Saturday, January 12, 2013

Good Night, and Good Luck

In December 2012, I wrote about the future of the blog, stating that "the frequency of postings is going to decrease in the near-term." I've thought about this for a bit, and now that the Australian Open is about to begin, I decided that there isn't anything I have left to say. The facts are out there and people can judge for themselves.

Going forward, the blog will be updated in the event of (a) a publicly announced anti-doping violation, (b) the release of a WADA or ITF anti-doping statistical (or budget) report, or (c) a player/coach/official turns whistleblower. There may be other updates now and then, but don't expect much.


For those new to the blog, all the background you need is available via the page tabs:

The Case Against Tennis

Recommended Reading

Notable Quotes

Doping Statistics

Doping Cases

Thank-you all,

SnR

90 comments:

  1. Thanks for keeping a critic look at doping in tennis. Voices like you should not be silenced. Best of luck!

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  2. Thanks Sen. It's a pity the frequency will drop, we are making real progress in writers and journalists realising that they are actually allowed to mention doping and talk about it. This blog is a lot more influential than you think.

    Thank you again! With the other two who post occasionally maybe we will get updates every so often!

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  3. Thank you for all of your hard work. I think this blog has had a big impact in the tennis world. I wish you would continue a bit longer, but your decision is completely understandable.

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  4. Is there a way to open some type of forum where other readers can post news? Maybe it can be done through comments on a post? Will your twitter account be active in lieu of the website? Thanks for all the hardwork!

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    1. Twitter account will continue, but less active than in the past.

      Comments will continue to be open. When the threads get too long, I'll open a new one.

      Delete
  5. Sen, unless you object, may we post news and debate current doping-related topics in this here thread then? Or maybe you could start an "open thread"?

    Also, tell us if we need to start setting up a Kimmage-type fund for you in case of legal troubles. ;)

    Again thanks for hard work here this blogg deffo has an impact on the current debate - this forum is the most knowledgeable and most useful for things tennis and doping - credit goes out to you and all the posters here who keep it factual - we should keep that alive!

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  6. This blog has been invaluable in getting the doping issue front and center. I know I haven't logged on in a while (and in all honesty I'm losing interest in tennis as the years pass), but I wanted to thank you and especially THASP for helping to get the ball rolling.

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  7. Where is richard when you need him?

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  8. on ESPN Chris Fowler asked "who has bigger guns.......Michael Russell or Sam Stosur?"....Russell is an American (man) that plays with a muscle shirt and has arms bigger than Nadal's

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    1. In all fairness to Stosur, I have always suspected that she is a hermaphrodite. Her features in general (plus her manly grunts) lead me to believe that she is not a hardcore doper. Plus the Australian tennis federation is not cranking out numerous freaks of nature like Serbia, Spain, Argentina etc.

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    2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kwFCCFf1c8

      that's her in 2006 and she only looks marginally more muscular than Marina Hingis. Did the Lyme's Disease turn her into a hermaphrodite?

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    3. It's funny how there are people in denial about even the most obvious dopers.

      Delete
  9. Tipsarevic plays more and more like a slightly weaker version of Nadal, Djoko, and Ferrer, except he shanks more shots. His court coverage and some of his passing shots on the run, backhand topspin, remind me completely of Nadal or Ferrer. Wheras Del Potro, Tsonga, or Federer would be happy throwing up a back-spin lob, he managed to rip a top-spin winner. But he messes up far more shots than Nadal or even Ferrer, hence why he's jumped from 20 to "only" number 9, and isn't top 5. Yet.

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    1. During pre-season, he trained in Dubai - the country with most strictest anti-doping laws, I heard.

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  10. Surely there will be something worth talking about after Oprah talks to Lance. Maybe there could be a generic post that people can go to to discuss random "stuff". Any way, thanks Sen for all your hard work here.

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  11. First, congratulations on a successful blog. Basically any search for tennis and doping will lead to some informative pages on this site. And this site has led to changes in the tennis community. For instance, the ITF now obfuscates the doping statistics that it releases so that sites like this can not long point out what a joke the testing is. They stopped reporting when EPO tests are performed so we have no idea how many athletes are even being tested for EPO. In addition, they just use a "range" of tests for athletes in order to protect an athletes "privacy." So it is unfortunate that the success of this blog has resulted in the ITF finding even bigger rocks to hide doping statistics under.

    The only thing I would recommend is a dedicated page to inane statements made by Stuart Miller. Of course, it might fill up too quickly.

    With that said, I'll continue to provide my comments on various news stories. Yes, there is nothing new, but some of the stuff is entertaining, such as Lance Armstrong.

    http://houston.cbslocal.com/2013/01/14/lance-armstrong-apologizes-to-livestrong-staff-ahead-of-oprah-interview/

    We'll have to wait for the full "confession," but the above "pre-confession" notes that "he did not make a direct confession to the group about using banned drugs" but that "the disgraced cyclist choked up and several employees cried during the session." Pretty much what was predicted by several members on this site -- a teary-eyed non-statement. Expect more of the same on Oprah.

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  12. Alright, for the record, Venus is now officially vegan, occasionally a "cheagan" too. It helps her fighting Sjogren's, so says she.

    Since we keep track of possible bogus explanations for sudden increase in form here, I felt compelled to leave this here. Just in case.

    Maybe we should tell Söderling about it?

    (http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2013/01/vegan-venus-talks-about-food-and-tennis/45988/)

    Here is a (German) piece on Fuentes, apparently keeping a low profile these days, can't blame him, really, now that his trial is about to begin, I am sure people are not really queuing up to get blood transfusions these days.

    The interesting bit is when they talk about where he got his training for doping. In East-Germany for a while and in the US, apparently - the US being the most highly developed country in all things doping in the Nineties according to Fuentes. I don't doubt it.

    His mentor in mastering the dark arts was Francesco Conconi, who also trained Michele Ferrari.

    http://www.n-tv.de/sport/Phantom-Fuentes-auf-Tauchstation-article9943846.html

    Meanwhile, in Lanceland. There was some choking up and crocodile tears when Lance did some apologizing to the folks/staff from Livestrong. He uttered "I am sorry"...

    I am with Betsy Andreu on this one: " If people give this guy another chance, then people are dumb.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2013/jan/14/lance-armstrong-livestrong-sorry-emotional-meeting

    And here is a suggestion to the Oprah by Walsh on what to really ask that cheat.

    • Did you tell doctors at the Indiana University Hospital on Oct. 27, 1996, that you had taken EPO, human growth hormone, cortisone, steroids and testosterone?

    • After returning from cancer how did you justify putting banned drugs in your body?

    • Did you have any sympathy for those rivals determined to race clean?

    • Do you regret how you treated Betsy Andreu, your former masseuse Emma O’Reilly and Greg LeMond?

    • Do you admit that your friend Dr. Michele Ferrari fully supported your team’s doping?

    • Is it your intention to return the prize money you earned from Sept. 1998 to July 2010?

    • Did you sue the Sunday Times to shut us up?

    • Was your failure to understand Floyd Landis the key to your downfall?

    • Do you accept your lying to the cancer community was the greatest deception of all?

    • Why have you chosen Oprah Winfrey for your first interview as a banned athlete?

    http://velonews.competitor.com/2013/01/news/open-letter-proposes-questions-for-oprah-winfrey-to-ask-lance-armstrong_271135




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    1. What bothers me with Venus is that Sjogren's is a disease that affects a lot of people -- none of which engage in the physical activity of playing professional tennis at grand slams.

      Obviously, Venus has some way around the physical limitations of this disease. She admits in the article that "Food is not the only difference between then and now.." Ok, then what is? What other "changes" allow someone with the disease to play at the professional level at an age when most healthy people are retired?

      Venus has a chance to really do a lot of people a lot of good by explaining what her various treatment protocols are. The fact that she has not disclosed a single medically prescribed regimen is highly problematic because she is a public figure that should be willing to disclose this information so that others could benefit from the knowledge.

      Many ordinary people with the disease blog about their experiences with the various medical treatments available. (For example, see http://sjogrensandme.blogspot.com/2008/11/what-procrit-injections-have-done-for.html for description of EPO use by Sjogrens patient).

      It is curious that a philanthropist such as Venus is so unwilling to help in this area. See http://www.looktothestars.org/celebrity/venus-williams for various charities supported by Venus Williams.





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    2. So could Djoker with being upfront on how he fixed his "breathing issues"...

      I think we both know the answer, it would entail revealing things that would taint their public image because it involves practices and substances that violate the fair play code. For which they don't care for anyway.

      Just look at the updated TUE Sen posted in combination with the ITF's non-compliance in revealing their TUEs granted and we know where the problem lies.

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  13. Here is an article on Armstrong that states that samples from the 1999 TDF were retested in 2005 and "All six were flaming positive."

    http://velonews.competitor.com/2013/01/news/tygart-armstrong-samples-were-flaming-positive_270945

    I had not heard about the retest before, nor do I think it was in the USADA report. There was the cortisone test from the 1999 TDF but that was originally a positive for which Armstrong was given a retro-active TUE. In fact, there is an entire 10 page section in the USADA report about "How Lance Armstrong and the USPS Team Avoided Positive Drug Tests." (See Page 129 of the report).

    Why is Tygart now coming forward with additional evidence that was not included in the initial report? Why, if he had 6 "flaming positive" reports in 2005 did it take 7 years to sanction Armstrong. Why use testimony when you have "flaming positive" results? Why didn't other samples get re-tested other than the 1999 TDF samples? Was there an investigation into how a highly distinguished and accredited lab could allow 6 "flaming positive" samples to test negative?

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    1. Weren't those the ones that were retested outside standard protocols? No B samples or something?

      Delete
  14. More on Lance and the Postal Services investigation. USPS subpoenaed documents from Armstrong and got into a legal dispute. The US then dropped the case because "Mr. Armstrong has satisfied his obligations under the Subpoena." (Document #35) (All documents are from Case No 1:11-mc-565) in USDC for District of Columbia).

    The USPS requested the following documents: documents relating to the ownership and management of Tailwind -- the company that owed the team, documents related to Michele Ferrari and "any person .. that at any time manufactured or distributed any substance believed to have the potential to enhance an athlete's ability to compete in endurance sports."

    They also requested "all records of payments made by you to UCI, USA Cycling, WADA or USADA."

    and "all documents related to litigation between you and Mike Anderson" -- the former personal assistant.

    See http://www.scribd.com/doc/116345925/Outline-of-failure-to-respond for basic document outlining the case.

    Initially Lance asserted his "Fifth Amendment Privilege," (against self incrimination) but appears to have abandoned that and produced the documents.

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  15. Looks like Pharmstrong is going to throw Verbruggen and McQuaid under the bus. Could be fun.

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    1. I am curious to hear what it is exactly he will present to us (which we did not know of already) and of course I will relate that information to other federations, as will many others here.

      I beliebve what we have seen from Ricci-Bitti et.al recently is in part a reaction to the public pressure via this blog and public debate in the wake of the USADA report, but their "actions" can also be interpreted as a mere prophylactic move. Like that statement in Tandons article trying to convince people that tennis is acting tough with implementing hormone profiles etc.
      And I bet there will be more to follow of that type of spinning by the ITF once Lance is done throwing his UCI apparatchiks under the bus by revealing their complicity.

      Not that we have not suspected that all along. Yet, what really needs fixing are structural problems any federation faces. Those need to be investigated and changed. My suspicion is that cycling might change for the better with the prominent CCN group pressuring the UCI. But the ITF does not have such a Clean-Tennis-Now movement close on their heels.

      As for other federations, I can see how they take action only to prevent such a public revelation like Armstrongs in the fututre after viewing all the devastating effects in great detail in public, including a confessional on Oprah.

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  16. First of, thank you Sen and THASP for all the invaluable work you did over all those years. Looking back on the beginnings I would not have expected this blog to get such a massive audience. The impact on tennis' authorities was also noticeable. Last of all, maybe the biggest testament to the blog is that now on forums like menstennisforums or tennis warehouse, people can openly discuss doping and voice their doubts and reasonable suspicions. A few years back, the few skeptics were savagely attacked, ridiculed and banned ; now I have the impression that most of the tennis fans have come to the realiization that tennis is probably not that different that all the other sports.

    The main disappointment, of course, is that no big name was outed. We did not get the positive case and the massive revelations we were hoping for. However, considering all the farcical stories we got to hear, I would say we came damn near close, and the statistical work Sen did was also a major help for introducing the doping discussion in the mainstream.

    Hopefully the discussion will continue even if Sen goes into retirement :-). As a treat, here is an article from a French online newspaper provocatingly titled "After Armstrong, Nadal ?" : http://www.bvoltaire.fr/joriskarl/apres-armstrong-au-tour-de-nadal,8243?utm_source=La+Gazette+de+Boulevard+Voltaire&utm_campaign=8f32707e2b-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email.

    Rather a short article without groundbreaking news, except maybe the conclusion : "The "Spanish miracle" is not really believed by some experts in physical conditioning. One of them, who works for the French Tennis Federation, recently told me that "these results are not possible without some medical help. You only have to look at their recuperation times to understand». The man whose name I can't quote is well aware of these things, as at his beginning he worked with sport specialists... From the Soviet Union."

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  17. Best commentary on "confessional-mode" Lance so far:

    "To the end Lance Armstrong, desperate to remain relevant, somehow is allowed to control his own narrative. So after all the lies from Armstrong from across all the years, lies about himself and about all those who dared to tell the truth about him, there comes one last one:

    That he still has something we want. To the end this guy thinks he can play the whole world for suckers. (...)
    It will be like someone going on Oprah’s network and announcing that he has new information, or breaking news, about the ocean being deep.

    Really, the best part of this most recent narrative from Armstrong — originally leaked by him and his people as a way of testing the waters — was that he somehow has information about his own doping that the United States Anti-Doping Agency somehow needs. As if USADA needs more than the 1,000 pages on Armstrong that it already has.
    (...)As you watch Armstrong panhandle for redemption on Thursday night and dupe everybody all over again, remember something U.S. District Court Judge Kenneth Karas said once in a White Plains courtroom as he sent an Olympic sprinter named Marion Jones to jail for her own lies about performance-enhancing drugs.

    “(It’s) a very difficult thing to believe that a top-notch athlete, knowing that a razor-thin margin makes the difference, would not be keenly aware and very careful about what he or she put in her body and the effects,” Karas said that day, and then came with the money quote, that the idea that these athletes don’t know exactly what they are doing is a “worldwide lie.” (...) Surely he will tell us that he did what he did because he was a cancer survivor trying to compete at the highest levels of a dirty sport. And that everybody else was doing it.

    And then he will tell us that he had to maintain the lie, his own version of the worldwide lie — I’m clean, they’re dirty — to prop up Livestrong, his foundation that raises money for cancer survivors. He needed the yellow jerseys from the Tour de France to sell all those Livestrong yellow bracelets. At the heart of this “confession” from Lance Armstrong will be that he had to do a lot of bad things for the greater good, all the while getting richer and more famous himself and shamefully attacking anyone who dared suggest that he was anything less than an icon and living saint.

    (...) People now want this to be some kind of referendum on what you think about drugs in sports, as if somehow that is the real issue here. No it is not, that is just more cheap enabling for Lance Armstrong. The issue is the lying.

    The other cyclists didn’t force him to lie, the media sure didn’t force him to lie, the anti-doping agencies didn’t force him to lie. Armstrong, Big Tex, did that all by himself, with this amazing, elaborate athletic Ponzi scheme. (...) Once Lance Armstrong, whose legend became so much bigger than the facts, was willing to say anything, hurt anybody, call people bitter or call them whores, who got in his way. Now he is willing to say anything to still make himself the hero of his own drama, the mythology he created and others helped create for him. That doesn’t make you a saint or an icon or a hero. It makes you a cornered rat."

    Source: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/more-sports/lupica-armstrong-worldwide-web-lies-article-1.1239104?pmSlide=0

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  18. On an unrelated note...what is going on with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga? The current thinned down person looks nothing like the Tsonga we have known for years.

    Typically weight loss is not associated with steroid use, so I am not saying anything illegal went on. But, has he offered any explanations for his dramatic change in appearance? He simply went on a diet? TUE for hypothyroidism? His performance seems in line with just typical weight loss -- that is, he doesn't seem to have any additional power, and his average first serve speed was less than Llodra's. He just looks completely different.

    Anytime there is a dramatic physical change in a player, I think it is fair to ask questions.

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  19. Haase on Murray after their 1st round at the Australian Open (from tennis.com:

    “He has changed really well, and he has worked hard for that, to get stronger in the legs. Look at him and you can see he’s strong...”Haase also said that no matter how hard he worked out, he couldn’t build muscle the Murray does.

    the last part feels like a steroid use insinuation. steve tignor felt the same and had this to add.

    "Muzz himself was defensive on the subject. “Most of the weight I put on is in my legs, but the T-shirt I’m wearing is tighter,” he said yesterday. “It’s not that I’m any bigger in the upper body.”

    Why would Murray insist that what we see is just an optical illusion? Shouldn’t he be happy to look fit? I can only imagine that it’s the specter of steroids that hangs over every athlete. Which is too bad. By all accounts, Murray has always, even at 15 years old, been dedicated to his job and everything that comes with it."

    very diasppointing after succesfully bringing the subject up.

    http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2013/01/keeping-tabs-melbourne-jan-16/46015/#.UPYvPSday8o

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    1. I have been following Haase quite a bit, also saw that unfortunate match.

      I have to say, I very much agree with what Haase uttered post-match.Murray made him look like a rookie.

      Haase had a rather disappointing year in 2012 and I think there is desperation involved curently. There were some unacceptable incidents people (actually, assholes) tweeting him & bullying him after losses, that sort of thing.

      I do believe he put in a lot of work, recently changed his coach and really tries to improve his results. He might feel he is hitting an invisible wall where, physically, no matter what he does, he does not get anywhere to be able to beat opponents he would need to beat to rise in the rankings.
      I do sympathize that one might ponder about doping on such occasion. That said, to a great part he lost that match because he grew frustrated and started making easy mistakes, spraying shots, mishitting etc. That frustration resulted mainly from the realization that no matter what he tried, Murray did it better, harder and more precise.

      Doping does give you that certain advantage in some areas, as we all have come to understand from following this blog, and I would encourage players who realize this to speak up more and voice their doubts. It is a shame that clean players, (I am assuming Haase is, but will add we can't know for sure) don't raise that issue more often. Same goes for journalists - I mean we all have seen matches where it was gin-clear one opponent was almost surreally superhuman...and no diet could ever explain that.

      Now don't get me wrong and assume I am saying that in a doping-free world Haase would easily be able to beat someone like Murray. He is in a different league, currently. Yet, Murray, to stick with the example, would be able to hit less hard, sustain a little less longer in rallies and might recover slower from matches which would benefit Haase, who definitely went into that game wanting to win. Or at least pose a problem to Murray. He was nowhere near that. Actually we don't know in which league Murray would play if he had not the advantage of top notch doping, that is if he in fact juicing. At least Haase would stand a chance to compete and not made look like an extra.

      Here is what Jez Green, Murray's fitness coach has to say on the issue of fitness, comparing him, out of all people, to Usain Bolt:

      “Andy has lazy speed — by which I mean that he doesn’t look as if he’s moving that fast, but it’s actually deceptive. He’s been clocked at moving at 10 metres per second over very short intervals, maybe even as short as a single step, which is as fast as Usain Bolt. I’m not saying that he is that fast over 100 metres but he has great acceleration when he is chasing down a drop shot.”

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    2. That guy must be an idiot and not understand the first thing about speed. It takes Usain Bolt roughly 20 meters to get up to 10m/s. (http://www.sportsscientists.com/2008/08/beijing-2008-men-100m-race-analysis.html). Murray can get up to that speed in a second or some other "short interval."

      Given that a tennis court is 78 feet or 39 feet from baseline to net, this would mean that moving 10m/s would be about 33ft in one second. So, Murray can move from the baseline to the net in 1 second according to his coach?

      Ok, so maybe he can't do it over a second, maybe just an instantaneous "push off." Well, to get 10m/s as a vertical jump initial speed, the formula for how high he would go is v^2/2g. So, this gives (10m/s)^2/2*9.8m/s = 5.10 meters. Wow. Murray should be playing basketball because he can jump over 16 feet in the air according to his coach.

      Murray should also go into boxing because a highly trained boxers punches are about 25mph or 11m/s. Murray could simply use is 10 m/s single step speed to move out of the way of every single punch the guy threw -- and if he did happen to connect, the result would a 1 m/s punch -- which would be like being punched by a 5 year old. In addition, Murray could just hold his extended arm out and use his 10 m/s foot speed to deliver a solid blow -- no need to even have upper body strength. If Murray even had a puny 10mph punch speed, he could use both his punch speed of 10mph and his foot speed of 25mph to deliver a record 35mph punch -- enough to knock out just about anyone.

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    3. Sorry, here is the link for the boxing speed article from Scientific American. http://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode.cfm?id=5538765E-E7F2-99DF-393E0A0CD7821157

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    4. Haase has the fairly major flaw that he's mentally all over the shop. You see him folding from a set up all the time, doublefaulting on breakpoints etc.

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    5. I'll have to ask the "expert" Jon Wertheim why on earth Murray would add muscle mass to his legs. Wertheim previously stated "adding muscle mass is not" and incentive to dope. (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/tennis/news/20121024/wertheim-mailbag-tennis-doping/)

      So, why does Murray get better when he adds muscle mass? If his muscle mass does have something to do with his performance, then it's adding muscle mass an incentive to dope?

      More and more the clear evidence shows that the opinion that "tennis players don't benefit from doping" is simply proven false.

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  20. Rochus on doping: http://www.lalibre.be/sports/tennis/article/790502/christophe-rochus-c-est-sur-le-dopage-dans-le-tennis-est-une-realite.html

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    1. Here's the English translation of that article:

      http://www.shrewdtennis.com/christophe-rochus-calls-for-the-legalization-of-doping-in-tennis/

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    2. Wow - he is pretty darn frank.
      Not agreeing with his conclusion though.

      On how anti-doping testing is set up to be opaque on purpose:

      That’s the purpose ! It should not be obvious ! Everyone makes sure it is not clear. The less you lie, the less you give explanations, the better it is! "

      On Söd and Nadal:

      Regarding Nadal, those rumors are rumors even if everyone has the same question: How can you be so strong in Roland Garros and one month later, you are apparently unable to play ? That’s why it looks so suspicious, but we have no proof. (...)
      Let’s take Robin Soderling. He won Bastad in 2011, and ever since then, he has not played tennis. Apparently he is really sick (officially he has mononucleosis) when I am certain he was unbeatable back then. We can’t deny how dubious it sounds. He was at the peak of his career, and the day after, he suddenly says he can’t play tennis anymore… I really think it’s unbelievable."

      On complicity of federations/ITF:

      "There are plenty of strange things happening. It’s like everywhere, there are always people you can buy! I guess someone like Armstrong might have the resources and the knowledge to pay someone to know how to avoid getting caught. It’s a certain thing: With money, everything is possible! Now, there is always a way to slip through the net. That’s the way it works because everyone can benefit from it: The federations, the athletes…"

      On how he is good at crsytal-balling possible doping cheats:

      "When I entered the top 100, I said in the media that it was a scandal to see all these players doping, and I received a letter from the ATP threatening me, “This is the last time you ever talk about this. You have no proof, you have nothing”. Finally, all players I mentioned tested positive. All Argentinians."

      ------> Very interesting to see how the ATP (and I am assuming the ITF does the same) keep players in check and threaten them...


      And here is where he got it all wrong - he seems to have spoken to enablers, who also benefit from doping financially...

      "When I say that, I hear I can’t say that because it’s not a good thing and it’s dangerous anyway. But after speaking with the doctors, we are not even sure these products are dangerous for our health."

      And this is strangely cute, knowing how not-so-tall Olivier is...the Messi HGH issue:

      "We could have taken growth hormones, but we never did it. We thought it was not worth it. Maybe we should have…. Maybe we would have never been caught… Maybe my brother would be 17 centimeters (6.69 inches) taller and he would have been in the top 10…"





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    3. Interesting article, thanks for sharing. Curiously, the ATP bio for Rochus lists that his father is a doctor. (http://www.atpworldtour.com/Tennis/Players/Ro/C/Christophe-Rochus.aspx). One would think that if the Rochus brothers wanted to dope, it would have been quite easy and certainly their father could have informed them of the possible side effects of any drugs.

      Also, it is not clear whether doping outside of the sanctioned events is even illegal. Let's say and athlete delays his professional career for a year of two and practices and plays only privately. He receives prescriptions for various WADA banned substances and takes them legally. He then discontinues to use of the banned substances and starts in on the professional tour. Clearly, he will not test positive because he stopped using the substances. There also does not seem to be anything illegal with this or contrary to the rules.

      In terms of what Rochus stated, obviously, taking hormones when you are 25 or 30 is not going to make you grow taller. This is something that would have to be taken in the teenage years when the person would clearly not be subject to the WADA.

      So, to answer Rochus, it appears that doping is legal -- you just have to plan in advance. In addition, the use of the steroids can frequently lead to a natural deficiency of that steroid, which then entitles you to a TUE for its use once you go professional.

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  21. Thanks for this good job, THASP & SnR.

    Just one example of your influence : (perhaps you know it ?) the french journalist who wrote this article http://www.rue89.com/rue89-sport/2012/06/03/le-tennis-ce-sport-ou-le-dopage-nexisterait-pas-232477 was inspired by this blog's archives. (he recently told it to me by e-mail)

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  22. Interesting new facts on Lance and Verbruggen:

    "The investment bank founded by Thomas Weisel, the powerful Silicon Valley financier who bankrolled and owned Lance Armstrong's former cycling team (=US Postal), also managed assets for the then-head of cycling's governing body (=Verbruggen), according to a broker who handled the accounts."

    -------> Weisel has also crossties to EPO manufacturers, in fact, he has been investing his money in one EPO company. How convenient for Lance!!

    "Es gibt auch Querverbindungen zwischen Weisel und dem Stoff, der womöglich auch Armstrong schnell machte: Mit seiner Firma Montgomery Securities war der US-Finanzier laut "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung" einer der Initiatoren des Börsengangs der Bio-Tech-Firma Amgen. Deren Verkaufshit ist seit Jahren das als Blutdoping-Mittel zweckentfremdete Medikament EPO. "

    Translation:
    "Cross connections do exist between Weisel and the substance that made Armstrong so fast: through his company Montgomery Securities, according to Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung,the U.S. investor had been one of the initiators of the IPO of bio-tech company Amgen. For years their top seller has been EPO, a drug which has been misused for blood doping."

    Source: http://derstandard.at/1358303806815/Armstrong-zu-Interview-Alles-auf-den-Tisch-gelegt


    "As previously reported, the U.S. Justice Department is likely to join the whistleblower suit, according to people familiar the matter. Defendants in whistleblower actions can be held responsible for up to three times the amount of money originally doled out by the government. Because the Postal Service paid Weisel's team more than $30 million between 1996 and 2004, the potential damages in the case are roughly $100 million."

    ---------> As of now, they U.S. Justice Department HAS joined the suit. Also, his Olympic medal has been revoked.

    Source: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323783704578246001221628488.html

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  23. You have to wonder (assuming Nadal is indeed doping) if he's now looking at Lance and thinking: hmmm, I can go back to tennis and doping and take that chance that I get caught, like Lance, and have everything taken away (the 11 GS titles, the Olympic Gold Medal, and however many Davis Cups he's won) or I can go quietly into the night and none will be the wiser. Will he come back? Or is he going to do the wise thing and walk away, saving face and keeping his titles and records? I have no doubt it will come out one day if he keeps playing. But if he walks away now he may be able to keep it all. Apparently now he's planning to come back for the Chilean Open which starts on Feb. 4.

    http://ca.reuters.com/article/sportsNews/idCABRE90G0SZ20130117

    We shall see.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Benneteau, a frenchman wearing his bestest rose-colored glasses, is responding to Rochus claims on doping defending Rafa...


      "Je ne pense pas que Nadal soit dopé. Je pense qu’il a très, très mal au genou et qu’il reviendra quand il se sentira prêt et je ne vois rien d’autre. Je ne crois pas vu le système antidopage qui est en place aujourd’hui, ainsi que l’AMA et l’ATP qui sont indépendants, que ce soit possible"

      Translation: "I don't think Nadal is doping. I think his knee is really, really bad and he'll return when he feels he is ready. Seeing the current anti-doping system, where the ATP and AMA are independent, I don't believe that something like that is possible."


      http://www.welovetennis.fr/dopage/60839-benneteau-ne-pense-pas-que-nadal-soit-dope

      Chér Astérix, Benneteau is french, he should have watched those Guignol episodes on Rafa, n'est-ce pas?

      Delete
    2. Well, I guess he's so busy as a tennisman-who-must-be-available-every-single-day-of-the-year for antidoping controls that he's got no time to watch les Guignols ! :-)

      More seriously, of course I cannot agree with Benneteau on that point... Generally I dont't find that french tennismen speak very clearly on the doping/AD issue.

      Delete
    3. Well...

      http://www.20minutos.es/noticia/1704568/0/guinoles/injusto/ataque-a-deportistas-espanoles/

      Delete
  24. Murray responds to Rochus doping claims. Thinks its all due to hard training and preparation...cites Rafa as prime example of having the "physique of a true world class athlete across any sport"...

    Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2013/jan/17/andy-murray-defends-doping-allegations

    There was another provocative claim this week by the former fringe Belgian player and serial alarmist Christophe Rochus that "it is inconceivable that you can play five hours in the sun and run around like a rabbit the next day".

    "I discussed [the Armstrong case] at the end of last year and I don't want to get into again because it caused more questions. But all sports will take note of what has been said, what has happened and improve their doping controls."

    He did acknowledge that tennis is now a fierce proving ground, and that players have to adapt to survive at the top. "Rafa was the first one to have a physique that looked like a true world-class athlete across any sport. Tennis players are always in good shape but I think he looked like he could do any sport.

    "The game has changed, for sure, physically. It's much more demanding, and I have adapted my preparation and training, reducing the amount of tournaments I play and spending more time preparing, getting myself ready for events.

    "Not everybody does that but I believe that's the best way to go about it, spending more time in the gym in the off-season. You do see better results."

    It is, he says, tough on the generation of young players coming through. "I played Wimbledon as a junior for the first time at 16 and my first Tour event at 17. Rafa played his first senior tournament at 16, Novak was young, too. Now, you look at the juniors in the locker room and there is no chance they could compete yet.

    "I practise with guys like Ollie [Golding] and various others and even someone like Ben Mitchell, the Aussie kid. I practised with him the year after he had won the Australian juniors and you can see how much his body has changed in the past couple of years. Only now is he starting to be able to compete. Before, guys were able to compete when they were 16 and 17. Now it is at least four more years.

    It has not gone down well in the locker room at the Australian Open.

    "I would say that is far from the truth," Murray said after beating the Portuguese João Sousa 6-2, 6-2, 6-4 in an hour and 41 minutes in temperatures that reached 38C to go through to the third round.

    "Anyone can see the amount of hours of training and practice that go into what we do. [Murray has just come off a five-week winter training bloc in Miami], and there are other sports that, endurance-wise, are far more challenging than tennis. No, the guys can't just play five or six hours and then come back the next day and run around like rabbits.

    "When guys play five or six hours in the slams like we often do, we have a day's rest. I was told that after our semi-final here last year that Novak [Djokovic] on the day off [before the final against Rafael Nadal] didn't practise, didn't hit a ball, didn't get out of bed until three in the afternoon.

    "Providing you put the work in, it doesn't mean it hurts any less when you have to play a couple of days later after a five-hour match – but I would not say it is impossible."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Funny how it has changed from "physical performance doesn't help much in tennis" to "we spend all winter in the gym" -- well except for Nadal, who hates the gym and says he never goes there.

      Delete
    2. Well also his statements are nor only defensive but also contradictory too, for we ALL have seen them run around like rabbits, some of them, at least. While others seemingly can't pull that off - winning easily after a rough 5-setter. Most recent example: Florian Mayer at the AO against Berankis in the second round...

      Delete
  25. Nicole Cooke's retirement statement http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2013/jan/14/nicole-cooke-retirement-statement and analysis http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2013/jan/16/cyclist-nicole-cooke-say-exactly-how-is. Talks about gender equality, doping etc.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. (From the second article) "The UCI has spent more time setting up the libel suits against Paul Kimmage [a journalist who exposed doping] and Floyd Landis when he said Lance Armstrong was using drugs; it spent all its time on that rather than developing women's cycling."

      What a messed up situation.

      Delete
    2. At the risk of spamming (sorry!) the first link with her statement has omitted some sections. Here is her full statement http://www.nicolecooke.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=130:nicoles-retirement-statement&catid=1&Itemid=18, which includes a section on how on her first TdF, her team put pressure on her to take something as she was not living up to their expectations..

      Delete
    3. I guess we can see how cycling an tennis are different..
      "Throughout her career Jeanson repeatedly lied, just like Lance and yet now, she confesses that she had been on an extensive doping program since she was 16. The full story only came out, via quality investigative journalism."

      Don't think we will ever see this said in tennis. It also shows that people do dope their entire lives -- and lie about it.

      Delete
    4. I think there are many playersd who have abused doping throughout their careers and will try to keep their mouths zipped as long as possible.

      Also doping when really young, as I just found out, like in the case Sesil Karatantcheva, a tennis player who already began using in the age of 15!!! She was tested positive for nandrolone at RG in 2005.

      FIFTEEN!! So sickening. But possibly very common.

      http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/tennis/2013/01/13/australian-open-kazakhstan-yaroslava-shvedova-sesil-karatantcheva/1830133/

      Delete
  26. Just watched the first part of the Armstrong "interview." Ok, so he admits he did EPO, testosterone, and cortisone. Also admits blood transfusions. He basically said all the testing was worthless because he knew when the tests were coming and was clean when tested.

    The only thing that is really new is that he admitted starting doping in the "mid nineties." This would have to be prior to his cancer as that was 96 and he didn't return until 97 -- which is hardly the "mid nineties." (Team_kickass had speculated that this was the case for a long time.) Of course, Oprah didn't really follow up on this or whether his doping could have caused his cancer.

    Despite Armstrong saying he would answer and and all questions, he did not talk about details of any treatment from Dr. Ferrari, the incident with Betsy Andreu, and refused to name and names of other people involved with doping. He did say he recently had a 40 minute phone call with Ms. Andreu, but said the conversation was private and would not go into it in any detail.

    No tears. No asking for forgiveness. We'll see what is in it tomorrow -- the "interview" has been split into two days.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. Also done watching that thing. What a mess.

      Really daring: he claims he never doped after 2005. Well, right. Not going to buy that. He claimed "absolutely" - no doping post 2005.

      So his admitting to using doping in the mid-nineties means that those drugs could have also affected his cancer... Too bad big O did not follow up on that.

      Ferrari, according to Lance, is still a really good person...he was also not the leader of his doping regimen. Who else then?


      Lance basically claims the narrative of being a winner got bigger than himself and made him do things he now feels embarrassed about. Being in the zone and all that. He still came across as ruthless and a bully as we know him in the way he answered that Betsy Andreu question - mysogenistic, as to be expected. Claimed he talked to her and her husband on the phone - did not go into the specifics whether she accepted his apology. Which translates into NO.

      Interestingly, he admitted the backdated TUE for cortisone in 1999 by del Moral - but not the Tour de Suisse cover up with getting the key to tests directly from the lab in Lausanne, no paying off the lab etc...

      The most ironic staement of Lance at some point was when he claimed: "I am not a fan of the UCI" Who is these days, anyway? But they used to be bestest buddies in business for a long time, and all for a sudden he is not a fan anymore? At some, point he said he would like to be part of the "Truth & Recon" movement to clean up cycling...

      He went on to say that the "donation" of $ 150,000 was NOT a cover up, the UCI were simply short of money and figured, hey, let's call Lance, he has cash to spare...He really claimed the UCI dialed HIM up coz they were short off money...Bitch, please!

      I mean, srsly, my eyes can't even roll that hard when listening to lies like that. He hasn't changed a bit - just re-arranged the truth according to his fashion, after realizing, it might be more opportune to come clean and admit SOME stuff, but not all. He is so incredibly full of himself (we knew that) and surely still under the influence of testosterone patches on his one ball.

      Truest statement all night, Lance saying I am a guy who wants to control every outcome. Which would also relate the very interview he is giving. To bad O is a terrible interviewer - she did not pick up on that. There were noticeable edits to the whole interview, too, that made me think that certain parts got cut out for a reason.

      In general, he blames his comeback for being caught and having to experience this incredible downfall and being stripped of his titles and fame. Also, Floyd seems to have been the tipping point followed by Hincapie's confession, the most credible voice according to Lance. That's when he was with his back up to the wall.

      Also claims he had no influence in having his case dropped back then, said it is "very difficult to influence". Oh, certainly so! Which made it sound like a challenge he would have truly taken up as someone who only knows to compete. So, again, I don't buy it.

      He dished that whole story about cancer as a defining moment in his career, having turned him into a ruthless fighter... Again using cancer as shield, same old same old.

      Throwing shade on Tyler by claiming he had not read his book...

      Anyway, that was little summary of the first part.

      Delete
    3. Oh, I forgot another telling bit.

      He claims dhe had to look up 'cheating' in the dictionary to see what it meant. Either he is lying or he's a sociopath...

      He came across incredibly ice-y and teflon-like. He surely has empathy (lack thereof) issues going on.

      Delete
    4. Might be his lawyers told him not to admit the 2001 EPO+"donation" episode, because he might be vulnerable to bribery/corruption laws.

      Delete
    5. @ Arf

      My guess is that he could not throw the UCI completely under the bus yet, for that might lead to a domino reaction, where the UCI would as a result then turn against WADA and reveal juicy stuff about them as well, like assigning corrupt labs and maybe leaving loopholes too.

      But that is only an unconfirmed speculation of mine, as I admit freely.

      Delete
    6. Sure he admitted doping but there were a lot of follow-up questions that Oprah whiffed on, nor was she pressing enough in getting him off his "talking points." Of course, that's probably why he chose Oprah rather than a seasoned investigative journalist to give an interview to.

      Not saying Oprah was bad, but there was so much more he needed to be pressed on.

      Delete
    7. I wasn't impressed with Lance Armstrong's interview either. I call bullshit on his claim that he rode the 2009 and 2010 TDF clean. When he rode the tour clean in the early 90ies, he was a total non-factor, yet I'm supposed to believe he could finish third at the age of 37/38 without any outside help? No effing way.

      I don't know how it works in the US, but I think he may have lied because an admission of doping in 2009/2010 could lead to another criminal investigation whereas the statute of limitation has run out for some of the crimes he committed pre-2005.

      Delete
  27. Thankyou SnR for maintaining an excellent forum on this divisive subject.
    I reside in Adelaide, South Australia which has a curious connection with Lance Armstrong. He was paid up to 9 million dollars in appearance fees to ride in the Pro Tour event 'The Tour Down Under' from 2008-2010 by the State Government of South Australia. Supposedly over 200 thousand followers lined the streets over and above the usual support so the investment was considered wise. The current Premier of South Australia(Jay Whetherill), has publicly stated he would appreciate the appearance monies to be repaid, however I guess he will just have to take a 'ticket' and wait in line.
    As far as PEDs in tennis goes, one would have to say there is definitely a huge problem. One way to ascertain to see if a player is going to win is to monitor the live in play odds of various matches. Lets face it. If anyone is going to know exactly what is going on, it is going to be the betting market. Professional gamblers don't like losing. Currently I am watching the live matches involving Djokovich and Tipsarevic and monitoring the odds associated with each(both players under heavy doping suspiciouns). Novak's win odds hardly if ever go over $1.01 and Tipsarevic's odds always point towards favoritism even a set down and fighting a tough battle in the second set against Benneteau.
    Why are these odds artificially low? What does the market know? Why is it players under suspicion of PED use as mentioned by this site always pay a seemingly artificial low dividend against players who are not.
    Clearly these questions tend to answer themselves but either the will or the administrative processes are NOT in place in Pro tennis to cause change.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hark, hark!

    Djokovic on Amrstrong in his presser:

    "It would be ridiculous for him to decline and refuse all the charges because it has been proven," (...) "They have like a thousand proofs that he's positive.

    "I think it's a disgrace for the sport to have an athlete like this. He cheated the sport. He cheated many people around the world with his career, with his life story. I think they should take all his titles away because it's not fair towards any sportsman, any athlete. It's just not the way to be successful. So I think he should suffer for his lies all these years."

    However, as opposed to the likes of Roger Federer and Andy Murray, Djokovic thinks the testing carried out in tennis is sufficient.

    "It's really good," he said. "Anti-doping regulations a little bit maybe more strict in the sense that you have to fill the whereabouts documents and you have to basically give an hour or two in every day of your life in a whole year, where you are.

    "But on the other hand, it gives them an opportunity to test you. And you know it is the same for the other players. At least from that point of view it's fair. And I have nothing against the anti-doping federation, association, testing me 10, 20, 30 times a year."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And here is the link to his presser, which I forgot.

      http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/news/interviews/2013-01-18/201301181358494124258.html

      One journo actually looked up stats, I am flabbergasted!

      Q. How about blood testing? The ITF records tell us in the whole of 2011 there was only 18 blood tests taken of the top players. How often would you or Andy or Roger or Rafa be blood tested?

      NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, I wasn't tested with blood for last six, seven months. It was more regularly in last two, three years ago. I don't know the reason why they stopped it.

      As I said, I mean, as long as it's fair, it's clean, we're trying to protect the identity of this sport. I believe tennis players are one of the most cleanest athletes in the world and one of the most competitive sports.

      So as long as we keep it that way, I have no complaints about testing."


      (...)

      NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I mean, it's a question for them, I guess. From my point, I mean, I was more than clear. I have nothing against the blood tests, you know.

      Even though I prefer urine more. I don't like the needles too much. But, of course, I mean, you know, the money in that direction should be invested because, you know, it's always let's say a safeguard for our sport that they're investing money in our sport that is going to protect our sport and players.


      Q. Do you think tennis fans should have faith that that won't happen the same way?

      NOVAK DJOKOVIC: The results are showing that. In last few years there maybe has been one or two cases, but those players were more or less outside of the hundred. We are keeping this sport clean. We are working towards it. There is awareness with the players and with the officials. As long as is like that, we are in a good road.


      Q. Would you be in favor of like a biological passport program that they're instituting in cycling for tennis?

      NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I mean, you know, we can discuss about the options for a while. But generally I believe that the present regulations about anti doping tests in tennis are good, in my views. I don't think there should be any major changes because, as you know, it's official. We have to write where we are every day of our lives so they have an opportunity to test us every day of 365 days in a year.

      I think that doesn't give anybody a chance to do something that is unsportsmanlike.

      Delete
    2. Armstrong was honest about one thing: that he was never worried about being caught because he (they) knew when to dope so that it would be out of the system before they were tested. Well helllloooo Novak. This doesn't bode well for your argument that tennis is clean. Just because someone doesn't get caught, doesn't mean they're not doping. And this revelation should open people's eyes to what is really going on in tennis.

      Delete
  29. Another one was confronted with Armstrong's "confession" - I think if it was good for one thing, it was for giving tennis "journos" the change to raise the issue of doping.

    Still, they need to know there facts better to follow up on questions. Oprah was also bad in following up and pressing Lance. She is not a journalists. For good interviews, you need well-informed journalists.


    Q. I'm not sure if you saw today, but Lance Armstrong admitted to playing performance enhancing drugs. I was wondering if you thought tennis had a vigorous enough policy on anti doping?

    JANKO TIPSAREVIC: You know what, you're probably asking the wrong guy. You know, actually came to Kenya to test me. I wasn't going to Kenya to hide from anti doping. I was actually doing my pre season there.

    One morning a person was waking me up. I was so shocked and afraid somebody was like robbing us. I wasn't sure.

    But I think it's not cool what he did, cheating the sport and cheating so many people in the sport and so many people around him, believing that what he did actually did it on a clean and regular way. So that's really not cool what he did.

    In regards of tennis, I think they test me often enough, blood and urine. So, sure, if they want to increase it, why not? But we have a tough enough time with this WADA process of us telling them every single day of our life where we need to be.

    So I don't really see how can it be more strict than that."

    Source: http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/news/interviews/2013-01-18/201301181358500915339.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, "pre-season" in Kenya. While Kenya does have a higher altitude, the problem with tennis training at altitude is that the ball travels through the air much differently. In addition, Kenya is hardly high enough to warrant going there for training when you could get the same altitude in just about any alpine village in Europe or the United States. At least in those countries, you probably won't wake up in the middle of night thinking that "somebody was like robbing us." Unless your name is Serena and you live in Beverly Hills and the "robbers" happen to show up in the one-hour window you designated for anti-doping testing and are carry ID's that say they are with an anti-doping authority -- then you can just run into your panic room and call the police to save you from the "robbers."

      In addition, any high end gym can easily simulate much higher altitudes than Kenya. Indeed, it would not be too expensive to turn an indoor tennis court into a high altitude environment. This is accomplished by using nitrogen to deplete the total oxygen concentration, not by depressurizing the building. Some people have turned their entire house into such an environment. (http://www.lindenspanishclub.org/nitrogenhouse.htm).

      Of course, the problem with using a dedicated training facility to re-produce high altitude affects is that those pesky anti-doping officials will know where to find you.

      Delete
    2. Hahaha, nicely written :)

      Delete
    3. I think they actually train at a coastal resort.

      Delete
  30. Very very interesting that Djokovic doesn't want a biological passport in tennis. I'm not surprised that Djokovic thinks they are doing enough already! And that Tipsarevic thinks testing is rigorous enough already. They trot out the same ol' "we give whereabouts every day of the year" standard line. Although, they only actually get TESTED out-of-competition a couple of times a year (or once a year, in Djokovic's amazing 2011 year).

    Murray is a little too defensive too lately for my liking. I hope someone will ask Federer about it after he beats Tomic on Saturday to get his views. I'd say that I hope Tomic gets asked about it too, but I can't imagine much of a coherent answer coming from him.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Ferrer just beat Baghdatis easily enough in straight sets. I remember these two players played in the second round of the AO in about 2010. When Ferrer was 27 and presumably at the peak age-group of tennis players. Baghdatis was 24. Baghdatis beat him in 5 sets (I think).

    These days Ferrer may be nearly 31, but he's a far better player than he was then. Baghdatis may be 27, pretty much his peak, yet Ferrer beats him easily and it was never really in doubt. As mentioned above, betting markets are good guides as to what knowledgable betters think of players. Little wonder the odds for Ferrer winning were solid before and during the match.

    Sure Baghdatis can play really well on his day, but Ferrer is far more solid at 30 than he was at 27. It just doesn't make sense unless you remember TennisVal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Add that Ferrer has very rarely been pressed about his time at TennisVal and Dr. Del Moral (I think he may have been asked one or two questions at the most about it, then tennis journalists dropped it).

      Delete
    2. Add that Ferrer has very rarely been pressed about his time at TennisVal and Dr. Del Moral (I think he may have been asked one or two questions at the most about it, then tennis journalists dropped it).

      Delete
  32. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SzjqpRMzHs

    this is video of Serena in 2002. It's remarkable how similar in build she is to Sloane Stephens at the same age. It's also my opinion that a professional women's tennis player that doesn't lift weights would never transform from that body to the one she has now. I highly doubt a women's tennis player that does lift weights could do it either. I guess if Sloane is still playing at the age of 30 and has 20 more pounds of muslce and is thrashing the living daylights out of everyone and also claims to never lift weights I guess I'll have to admit I'm wrong.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For women, it is pretty simple -- anavar (Oxandrolone).

      Delete
  33. "Football must follow Lance Armstrong and admit it has a doping problem"
    http://www.goal.com/en/news/1717/editorial/2013/01/18/3673607/football-must-follow-lance-armstrong-and-admit-it-has-a


    Excellent editorial over at Goal.com

    Several interesting connections were made, one of the more interesting one's was about the substance "Actovegin"

    "It is not, however, banned in Germany (actovegin), the home of the Actovegin pioneer - Dr Hans-Wilhelm Muller Wohlfahrt. If that name is familiar it is because the 70-year-old has been the Bayern Munich team doctor since the mid-1970s. He also looks after the Germany national team. A good deal of high-class footballers, as well as athletes in other sports like Usain Bolt, trust and rely upon Wohlfahrt. Nonetheless, he is the man to which a journalist referred to in a radio interview who would provide Barcelona's Xavi with 'growth hormone' before a Champions League match last season in order to expedite his recovery from injury. The radio station to which he made the revelation beat a hasty retreat and 'clarified' what the journalist intended to say."

    Just WOW. Pretty good journalism except for the fact that, as I pointed before, If a player is injured he is exempt from testing, which basically means they can dope all they want at the time. Unless FIFA changed their anti-doping regulations in the past few months.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Also no, mention of Real Madrid and Barcelona's connection to Del Moral and the fact that Pep Guardiola actually tested positive. Still, a pretty good editorial.

      Delete
  34. That's gererally a really good football article. Usually the soccer media play the role of the tennis media, ignoring it, or telling themselves that football doesn't lend itself to doping! (LOL!!)

    But the link was wrong, the real link is this one
    http://www.goal.com/en/news/1717/editorial/2013/01/18/3673607/football-must-follow-lance-armstrong-and-admit-it-has-a-doping-problem

    ReplyDelete
  35. This is a paragraph from the article. Sound familiar? :-)

    It's not what the writer of the article is advocating, he's rather pointing out the ridiculous self-deception that goes on with football fans, media, and officials.

    __________________________________________

    Doping, still, due to skewed perceptions, seems not too big a deal in football. It is a game of skill, balance, vision; a game played as much in the head as the legs. The elite players would never need PEDs; why would they? Drugs are for inferiors, seeking to catch up and not for those who lead. That perception is naive; as if, somehow, being fitter and recovering stronger, at the foremost levels of the game, does not confer a competitive advantage over rivals during the course of a 60 or 70-game season.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Federer on Armstrong:


    "What a sad story," Federer said after his three-set win Saturday over Bernard Tomic at the Australian Open.

    "Obviously he's hurt his sport in a big way, even though he helped it in the beginning. But now the burden they live under, all other sports maybe as well."

    "I guess all I needed to see was the first few minutes and then I knew what was the deal, and the rest I don't really care," Federer said. "I'm an active athlete right now, and it's not fun times really to be in sports to a degree."

    ----------> Why is it that I am always left with that uncanny feeling Federer is the only one of the top dogs, who wants to say more, but eventually has to restrain himself?

    He leaves us with hints and codes, like "not fun times really", what does he want to allude to there? It seems obvious how the pressure to be in that sport forces him to stay silent on things he could in another context talk in length about.

    Where right now, it would need someone like him, a well-respected advocate of his sport, to draw the necessary attention to tennis' own problems and shortcomings on all things doping.


    ---------> Here is what Serena Williams and Azarenka had to say, according to Cronin over on tennisdotcom:

    "Serena Williams said Armstrong let all athletes down by doping and lying about it for so long, while No. 1-ranked Victoria Azarenka says the disgraced cyclist "deserves everything he gets."


    Here the money-quote of Williams:

    "I think a lot of people now look and are like, `OK, if somebody (is) that great, what about everyone else in every other sport?" Williams said."


    ---------> INDEED, what about tennis and panic room incidents, my dear?

    "As an athlete, as someone that works really, really hard since I was 4 or 3, I think it's a sad day for all athletes in general. Overall, it's even more disappointing for the people that were adversely affected through everything. You can only just hope for the best for them."

    Azeranka said "everybody works so hard to be the best."

    "You cannot be a hero in the end of the day," Azeranka said. "You cannot lie. You cannot cheat. Everybody works so hard to be the best, and you have to respect that."


    @ swisscheese & @ mTracy
    As for Stephens bulking up - to me how she looks is not age-appropriate - I think someone like Barthel is more like it. But I do understand that genetic differences to some extent play a role in that.

    I don't enjoy the muscled-up players, neither on the men's nor on the women's side. I feel Heather Watson is more how a young player should look like, physically. And yes, they use doping on children as well, there was this case of the 15-year-old Bulgarian player Kantaracheva I posted about above.

    So yes, corrupt trainers and handlers may urge kids to use PED's - they know no shame. What a disgrace, really.


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  37. Hi everybody...

    About what djokovic said after his victory on Stepanek: " I wasn't tested with blood for last six, seven months"

    I find this strange because one of the last generation of EPO (Who is called "Cera") is impossible to find with only urinary controls!! This is due to the fact that "Cera" is a molecule who has the size of albumin, and who is to big to pass trough urine!!!

    Sorry for my english... it is not my motherlanguage! I hope you understand me!

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  38. I got the feeling that Djoko is not doped for this tournament. May be I am wrong but I think that with the absense of the Nadal, Nole has decided to play clean in Australia but for sure will be ready for the summer season..

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    1. Or at least he doesn't seem to me that confident as I have used to see him during the past 2 years. And I am European - with summer season I meant Roland Garos and Wimby. :)

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  39. Sure Djokovic is not on the juice. He just won a 5 hours match against Wawrinka, running like the easter bunny to net to shake hands after a huge rally. All this while Stan was cramping.

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  40. I think Djok is not as juiced up perhaps in this Aussie Open nor in the US Open last year, as he was a year ago and before that. But winning a match like that is something he never would've done 2 years and one month ago. And he stlll has enough energy to repeat his rip-the-shirt-off He-Man act of last year too! Steady on Novak, it's only the fourth round, save that stuff for when you beat Murray in 5 sets in 5.5 hours in the final!

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  41. Djokovic not doped? He just won a 5-hour match and barely broke a sweat. He may not play on the same crazy level from 2011, but his insane stamina shows that he's still juiced. Honestly, I don't want to know what it must feel like to be on the other side of the net and see that the opponent shows no signs of wear and tear 4 hours into a match while you are on your last legs. That has to be completely deflating mentally.

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    1. Djoker didn't sweat at all. And who wants to bet he comes back and throttles Berdych? And we know Berdych is capable of beating the top 3 players if he's in the zone. If Stan had won this match he would have lost the next one in straight sets.

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  42. DON'T KNOW IF ANYONE WILL READ THIS BUT JUST TO SAY IMG HAS FROM FOR OVERLOOKING RAMPANT PED ABUSE IN ITS SPORTS ENTERTAINMENT INTERESTS. AS A LONGTIME WORLD'S STRONGEST MAN FAN, IT'S AN OPEN SECRET THAT 99% OF THEIR COMPETITORS ARE DOPED UP ON HORSE-AMOUNTS OF STEROIDS, AND YET THEY HAD IT BROADCAST ON THE BBC FOR DECADES AS CHRISTMAS FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT....IT MAKES THEM MONEY SO THEY MAINTAIN THE OMERTA.

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