Friday, October 26, 2012

Propaganda (Update #2)

Tennis Australia has posted an article on its website called "Doping in tennis: an examination."

It is one of the weakest pieces on tennis anti-doping that I have ever read.

Here's some excerpts:
"He [Todd Woodbridge] says that unlike other sports, tennis’ anti-doping program has a high degree of accountability."
"Tennis must be commended for its transparent system, and the efforts being made to ensure a clean competitive culture within the sport..."
"Tennis fans can also take comfort from the fact that doping is almost completely useless for enhancing certain factors necessary for success at the top level, such as mental strength and belief, on-court strategy, and biomechanics and technique. This separates tennis from sports such as cycling and athletics, where endurance, muscle power and recovery are paramount, and arguably why doping has flourished in these arenas..."
"[Todd] Woodbridge says that testing in tennis is so rigorous that it borders on the inconvenient..."
Unbelievable. There is no examination of facts. It's mostly empty verbiage from Todd Woodbridge.

Update #1: Blair Henley over at Tennis Now has posted a Q&A with a frequent commenter on this blog, Mr. Richard Ings. Here's one exchange, which I've picked out to contrast with the quote above from the Tennis Australia article:
Blair Henley: What are your thoughts on the potential benefits of doping for tennis players?
Richard Ings: Performance-enhancing drugs provide athletes in any sport with an advantage. Performance Enhancing Drugs (PED's) can be used to speed recovery, build strength, enhance stamina, overcome injuries more quickly, and build aggression. So any sport that requires fitness, speed, strength, longevity (in that the longer you compete, the more you earn), or fast recovery, there is a PED to give those athletes a big advantage over their peers not taking a PED. Tennis is clearly a sport where fitness, speed, stamina, strength, powers of recovery and longevity will be an advantage.
Update #2: If any of our readers in France has a copy of the recent Tsonga interview in Le Parisien where he was apparently asked "Si, un jour, un scandale de dopage éclabousse une star du tennis…", a scanned copy would be appreciated.


  1. The sheer arrogance of it - that somehow mental strength and belief characterise tennis more than other sports. Breathtaking really.

  2. Todd says:
    “The results [of tests] don’t come directly back to tennis. A lot of people say that tennis can just control the testing. But it can’t. The tests go to a laboratory … the ATP or WTA at one of their tournaments would be notified, but [the result] also goes back to WADA. The ATP, for example, can’t get it and say ‘Oh it’s Roger, we’ll put it in the draw’. WADA know. And they will act."

    Alright, Todd, let me fix that for you:

    “The results [of tests] don’t come directly back to tennis. For the truth is, there ARE never any positive results, so we don't need to bother thanks to our generous testing patterns only absolute morons would get caught with something. Morons like Gasquet, who, btw, is French and we don't like him anyway. But that is beside the point.

    A lot of people say that tennis can just control testing, and damn, they are bloody right! We don't even need a laboratory, we just dump the samples in the loo, only occasionally we send them to a lab, to keep pretending we are after cheats and have some alibi work for them to do.

    Let me assure you, tennis is absolutely clean. We constructed the program such that there cannot possibly be a cheat getting caught red-handed. Cheats can take whatever, just as long as they observe the generous windows provided by our tough-ass anti-doping program. Or unless we are dealing with a particularly moronic type of cheat, say a Frenchman, then we bust his ass and do it for our own pleasure, for we officially need to catch one occasionally, for our bullet-proof stats.

    For the record, for people keep asking, Spanish tennis players cannot, I repeat, cannot possibly get caught ever.

    WADA does get our results, to keep with the protocol. We keep them assured that we are getting the bloody job done here, the job of possibly the cleanest tennis conceivable. It's SO clean, your eyes hurt from reading them stats.

    The ATP, for example, regularly gets the sample and says ‘Oh it’s that Nadal again, our beloved humble bull, so we’ll put it in his personal drawer’. WADA know how full that drawer is! During Wimbledon f.i., we had to start our fifth chest of drawers, oh well, only for Nadal, you know, to fit them all in...

    1. Hee hee hee--well said. I wish the Real truth comes out as to why the long absences from nadal. Serious injuries Don't allow one to say I will be ready to play next week, oh wait I meant the week after, oh wait a month after, oh no, maybe 3months after. I wonder if his A sample tested positive and ITF allows B sample to take forever to receive so that it has no choice but to test negative and let the player off the hook.

  3. IMHO Todd is on purpose stating things every person involved in tennis knows is not true:

    I have seen kids cheat at tennis, on crucial points, and win. I see them months or a year later and they are MORE CONFIDENT. Winning builds confidence. Also, parents spend more money on winners, they receive more training.
    I guarantee you that knowing you have an edge gives you confidence.
    Actually, can anyone give me an example where having an edge in something (like rich parents to pay for college) would make you less confident?

    Also, regarding recovery. Recovery is very important in tennis. In the juniors everyone knows this. Someone who had a difficult three setter will have less gas in the tank for his next match against someone who got a bye. (It is ridiculous to post this, everyone knows this,)

    1. Taking dope would give you massive confidence and self-belief. Imagine standing at one end of the court and knowing that whatever your opponent does, you can get behind the ball and outlast him.

      I can't believe that an ex-pro would state such a nonsense.

    2. In this very good interview, Mr. Ings forgot to mention another thing that some PEDs can provide - a mental edge through increased alertness, which in addition to the confidence you mention can also do wonders.


    1. Even with the careful wording, Tsonga clearly implies there are top tennis players cheating. He also implies he is clean..
      If you mention something about doping, he says, you get 'massacred'.

      I understand what he's saying, just look at Noah and Blake.

    2. In other words, omerta is as alive in tennis as it is/was in cycling.

    3. As is denial. Omerta and denial run hand-in-hand which I state purely as an opinion or observation. I cast no particular aspersion on Tsonga.

      Don't read too deep into any particular tea leaves. Assess the situation generally. Comments from the likes of him and Blake can be read as a confirmation that all the pros know it's going on.

  5. Translation of the relevant questions. Tsonga leans very far out of the window on this one.

    Q : What were your thoughts on the recent scandals : Armstrong, handball betting ?
    A : When I see that, I'm sickened. Ok, the betting thing may be considered apart. This is not good at all but I give them the benefit of the big screw-up that you do only once. They did not waste the career of anybody. But Armstrong !

    Q : If, one day, a doping scandal would involve a tennis star...
    (He cuts.) Whatever is happening right now, it is very hard to speak. We see that with the cyclists. Now we're telling them that it's easy to speak afterwards. But before, you can't ! If you say the tiniest little thing, you get butchered like crazy. Nobody wants to expose himself.

    Q : But if one day we discover that you have been cheated of a title by a doped player, will you have the impression that your career will have been stolen ?
    A: That is the question and that is why today I'm not comparing myself to others anymore. Because you never know what is going on elsewhere. You've got your own career and then what ? That's why for us it's sometimes hard to hear : he lost again... Armstrong, this guy, he stole everybody ! And the other cyclists behind him, after all, they were also extremely good ! They got dragged in the mud because they were not good enough ? That's laughable. All in all, it's a lot like the world himself... (Smile). The cheating always starts at the top.