Saturday, September 8, 2012

Vania King (Update #1)

A rather shocking comment by Vania King about doping in tennis. (Note: King has since deleted the tweet)


Wonder what prompted this comment...does she have any specific players in mind?
 
One point, King is wrong about titles. The tennis anti-doping rules state (s. 9.1): "An Anti-Doping Rule Violation committed by a Player in connection with or arising out of an In-Competition test automatically leads to Disqualification of the results obtained by the Player in the Competition in question, with all resulting consequences,forfeiture of any medals, titles, ranking points and Prize Money obtained by the Player in that Competition." (Is she implying they don't enforce their own rules? Conveniently for tennis, no player has ever been found guilty of an anti-doping violation after winning a tournament. The closest was Mariano Puerta's French Open runner-up positive.)

Anyways, I'm sure the ITF/WTA will have a stern talking to King about her comments, lest people get the "wrong" impression of the ITF's "strict" anti-doping program.

Update #1: Something new from twitter-land...


74 comments:

  1. Her comment seems to be one of two variations, either:

    1.) She doesn't know anything about the rules surrounding anti-doping (likely), and she is just running her mouth off because she's mad at somebody (with no knowledge about whether people dope), OR

    2.) She doesn't know anything about the rules surrounding anti-doping, but she has seen enough to make her confident that some doping is going on.

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    1. But then she says underneath that tweet that she thinks tennis players are "vigorously tested" which we know is not the truth based on the stats. She also said she thinks tennis players could be tested less.

      I honestly have no idea why she made these statements in the first place. Maybe the del Moral talk?

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  2. Seeking attention... Lack of success on the tennis court also has a lot to do with it.

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    1. That sounds like something Peter Bodo would say.

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    2. I mean I understand that you want support but there are things fans can do that players can't do. Players who have information about other players doping are either teamates or were in a certain relationship with the alleged doper. If anything her double partner is the one who dopes. Players don't dope and organize conferences about it. In other words, a player who is not a doper himself can't know how many players are doping. He or she can only base his or her allegations on rumors and players shouldn't be allowed to do that. They have responsibilities. They are not fans.
      I tought it was a cheap shot towards because she is the one who suffers the most from allegations of doping and who has more than a few titles among active players. It could be a payback for black people degrading comments about Jeremy Lin who happen to be taiwanese-American just like Vania King or due to the altercation Serena had with the chinese line judge.
      I think if she has information, she should provide it but if it is just pure speculation, she should be punished for it because in that case it would be very irresponsible.

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    3. Strongly disagree, Eric Ed. They have been playing these same people for years. It is obvious when someone else starts doping. Secondly, at some point they have been approached by someone and, assuming they remain clean, are going to see others working with the person or people that approached them suddenly becoming better, stronger and faster players with more stamina. It appears that you think that she is directing this at Serena. I don't see any reference to her, so why do you think that?

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    4. And of course you are going to have a lack of success in the sport you have dedicated your life to if doping is running rampant and no one is doing anything about it, if you decide to remain clean. Why is that discrediting what she is saying? Without getting into specific players, clearly a lot of players are doping, so these are all players that are stealing victories and prize money from a clean players. So they should just shut up and take it quietly? I wish more of them would speak up.

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    5. Look at it from this perspective: Vania will probably soon get notice from the WTA/ITF (if she hasn't already), telling her that it's discouraged for her to make remarks like this without being able to make a specific allegation (as they've done to other players in the past). The irony is that the ITF isn't taking the steps it needs to so that Vania (and other players) can have confidence that she is competing on a level playing field. I'd urge the ITF to implement a better testing regime before they tell Vania, or any other player, to be quiet on the subject.

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    6. It's rather sad when you think about it that the WTA/ITF will probably come down harder on Vania King for her comments then they did on any of the TenisVal/Dr. del Moral players.

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    7. First, Someone becoming better, faster, and stronger doesn't necessarily mean they are doping. Second, you can't just throw that situation in the air without naming players you think she is alluding to. Who do you think she is alluding to that trains in the US, that changed dramatically and just starts winning a lot of titles. I doubt any name comes to your mind. I think she trains in the US and I don't think there are any relevant americans other than Serena. Even if the situation you're presenting did occur, do you think a professional tennis player should throw doping accusations on all tennis players just because some of them became faster, stronger and better. The way you interpret her comment is not how everybody would see it. People will just say there is a professional player who has insider information think all or most of the tennis players dope. How many has she been around with to be able to make such statements. Tennis is not a team sport like soccer, Baseball, or Cycling. Why this timing? In cycling, Armstrong is not the first cyclist to be stripped of his titles. Naming Armstrong has to do with athletes that have won multiple titles and that can be stripped of all of them at a later date. I think she is talking about players winning titles consistently and I don't know many of them. I don't think she is talking about the man's side which her statement includes as well. Like I said it is iresponsible for a player to make these kinds of statements. If she has legitimate information about specific players, she could just go and talk about it to the ITF behind the curtain as oppose to tarnishing the whole field. Nobody will gain if the sport is tainted.

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    8. Sen: That has been addressed by Richard Ings

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    9. THASP: If players train hard to achieve their results, do you think they will be happy that any incapable player accuses them of doping?

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    10. What hasn't been addressed by Richard, and which none of us are in a position to know, is what the ITF is doing about del Moral. Are they investigating those "various tennis players?" If you're going to chastise one of your own players for making accusations, which is a fair point if those accusations are baseless, you should first make sure that you can give those players assurances that you have researched evidence of possible wrongdoing. It's true that there's no rule on the books to prevent Errani from working with del Moral going forward, but that's completely different than the ITF researching those past connections for wrongdoing. They owe that to all of us, and all players should be suspicious of the entire process until the ITF makes it clear that all of those relationships have been fully vetted (or that is in the process of happening).

      While I don't necessarily appreciate a player speaking out without evidence, I wish more players would get informed and put pressure on the ITF. If I were a clean professional tennis player, knowing what I know about how little assurance the ITF is currently giving me about the cleanliness of the sport, I would be blasting them at every post-match press conference until they addressed why the system is run the way it is. While Vania's statement may have been misplaced, it would not be misplaced for players to put a great deal of pressure on the ITF to improve the system.

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    11. Eric Ed,
      Vania King is currently ranked 52. When Tyler Hamilton had to race the Tour drug free in '01, he finished in 94th place. Before and after that, he was one of the top riders while doped. Assuming she is drug free, she is exactly the type of competitor who should be complaining loudly about doping.

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    12. She's been 50 since 2006. That analogy doesn't hold as tennis involves a lot more than the same move in cycling. Tennis may involve tens of parameters while cycling only involves one. No 5'5 would accomplish anything in any relevant sport. She's has never been past the 3rd round of women competition in 7 years and all other players have to be blamed for it. She should be lobbying to have categories in tennis as they have it in boxing and in other sports as opposing to making doping claims. Jealous, that is all she is. Even Serena at 12 would have beaten her and I don't think she has achieved enough to run her mouth

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    13. Mrn10sdave I can't tell you what or what not the ITF is doing. I just don't know.

      But I can tell you what I would do. This is a very common situation.

      I would firstly interview the players with links to the doctor. I would use professional investigators for that purpose who know what they are doing. Interviewing is a skill and you need special training to do it from a law enforcement perspective.

      I would in parallel target test all the players linked. In comp. out of comp. blood and urine. I would try to bag about 6 tests each between now and end of season missed between in comp and OOC.

      And I would freeze the samples collected.

      That is what I would do (and have done in similar situations before).

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    14. No one 5'5 accomplishes anything in any sport? Wonder how tall Sara Errani is. Can't be much more.

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  3. Eric Ed: You seem to have taken great offense to King's comments solely because you think she is referring to Serena.

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  4. Not necessarily. I never sided with players who acted that way. If they witness something, even though I don't think it is ideal, I don't blame them for doing so. For a player to make that statement without knowing that it will be tied to the ongoing US Open is really bad.

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    1. As mrn10sdave notes above, the ITF has done nothing to inspire confidence in its approach to anti-doping. The testing is weak and its actions on other fronts such as Dr. del Moral and Wayne Odesnik leave much to be desired.

      If tennis wants to avoid the situation in which cycling has found itself, a lot of very public pressure needs to be exerted on the ITF to be a lot more open about its approach to anti-doping. The players are the best positioned to exert such pressure and more need to speak out about the state of the sport and testing.

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    2. That player is too irrelevant to be making noise. Even if there was no doping, she wouldn't be in any conversation anyway. If she feels any injustice, she has to complain to nature. She should wonder how many 5'5 have done anything in a real sport to begin with. No players owe her anything.

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    3. Very Armstrong-esque ad hominem attack there, Eric Ed.

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    4. BTW, I think Armstrong doped though but I won't read any books from his ex-teamates

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  5. Come on Eric, she was obviously talking about david Savic.

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  6. Where is a 'don't feed the troll' sign when you need one.

    It is good to see someone voicing their concerns about doping in tennis. I am sure she will be silenced in short order by the authorities.

    You can also see the 'attack the messenger' approach which could have been written by Armstrong's PR agency. If anyone has anything critical to say then it is always, always personally motivated.

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    1. Have you read the Hamilton book? I'm sure most of it wouldn't be new news to you anyway, but there were several interesting stories in it that I wasn't aware of.

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    2. My copy is on order from the US as the UK edition has been edited due to concerns of lawsuits from Armstrong. I've been following the discussions about the book and the interviews.

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    3. Just got it today and I'm about a third of the way through. Great read. Eye-opener. Haven't even gotten to the Lance stuff. No way you could compete without doping. No way.

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    4. Your last two sentences hit the nail on the head. I'm not a cycling fan, and I knew it was rampant, but I hadn't really thought about the issue in exactly those terms until I read the book. Even if you assume that some of the stuff he said is just aimed to take cheap shots at Lance, the detail he provides shows how wildly his own performance varied based on whether or not he was using at the time. He also offers some anecdotal evidence of how other riders varied in the same manner.

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    5. Also, one of the things Hamilton mentions as really the key advantage of doping is its ability to assist athletes in maintaining a performance level. He says that it doesn't show up so much in the early stages, but it does later in Tours when the body would normally start to break down. That's not a news flash, but it is really the only way that tennis and cycling are comparable. Tennis divorces skill and technique more from endurance than cycling does, so it's hard to really grasp how to compare doping between the two sports. However, when players are able to play back-to-back five or six hour matches, I think it really parallels what Hamilton outlines as the main advantage of doping.

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    6. Great stuff for here, too. Here's a good excerpt:
      "There were other changes, too. Under the new, post-Festina system, we no longer got EPO from team staffers at races; instead we had to pick it up ourselves. I got it at del Moral's clinic in Valencia..."

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    7. Agreed. That line probably stuck out in my mind more than any other in book (except for one, which you'll get to at the end which is just hilarious in my opinion) due to its relevance to us.

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    8. I can't wait to get my copy of the book. It's currently on order.

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  7. Interesting news from UCI:

    "The Union Cycliste Internationale appears to have pulled an about-face regarding its interest in American riders Christian Vande Velde, Dave Zabriskie and Tom Danielson after their manager, Jonathan Vaughters, outed them as having used performance-enhancing drugs years ago."

    http://velonews.competitor.com/2012/09/news/uci-suddenly-develops-interest-in-garmin-trio-after-jonathan-vaughters-online-revelations_237857?utm_medium=whats-hot

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  8. The WADA's new HGH test nabs its first two dopers: http://paralympic.org/press-release/latest-testing-methods-result-suspension-two-russian-powerlifters-anti-doping

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Don't worry, Richard. Your above post was just as valuable as many of the other posts in this thread...

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    3. Too true mrn10sdave.....

      There goes the neighbourhood as they say.

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  9. Must have been watching Serena last night I guess.

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  10. She's clearly implying there is A LOT of doping going on.
    Vania King for president, clearly. Even though I never heard of her before today:) Probably better known in the US than in Europe.

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    1. She was alluding to Federer who has won the most majors. She wanted to know if all his titles would be taken away once he is found guilty.

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    2. There must be a huuuge L on your forehead...

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    3. Federer might be doping but he seems less likely than other recent number one players. No frequent absences from the tour coming back better than ever, no reliance on the physical retrieving game, no rumour about his associates, no suspicious TUE treatment.

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    4. Federer is a doper. too many signs if you watch his body reactions when he plays. I can't list them because there are so many. When you try to view doping as being related to lying, it is obvious the person who lies the most would be the one who dopes the most. If you use the wrong parameters, you are likely to get the wrong guys and from the comments I have seen from the website regarding signs of doping, I came to conclusion that most have no idea what sports really is.

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    5. You are an idiot Eric Ed. Too many signs to name, of course, that would take some of your valuable time, which you have to spend somewhere else, cause unfortunately you don't write here overtime, just 40 hours per week. Ridiculous.

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  11. We all know how they got there. Henin lost her backhand strength and injured her shoulder after her return. She was never supposed to be so strong anyway. Serena and Venus were born strong. At 16, Serena beat Mary Pierce and Monica Seles. At almost the same age, Serena has been doing damage while Henin could make a breakthrough till she found "a way" to get herself to compete. Some are born strong,others are not. It is that simple

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    1. Errani says she has practised against men but none of them hit as hard as Serena. Just as I always thought - and Ed constantly maintains - Serena is a large strong black man. It's that simple.

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    2. To be more accurate, Errani said she has practised against men in the top 500 and 400. Women in the top of track and field, weight lifting and other sports have better performance against men in the top 500 or 400 in their respective sports. Williams were beaten by a top 250 before but she could beat a top 400 or 500. Do you mean that all men are stronger than all women? Would you be surpriseing is having a top female hitting harder than a top male.

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    3. That she might beat a lower-ranked man (when? who?) begs the question of how she can do it. You insist its natural. You don't - and can't - know that as a fact. It's just as likely that it isn't natural. I, and others, will say it isn't, because 1) as a younger athlete through to her prime athletic years in her mid-twenties she didn't have the power she has today, as she nears the typical age of decline for a top athlete, and 2) no female tennis player that we have seen in the past 50 years of the sport possessed anything like that power - which in her case is male power. That strength like this is now occurring amongst female athletes in other sports (Ye Shiwen, anyone?) only reinforces the likelihood of doping there, too.

      Yep, she is Ostapchuk with a tennis racket. Or better still, as you continue to prove - a large strong black man. One thing is certainly irrefutable, since you prove it with everything you say about her - your strange infatuation with Serena knows no bounds. I would be worried if I was her. Forget "break-ins"; she has another stalker in the making.

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    4. Richard: I don't know why you always tend to reset your mind on your original illusions. The difference between Serena and these men is not just the nature of their sex. May be it has a lot to do with it. I don't want to push my arguments further as you seem to get confused as arguments get more complex. I am a very nice guy and don't want to confuse you any further.
      You seem not to be able to grasp all parameters or include them when you're reasoning and there are a lot of holes in your logic. Ye Shiwen was not compared against the top 500 but the top male and the media also exagerated part of her achievement to make it look more suspicious even though I don't exclude doping.
      My remark is that you tend to be more stubborn on the website than trying to know if your assumptions are true. It is belief and fear of reality than anything else.

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    5. "Fear of reality"? In Serena's case it is fear of drug testers.

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  12. I don't think it is an unreasonable question as few if ay players would know this. But the tennis rules (at least in my day) provided that if a player was found to have won a tournament and tested positive then they would be stripped of the title and the runner up would take the title.

    This (at least in my day) was the only re-arranging of results that would (and indeed could) happen in tennis.

    For example it would be impossible to re-arrange say a quarter final loss by a doping player and redistribute prize money to the people they beat. So tennis just re-arranges the title if the winner only is shown to be doping and confiscates all the prize money won.

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    1. That is why I think she is alluding to accumulated previous titles won by a tennis player. In other words, she had some specific players who have won many titles over the years and that she expects their titles to be stripped from them.

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    2. I'm pretty sure college football doesn't reassign wins that are vacated by schools to the originally losing school. I personally like that approach from a philosophical point of view. The theory is that in order to "win" the game you have to end the game with more points than the other team AND your team has to meet all the requirements to be eligible for the competition. Once a school is later deemed to have not met all the requirements to take part in the competition, but the other team also didn't meet the definition of a victory (because they ended the game with fewer points). I like that approach. Take the victory, but don't reassign it. That's just my opinion.

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    3. TADP Section 9.3:

      "There will be no readjustment of medals, titles, ranking points or Prize Money for any Player who lost to a Player subsequently found to have committed an Anti-Doping Rule Violation, except where provision is made for such readjustment in the regulations of the relevant Competition."

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  13. Someone is trolling very hard on this thread. Lots of posts from one poster none of which make very much sense but all designed to make the discussion unreadable and impossible for anyone to follow, which is almost certainly the intention.

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    1. Trolling is unavoidable. I just wish it was a bit more creative and humorous. Boreman was actually funny with his posts about ball attracting strings and such. What we're getting now is pretty uninspired.

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    2. Sen, I have an admission to make. Mr Ed, The Talking Horse, doesn't really exist. He is just an alter ego I invented to argue with myself when I get bored with being rational. It works, because my alter ego is anything but rational. But yes, he is a bit of a pain. Disregard everything my alter ego says; it's just self-indulgence on my part.

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  14. Question for Richard Ings:

    If Tyler Hamilton and others are to be believed, UCI dealt with at least a handful of key situations in a corrupt manner. Given the lack of transparency from the ITF, what assurance do we have that they wouldn't be capable of the same type of corruption (even in the presence of WADA)?

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    1. My book is on order in Australia. When I read it I will jump back in n what he has to say.

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  15. to summarize "eric ed's" diatribe:

    A player (like this blog) suggests there is doping in tennis. Unfortunately for "eric" IF there is doping in tennis Nadal is the single most likely suspect. So off he goes with an ad hominem attack of the player who suggested it in an attempt to discredit her. He initially tries to masquerade his outrage with another litany of "arguements" in defense of Serena that magically and predictably once again escalate into direct implication of Federer. Initially comment after comment in fake distress about implications of Serena then BOOM, out of nowhere, he claims her comments were actually about Federer. Steer the conversation in the direction that King was directly implicating a certain player then (try to) use slight of hand to inject Federer into the conversation as the player she's implicating. Smooth as a gravel road.

    He knows King wasn't implicating Federer, so he has to. Even if she was, he himself implicates Federer constantly so why would he have a problem with King's doing it? He obviously wouldn't. But he has to do everything he can to steer the conversation away from Nadal (his ACTUAL favorite player).

    His constant defending of Serena is a complete ruse. No matter the thread his comments ALWAYS come back to Federer. The more he can troll and post about Serena the less discussion there is about Nadal. Two-pronged troll attack: 1) use Serena to flood the blog and keep the name Nadal away from the blog and 2) ALWAYS implicate Federer. He can fake his fondness for Serena but no matter what he ultimately can never hide his disdain for Federer. He knows in his heart that Nadal is the prime suspect and his only refuge at this point is to do everything he can to implicate Federer.

    Don't even engage him in faux arguments about Serena because that is exactly what he wants. The more Serena is discussed the less Nadal is discussed. Exactly what he wants.

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    1. foot fault!!!fail!!!Behold Queen Serena. If you ever read my comments about Rafa on other tennis blogs, you wouldn't think Hugeneckopoulos was derogatory.

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  16. Why are so many people wasting blog space on this Eric Ed troll? Enough with this loser already. He has not provided any cohesive explanations for his idiotic claims. Let him go type away his nonsense on an ESPN comment section where they are actively screening comments concerning doping to protect their cash cow- Serena.

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  17. He's paid to be here, and won't go away even if everybody ignores him. On the other hand if we just write Troll, behind his posts he or his boss might have to report to Toni the mission needs readjustment:)

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  18. I know there is a lot of "pain in the chest" after Serena won, but please Ladies and Gentlemen, keep your composure. There is always a price to pay for being on the wrong side of history. Behold the legendary Queen as she is one of a kind

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  19. Personally, I want to applaud Vania for this tweet. In times of Omerta in Tennis, I am happy to see that she and James Blake have at least hinted at a dope problem within the sport. If only more people would speak up.

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    1. True that Shadow. If the regulatory bodies will not act and the media remains silent in complicity of monied interests, then the only way that doping will be irrefutably outed to the public will be other athletes refusing to compete against obvious dopers. Now if the public just wants to turn a blind eye and not show any outrage, then we will know that our cause is lost. This is the case in the US concerning professional baseball. Everyone knows that doping is rampant in the MLB but the public has just decided to accept it. I hope that the tennis audience will not just roll over once the truth gets let out the bag and the cover ups will no longer keep tennis doping in the shadows.

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