he doesnt' care. He knows he is bullet proof and nothing will ever happen even if he wins the whole thing. Richard Ings might in good faith tell us that now that Moral has been charged with significant and serious doping offences, any decent organisation would be investigating, and target testing, those athletes who have been working with the seriously suspect Dr Moral. Which is correct, of course the ITF *should* be doing this - but I would bet that this isn't happening.

    I feel for Murray - he may find himself crashing back down to earth, through no fault of his own.

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    1. Do you really think Murray is clean? He is as guilty as sin if you ask me. His whole game is based on his pair of legs and arms muscling the ball.

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    2. Murray if anything lacks power. His major weakness is an inability to generate rackethead speed on the forehand.

      Having said that, personally I doubt anyone in the top30 is clean, they wouldn't be able to compete otherwise. Gasquet perhaps, Kohlschreiber mebbe - would be surprised if they were revealed to be dopers, but wouldn't be remotely surprised at anyone else.

      Even outside the top30 down 75 I look through the lists and see likely dope after likely doper - perhaps Andujar I would suspect would be clean, Soeda ditto. Then again, Andujar is Spanish and has some bizarre swings on form, so who knows.

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    3. There is only 1 male tennis player that I am relatively sure of that he's clean and that is Dimitrov.

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    4. Well I am pretty sure these 4 ARE doping: Djokovic, Nadal, Ferrer and Murray.

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    5. Murray if anything lacks power. His major weakness is an inability to generate rackethead speed on the forehand.
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      Murray doesn;t lack power at all. He lacks pace cause on his FH he puts too much top spin and plays too safe, no different than Nadal!!!. If you see him hit a flat FH, it;s like Nadal, it's a rocket.

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    6. I have to agree with Andrea. Murray can rip the ball at will when his testicles aren't clogging up his throat. Nowadays he regularly serves over 130 mph and follows it up with 80 mph choke ser, I mean second serves. He has the worst second serve in the top 20 and it's not because of lack of talent or ball striking. Murray would be worthless without PED's. He's an overly-muscular, overly-speedy choker/pusher. Without the PED's he'd be an underly-musclur, somewhat speedy choker/pusher.

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    7. Exactly Swisscheese...and I woudl not be surprised if Murray outlast Ferrer...despite having a much bigger frame than Ferrer, which a few years ago woudl have never been possible!

      One think however is that I think Murray talent is really over rated. A bit more talent would have given him a much better serve (1st and 2nd) for his size. All those "touch" shots are really helped by a strong arm like you can see with Nadal for instance.

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  6. As predicted Nadal is going to cure is knee before the Games. How convenient!
    http://www.lequipe.fr/Tennis/Actualites/Nadal-arret-force-avant-les-jeux/296122

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    1. ESPN is now reporting the story: http://espn.go.com/tennis/story/_/id/8129322/rafael-nadal-rest-knee-pulls-charity-event

      "Doctors have been examining my knee and say I suffer from tendonitis on the patellar ligament and that I must rest for 15 days..."

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    2. SNR, this is at least as big a story as Del Moral, at least for tennis, would appreciate posts on it, and would encourage readers to contribute thoughts.
      What I notice, is the unsportsman-like behavior of Nadal who implicitely blames his loss to Rosol on tendonitis, while during the press conference he only implied the umpire might have had something to do with his loss. This is similar to earlier this year when he announced he was actually injured when he lost to Federer in Key Biscane.
      But most importantly, this treatment is announced to the press, like before, and I assume Nadal will benefit from a Therapeutic Use Exemption at the Games? Or this doesn't fall under 'doping'?
      Anyway, seems it's time to load up on the good stuff as the season and rankings are in danger. No time for stupid exhibitions for which 30'000 poor souls already bought tickets, unfortunately it was scheduled 3 days before the expiration of the rest period (which, btw is longer this time than in the spring)

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    3. Geez Louise. Nadal has supposedly had tendonitis for 7 years and he still has to have a doctor "examine" his knee and diagnose tendonitis? What's the Spanish word for "farce?" I'm sort of surprised he didn't blame the loss on the "slippery, green clay" that Wimbledon used this year and threaten to not play the event next year unless they go back to grass. In my opinion Nadal has become a parody and a caricature. He simply can't be taken seriously and one can't believe a word he says, not even "hola."

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    4. JMF,

      I know this is an issue that you (and others) are passionate about, but, in my view, by any measure, Dr. del Moral being charged with anti-doping violations is way bigger than Nadal's knees. The Odesnik story is also bigger. Both these stories raise serious questions about the ITF's handling of anti-doping matters.

      Nadal's knee vacations don't do this. Plus, this blog has already dealt with Nadal's knees at length, including pointing out the lack of evidence on the utility of PRP treatments.

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    5. SNR,

      Thank you for your comment.
      It's your blog after all and you decide.

      Odesnik, Haase, and Dr Luis Garcia del Moral are, in my opinion, not names who will attract new addicts or even many readers to this site. Also, it's not clear where we stand on Odesnik and whether this story will ever be clarified.
      On the other hand, true, these stories, especially Del Moral, put in doubt the efforts of the ITF, and highlight the policy of marketing tennis as a clean sport at any price.

      The thing is, we now have the Olympics coming up, hopefully the UK authorities will do a good job. Perhaps someone from the Guardian reads this blog and writes something. And that motivates the UKADA even more. I rest my hopes on them, not on the ITF changing something anytime soon. Yes, they might react and promise a 'thorough review' (or more likely, that such thorough review was just completed), and it will in the end only confirm that what was done so far is the right approach, perhaps one or two small modifications will be implemented, otherwise imagine the doubts arising - oh that means the testing might have been less than perfect in the past? Can't allow a thought like that, of course.

      Finally, I mentioned Nadal because if a new reader comes, and wants to know something about his treatment (to complete their picture of one of the biggest suspects, to say the least), it's good to have it in the fresh news. Now, it's true the news don't mention the PRP treatment this time, but that's probably what's happening

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  7. It's time to watch the Ferrer show! Get your popcorn ready peeps.

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    1. I could have sworn I just watched Federer and Yhouzny play a match on grass. How the hell did Wimbledon install the clay court that Ferrer and Murray are playing on so quickly. It only took them like 10 minutes. It makes me wonder...is the Djokovic/Federer match going to be on grass or clay?

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    2. Good question. Maybe it will be like the silly battle of the surfaces thing that Fedal played. You're right, these guys are making this court look very slow with their speed and style. This is supposed to be one of the very quickest surfaces, granting easy pace and lots of winners... At least either Tsonga or Kohlschreiber are guaranteed to speed up one half of the proceeding match to this one :P

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  8. Ferrer is running from side to side, getting to everything that Murray throws at him and he's not even breathing hard or anything. I think even peak Nadal would be proud of such a performance.

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  9. From EuroSport's live comments on the match: Murray levels up after an exhausting tie-break to cap an exhausting set in an exhausting match. Two hours and 12 minutes in, we are 1-1 in sets.

    I'm exhausted from just reading that...

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    1. Here are some quotes from BBC's live comments:

      Andrew Castle,"Ferrer's wearing his shoes out, he's covering so much ground here."

      John McEnroe, "I've got to say there are occasions when we are so fortunate to be in this commentary booth watching this kind of athleticism."

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    2. Comments like Mcenroe's make me feel ill. He's made PED comments in the past, why can't he see through it?!

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  10. Some here don't realise that Ferrer is a considerably smaller frame than Murray. I was walking side to side with Ferrer 2 years ago at this same tournament and Ferrer is quite short. What is really bizarre is seeing guys as tall as Murray or even Djokovic able to outlast Ferrer. That's something we would have never seen a few years ago.

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  11. As for Murray, he is quite built yes but basically I am not completely convinced he dopes (as much as I am with Ferrer, Djokovic, Nadal at least) - and I'd rather he won than Ferrer, whose whole game is based solely on utterly boring, doped-up tennis.

    Ferrer, Djokovic, Nadal all play pretty much the same boring style these days. Wacking it hard and running down every shot. As an opponent of theirs it's almost a *disadvantage* to hit the ball to the far corner of where they are positioned, as they will usually run it down and send it back with harsh interest. Almost better to hit it straight to them straight down the middle. At least you would take away their angles.

    Murray is a retriever and muscley, yes, and may well be doped, but his style is not so bad. I think he has far more tennis talent than Ferrer who frankly is starting to make me feel sick watching him play like this at 30 after training with Dr Moral. I would rather Murray win (regardless of whether or not anything is up with him) and am happy he did.

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  12. Off the doping topic but germane (enough, hehe)...

    Quote from Ferrer: “Of course Andy Murray, he has a chance to win Wimbledon,” Ferrer said. “He’s unbelievable player. He deserves to win one Grand Slam.”

    It's the "one" that gets me, for all the obvious reasons...

    Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/05/sports/tennis/federer-to-face-djokovic-in-wimbledon-semifinal.html

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  13. Yeah, Murray dopes - otherwise, with his kind of game, he wouldn't have stood a chance against Ferret. Does Ferrer dope? Is he Spanish? I am sure there is a Moral (sorry, couldn't resist) in the story somewhere.

    The Federer/Youzhny qtr looked liked a game I recall called tennis. The Murray/Ferrer match looked like (to borrow a phrase once used by Fabrice Santoro) "an advertisement for illegal pharmaceuticals."

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