I underwent my umpteenth doping control at Roland Garros. I get tested a lot, and I find that strange. Why spend so much money on a player ranked 40, who loses every week and isn’t on any sort of winning streak. It has only happened one time that I wasn’t selected for doping control at a tournament. I don’t believe in coincidences. Yet, certain players get tested 16 times a year, and others not a single time. Federer won 6 tournaments in a row, except for the Australian Open and Doha, and he told me he hadn’t been tested once.
I enjoy fairness in sport and I'm all for doping controls. However, the way it is now is ridiculous. Guys who are found guilty are let off easy. Cañas was caught twice, is allowed to return, and beats Federer twice, in Indian Wells and in Miami. A totally different example is that of the cyclist Contador, who was convicted for a couple of picograms of clenbuterol. A doctor, whom I consulted, didn’t even know how little that was. That’s six zero’s after the comma, and it can be in meat. That’s not right, those levels should be adjusted.
Change is necessary, because athletes are treated like criminals. If I have to go to doping control after a match, I am not allowed to eat the whole time. That’s not in the player’s best interest, who is supposed to take care of his body. The whereabouts system is a pure invasion of privacy. I have to precisely specify where I will sleep and I have to be at a predetermined place for a certain hour of the day. When that changes for whatever reason, I can get caught. When I make a mistake while filling out the form, a 2-year suspension is looming. I can be lifted from my bed at 6 am for a doping test. Furthermore, a lot of procedural errors are being made. We, as tennis players, should be involved and talking to the authorities. Unfortunately, that barely happens.
Thursday, July 5, 2012
Robin Haase on Doping Control in Tennis
The following column was written by Robin Haase for a new Dutch tennis magazine called Forty Love. Fellow blogger Niels has kindly provided a translation. It's an interesting piece, among other things, Haase indicates that "a lot of procedural errors are being made," I wonder what he's talking about. Here is the piece: