Friday, July 26, 2013

Skyfall? (Update #4)

Tennis has had a really bad week. First, the French Senate report on doping in sport criticized the ITF anti-doping program. Second, tennis continues to be linked with the Biogenesis scandal. Third, Viktor Troicki was banned for refusing to give a blood sample.

And now:

La Gazzetta dello Sport reports that the winner of the Wimbledon Junior Championships, Gianluigi Quinzi, as stating: "“Doping in tennis? When you see players such as Djokovic play 5 long sets and then walk back onto the court the next day and play with the same intensity as the day before, it’s difficult to not think the worst...I’m not saying that Nole or certain other tennis stars make use of doping. I don’t know. But you do start to question things when you see certain recoveries.”

And now, courtesy of a translation by The Changeover, there are reports that Marin Cilic tested positive at the ATP Munich tournament in April, and that "his knee injury was a ruse as Marin awaited for the situation to unfold after Wimbledon."

Update on Cilic: Tennis.com is reporting that "Reports say that Cilic took some kind of glucose supplement that contained a banned substance. A highly-placed source in Croatia told TENNIS.com that the reports are more than likely accurate."

For those interested, here's a link Cilic's June press conference announcing his Wimbledon withdrawal: "... I started to have difficulties with my knees also during Queen's...It was difficult for me to put weight on my left leg, which is where the pain is.  So today I had basically no choice to.  I can also risk something bigger to play"

Update on Cilic #2: Simon Cambers reports (via The Guardian) a confirmation of Cilic's positive test. Cilic's ex-coach, Bob Brett, tells Cambers that "He [Cilic] said he had tested positive...The one thing I found out was that he tested positive for high glucose...One of the people in his team bought it in a pharmacy – basically what you've been reading in the papers. Some people will say he made a mistake. But it was carelessness."

Update #3: Has the transparency penny finally dropped? Steve Tignor writes:
"The “silent ban” has long been a favorite fallback for doping conspiracy theorists, something that's mentioned when virtually any player is sidelined for an extended period...
"Now, in light of the Cilic report, there’s more reason to believe the conspiracy-minded. Whether his situation constitutes a “silent ban,” or whether a positive test and suspension is eventually made public, it’s probably only a slight exaggeration to say that every injury claim in the immediate future will be greeted with some degree of skepticism. What else, I’ve already caught myself wondering, didn’t we know about at this year’s Wimbledon? Was it really as “weird” as we thought?
"...Whatever the truth is regarding Cilic, the game’s anti-doping authorities shouldn’t help create a situation where a player, any player, lies about why he or she is withdrawing from a tournament..."

Update #4: Well, I guess we know why the ITF hasn't gotten around to clearing up the Cilic case:
The International Tennis Federation announced today [30 July 2013] that it recognises and respects the 2-year ban imposed on Faisal Aldossri by the Saudi Arabian Anti-Doping Committee...

Mr Aldossri, a 32-year old player from Saudi Arabia provided a sample on 1 May 2013 in connection with his participation at the Saudi Arabian Tennis Championships. That sample was sent to the WADA-accredited laboratory in New Delhi, India for analysis, and was found to contain amphetamine...Mr Aldossri was therefore suspended by SAADC for a period of two years, starting on 9 June 2013 and so ending at midnight on 8 June 2015.

62 comments:

  1. Ok. Wow. Lets see what actually unfolds, but this could get really interesting since Wimbledon had a lot of big name's this year pull out with supposed injury as cilic did, retire like Tsonga, or just plain lose early like nadal, sharapova, and fed. Not saying that any of it was intentional or that they all tested positive or anything but given the time frame b/w when cilic tested positive and when it's actually been made public as a failed test (looks like around 3 mo.), we may be hearing about more players soon. Fed did play in hamburg, so looks like he might have been cleared; although he lost to a qualifier--huh?

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    1. Nowadays, his fans don't even need to meet him anymore to start crying. They can do it live while he is playing against qualifiers

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    2. Mr. Ed, didn't YOU claim to be one of his fans? Oh, right....

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    3. I was alluding to his hard line fans. I am a humble and reasonable one

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    5. Regarding Wimbledon:

      I still remember the day in question. Watching all those top players scramble around, falling over, 'pretending' winner mentality. I thought then, and I think now: it was the saddest day in tennis. It was akin to slapping a child in the face with the reality.

      You had Tsonga out there, slipping all over the grass "I no know what going on, put my foot down, it slips, guess he played better..." etc. So many half-assed attempts, withdrawals, slippages, upsets; all the players just looked worried - if I had to use one word. Even that day I could smell the stench of it.

      And the first question I asked (at the bar) was: "anyone know of any extra PED testing this year at Wimby? Sure is a coincidence." The other bar flies looked up briefly, gave an inaudible response, then turned to their unfinished glasses. Regardless, I felt I saw something no one else could or wanted to. I hope not. I really do.

      Cilic is the first. I'm interested to see where this goes.

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  2. so Cilic gets a 3 month retroactive ban for testing positive (lame excuse included) and Troicki gets an 18 month suspension for refusing a blood test (another lame excuse included). Something's rotten in the state of...tennis

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  3. No. Cilic's ban is still not ruled. He may play the US open series or he is going to be banned longer.

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  4. One doesn't age dramatically in such a short amount of time without being kept young by ....

    As always I am right. Many players are not taking chances anymore and for those who made an outstanding career in a suspect manner, it is time to be really careful.

    I for one know that the legit will never falter.

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  5. I'll wait to comment on Clic's alleged ban until it is announced. I will comment on the article above about Biogenesis.

    The article notes that the disgruntled employee who disclosed all the information says "the only sports entity he has heard from was Major League Baseball." Though he maintains his allegations that the athletes came from "the NBA, NCAA, professional boxing, tennis and MMA."

    So, it looks like "Dr." Miller is not conducting any investigation when directly presented with evidence that tennis players are doping. Instead, he just tells his favorite ones to put him on speed dial and call him when they need to skip tests.

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    1. I am pretty sure that the investigation into tennis players and Biogenesis will go the same way as the investigation into Del Moral and Tennis Val.

      We will never find out the tennis players involved unless the authorities outside of tennis make them public because you can be sure as hell that Miller will be doing his best to cover up for the dopers.

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  6. The ability of "Dr." Miller to allow players to skip tests also breathes life back into the "silent ban" theory.

    First, I agree that there is no such thing as a "silent ban" for a positive test that is confirmed. Yes, there is a provisional suspension (which is silent), but if the test is confirmed, then the decision is announced. The ITF has no discretion to bring such a case and the WADA is informed of the test results as well to check up on the ITF.

    However, lets take an imaginary player, I'll him Nadjokorer. Now, Nadjokorer loses in the first round of Wimbledon which he as not expecting to have happen. As such, he is running hot -- that is, he has banned substances in his system and he knows he will test positive.

    This is really Nadjokorer's unlucky day. First, he loses in the first round and then gets selected for doping control. He heads over to the station but knows he will test positive. He calls of his old buddy "Dr." Stuart Miller and says, "Hey Stewy, I'm got picked for doping control, but you know, my penis really hurts when I take a piss, so I'd prefer not to pee in a cup right now, if you know what I mean."

    Miller: "No problem Nadjokorer. You are our number one star. I'm here to protect tennis, and that means it has to have a clean image. But, I can't just let you get away with this and have you keep coming to me every tournament. Eventually those crazies over at THASP will catch on and start making fun of me. How about you fake an injury and don't play for 6 months and we'll call it even."

    Nadjokorer: "How do I fake an injury?"

    Miller: "Just watch the press conference of Clic after Wimbledon and see how it is done."

    Nadjokorer: "Cool, thanks. See you on my yacht this weekend?"

    Miller: "Of course."

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  7. The word penis might trigger some inappropriate behavior from some floks who may hijack the website for their personal pleasure. I don't think it is in anyone' s interest to see the site down

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  8. Monfils failed blood doping test
    According to French radio RMC Sports, it happened in between the French Open and Halle. According to what I've heard, this is why he withdrew from Wimbledon for "personal reasons".

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    1. Coincidentally, he just withdrew from next week.

      His Wimbledon withdrawal was very strange. Not the only one either.

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    2. Really? Where did you read this? Didn't he just play a couple of tournaments? How was he allowed to play? Or can they play while awaiting a verdict?

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    3. I just saw the thread in MTF but it was closed by the administrator because there's no proof of the claim that he failed a test. If someone has a link that would be nice.

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    4. Receipts! I want receipts ;)






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  9. I think it's important to remember what happened at this very odd Wimbledon, esp. on Murray's half of the draw (who happened to conveniently win the championship after 77 yrs in British Hx & might be knighted or whatever for it). B/c I can't shake this feeling that it seems really relevant to our cause here, even if most of it gets swept under the rug by ITF/ATP/WTA as if nothing happened. Ok, so odd early round losses--Nadal, Sharapova, Hewitt, Federer. 7 players withdraw or mid-match retire due to injury---Isner, Azarenka, Tsonga, Stepanek, Darcis (who beat Nadal previous round), Cilic (failed test 3 mo. ago---await what his punishment is if any), Shvedova; pulled out before tourney began---Monfils for "personal reasons" (allegedly failed test but not sure yet), Kuznetsova for abdominal strain, not sure who else--please add on.

    We have to now pay attention to who gets caught, what's their rank, & how they get punished(if at all); how long ago they failed the test vs. when it was made public; what substance or substances they got caught for

    What we will find happening is that the monopoly of the rich greedy businessmen running the sporting shows will protect the top money making players at all cost (i'm guessing for sure top5) to keep the ratings up & the cash flow healthy for the sport.

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  10. That ESPN piece on the Biogenesis whistleblower is depressing.
    Seriously, they haven't even properly investigated the materials, only the MLB tried to get hold of the boxes / snatch away the compromising stuff.

    I mean, we already knew that Florida's law enforcement is a disgarce and this keeps confirming their weaknesses even more.

    I have very little faith in the ITF picking up the ball from what the whistleblower gathered and investigating all the hints/names in it.

    Curious to see if CAS overrules the 18 months. That would be another disgrace (in the long line of disgraces...)

    Troicki's needle phobia... like, my eyes can't even roll that hard. They already hurt so much. This is too much suspense of disbelief, I can't, really.

    http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2013/07/drawing-blood/48521/

    Also Steve Tignor's highly inconsiquential piece on matters Troicki has me eyerolling real hard. He should know that blood testing is in dire need of consequences...and not lame excuses. He disappointed me with this shameful wobbly whining on how the penalty is "too stiff". While simulatenously mentioning that if a failed test has no consequences, it would lead to players trying to skip tests for they know they'd get a short suspension.

    Which would be undermining any attempt at having a serious bloodpassport programm that deserves its name. Tignor, not cool!

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    1. Yeah, Tignor speaks from both sides of the mouth and has been for a while. Frustrating.

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  11. Meanwhile in football...

    Ecuador striker Benitez dies aged 27 (27!)

    "The forward began suffering with severe stomach pain and was rushed to hospital in Qatar but suffered a deadly cardiac arrest"

    Another football player bites the dust, what's the tally now? Too many.

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    1. We complain about the tennis media but the unwillingness of the football media to even contemplate the idea that doping exists in elite football is stunning.

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    2. A Jamaican player tested positive in a World Cup qualifying match against Honduras.

      "The Jamaica Football Federation said it was notified by FIFA that a “member of the Jamaican squad returned an adverse analytical finding on his urine sample” after the June 11 game.

      The player and the substance involved were not identified.

      “The player has been informed and we await further information from FIFA,” the federation said in a statement late Wednesday. “The JFF has taken this matter very seriously and a thorough investigation has already started by the chairman of the JFF Medical Committee.”

      Not surprising considering what is going on in track, but what is surprising is Jamaica ONLY HAVE 2 POINTS AND DEAD LAST IN THE GROUP. I do believe this indicative of a slightly more "rigorous" testing program that Jamaica has adopted and hence, players may not be doping, may not or too dumb to pass their test. Their quality has dropped significantly, not as quick and seem to lack some physicality.

      Back to the matter on hand, "The player and the substance involved were not identified." Great transparency there. As I have mentioned before, FIFA have inadequate testing. If I remember correctly, only like 2 players are picked from the whole team, including the bench. 2 extra players are provisional incase the other players picked are injured. (also if a player is injured, he is pretty much free to dope, they aren't tested).

      Meanwhile, Omar Ortiz claims that the Mexican Soccer Federation anti-doping tests were inefficient.

      "he passed four tests when he was already using illegal substances."

      "When I really got into the gym I began uzing oximetadone and of of course I knew it was prohibited. But with time, I kept passing the anti-doping tests and I thought nothing would happen. I passed four, I got confident and then came the game in Colombia and everything changed," he said in an interview with Milenio magazine."

      he was confident when it came to the FMF tests, but after testing positive in Colombia, he began to doubt the quality of the Mexican tests.

      "My problem was that I believed in the Mexican soccer federation doing their analysis correctly and when it came to CONMEBOL I was positive," he assured.

      He said that his situation "proves that the Mexican federation does not do the tests as they should, or that the specimens stay in the stadium and never go to a lab."

      First of all, 4 tests!?!? He played 286 games in the Mexican league and he only remembers 4 tests. And also, was he too dumb not too pass? It seems like it, they get tested after a game, or in training, so someone didn't time it right. He tested positive for Oxymetholone and Dostranolone. Only banned 2 years.

      Now he is in prison after his involvement with a kidnapping group, believed to be led by a drug cartel.

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    3. WHoa, what a story!

      I posted the link to Pound's report on "Effectiveness of Drug Testing" below. Just read that and use it as a foil for all the things that still happen and go wrong in drug testing, like lab's being corrupted, not testing for all possible substances and Nada's not being stringent or protecting their own athletes and so forth.

      All the points Pound mentions in his report are truely scarry and paint a bleak picture of how irregular testing still is and what loopholes exist. That tells you a lot.

      Add to this the rampant seperatism of FIFA running their own "testing" program - I'd rather call this protection program/sham...

      Football is the sacred (cash) cow - they won't touch that!

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  12. Alright, I'll volunteer with offering an expalantion for why Cilic took glucose or as some report a glucose supplement with a tainted substance.



    However, for my purposes, I'll go with what Daily Mail reported on the incident: "incautious use of glucose".

    So why glucose?

    As far as I know, when you are taking/abusing hGH, you need to measure your blood glucose/insulin levels closely in order to avoid Hyperglycemia, for any injection with hGH messes with fundamental processes of that crucial regulation. It may upset the balance of thyroid and corticotropic hormones, which will have a major impact on the individual's health.

    So one possible reason to "regulate" your glucose levels is intimately related to hGH abuse. If you add glucose/insulin to your hGH mix, it shows a consolidating effect. Your muscles remain boosted for a longer period, so to speak. We don't know if Cilic took hGH at this point, so I am only suggesting a possible reason for why one would mess with glucose.

    But here are others.
    F.i. injecting Insulin is helpful in creating a longer-lasting effects when taking hGH or testosteron as I laid out above. But you could also take it simply without hGH to boost your endurance for it allows for a higher absorption of glykogen in your muscles. To reach this beneficial effect, athletes usually inject a simultaneous shot of both glucose and insulin and/or glycogen directly into their muscles. The absorption of glucoses/insulin in muscle tissue can be boosted by the fator 12. It also bolsters stamina.

    So they are walking a thin line between hyperglocemia/coma and extreme power. If you are familiar with cycling, doping with insulin is what Jan Ullrich, among other doping methods, is on the record for.

    Again, I am not saying this is what Cilic did, but I am trying to lay out options for why an athlete would possibly mess with glucose/insulin. I am not sure if he was also tested for insulin. They can trace certain c-peptides that hint to an unnormal c-peptides/insulin ratio which indicates manipulation. Yet, as far as I know, the traceability is low, insulin vanishes rapidly, within for minutes half of it is gone from what I heard, yet again, I am not an expert.

    However, if he got punished for consuming a supplement with a tainted susbstance (Which? I wonder, will we ever know?) it's a whole other ballgame.

    And Cilic, if he is really going for that "tainted supplement excuse" is plain stupid. Not that I think the ITF is generally to be considered a competent body in handling all things doping, however, they very wisely chose to recommend a no-supplement-at-all-policy to their players on their website.

    I wish the experts here on this site could chip their knowledge, I apologize in advance for my rather simplistic explanations.

    What's your take on the Cilic case anyway?

    Apperently he got tested two weeks before at Monaco and was clean. So they might have done some attempt at target-testing here, no?

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    1. I'll try to comment on the other stuff later, but just wanted to add to the "tainted supplement excuse." Yeah, this one is way overused, but probably because the ITF has accepted it in the past.

      In any case, here's a link to the "10 best excuses for failing a drugs test" http://www.theweek.co.uk/11145/10-best-excuses-failing-drugs-test

      They include "tainted beef", someone injecting nandrolone into the athlete's toothpaste, having oral sex with a pregnant woman, and eating too much spaghetti.

      IF Cilic has tested positive, he really has to be creative to beat out these excuses -- "tainted supplement" just wont make the list.

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    2. Sadly, I know just about all of those preposterous excuses... sigh. That's a bad sign, right?


      Anyway, what struck me with Cilic were the rivaling explanations out there.

      I simply wonder how that came about.

      The ITF needs to release the results of their findings immediately to quench all speculation on which substance was involved, but foremostly to prevent inaccuracies which encourage conspiracies and spin-doctoring from helpful journalists or PR people.

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  13. While we wait on any real news relating to Cilic, here is some Serena stuff to keep you busy:

    http://www.rantsports.com/clubhouse/2013/07/25/hot-pictures-of-serena-williams/

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  14. pt. 2

    Notice also WADA's emphasis here:

    "WADA is an independent, international, regulatory body concerned with doping in sport; it is not a “service” organization."

    There are apparently powers (aka IOC and some federations (guess which)) that would like the WADA act as a mere service body without authority over them. I am bet my moneys that Ricci-Bitti et. al think the same and support those "service" ideas and thereby lose its independence.Not cool, they have a meeting in November, I believe, were they are going to decide on its future alignment... Let's hope the good forces will win this one.

    And lastly:

    "14. NADOs shall be entitled to test any athlete found in their territories at any time and means should be devised to provide information regarding the presence of such athletes to NADOs. Results management in respect of tests of foreign athletes shall be the responsibility of the IF concerned."

    Also necessary against evasion:

    "15. Compliance assessment shall include the degree of implementation of
    recommendations contained in this report by the organizations in respect of which they are made."

    And a note to the international federations:
    "24. Organizations shall ensure that all their members are Code compliant."
    "28. The Athlete Biological Passport should be mandatory.
    29. Organizations should embrace the desirability of ensuring that anti-doping programs are complete and effective."

    Regarding "entourages":
    "60. Any person who has had involvement with doping should be excluded from any role in a sport organization during the period of any sanction."

    I think they should make it a life-time ban - for deterrence sake!

    In respect of testing:

    "65. Retroactive TUEs should be permitted only for gluco-corticosteroids and asthma medications and may be reported as negative only with the written approval of WADA."

    This is quite telling! I could also do without the corticosteroids exemptions. What is the reasoning behind it other than allow football players and others to get away with the usage... Anyway, I agree the WADA should overlook this process for as of now, it is open to abuse.

    Also this point makes you wonder...

    "68. No communication shall occur between any laboratory and the ADO before the sample analysis has been completely concluded and documented."

    The UCI violated this rule pretty regularly much with Armstrong.

    Another relevant point to tennis:
    "76. Because of micro dosages, rules should be established to permit testing during the periods when detection is possible."

    Alright, I stop here. There is more obvs ;) Sorry for the wall of text. Hope it is sufficient food for thought!

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    1. Yeah, looks interesting, but this notes "Pt2." Was there a part 1? Do you have a link to the document you are discussing above as that would help?

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    2. WADA report on Lack of Effectiveness of Testing Programs here:

      http://playtrue.wada-ama.org/news/wada-seeks-stakeholder-feedback-on-working-group-report-lack-of-effectiveness-of-testing-programs/


      Somehow my first pt. does not show up, for whatever reasons. I samples some relevant quotes from the first half of the report, but I am too lazy to c/p again. Anyway, it's a good read, very eye-opening.

      So read the WADA report (27ps) and you know what gigantic loopholes still exist in testing. It has ITF written all over.

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  15. Sharapova pulled out of Rogers cup with hip injury acquired during Wimbledon. Letz see if she continues pulling out of tourneys.

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    1. I saw that earlier. According to Matt Cronin, Victoria Azarenka had something to say on the matter. "Was talking to Azarenka about her injuries at Wimby & she said she didnt realize Sharapova had fallen hard & hurt her hip too"

      hmmm. She does bring up a good point. Nothing but fake injuries.

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  16. Ok, so now we have some comments from Cilic, and I am left wondering how stupid the press is. Really, "high glucose?" (See Guardian article noting "The one thing I found out was that he tested positive for high glucose.")

    First, glucose is NOT a banned substance. (http://list.wada-ama.org/by-substance/). Given that it is really just a sugar that every single human being has, it would be difficult to ban it. (http://diabetes.webmd.com/blood-glucose). Typically, your glucose level increase has you eat high carbohydrate foods, but also increase from just about any type of food, which is why you typically have to fast prior to a medical test for glucose levels.

    "High glucose" would be a medical condition that needs to be looked at because it can damage your vascular and other systems over time. (See above article). Typically, "high glucose" is a sign that the person has diabetes. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diabetes).

    So, why would the WADA be banning everyone who has diabetes? The answer is, they don't. That WADA specifically says "Athletes with diabetes may participate in almost all the competitive sports if certain precautions are taken." (http://www.wada-ama.org/Documents/Science_Medicine/Medical_info_to_support_TUECs/WADA-Medical-info-Diabetes-Mellitus-2.0-2012-EN.pdf). The "precautions" are that the player likely needs insulin (a banned substance without a TUE, but one for which TUE's are routinely granted to people with diabetes).

    Obviously, we will have to continue to wait for more details, but the press should be smart enough to know that a player that lied about his injury just a couple months ago is probably lying about "high glucose."

    In addition, statements about "glucose supplements" are equally nonsensical. Glucose is a naturally occurring sugar found in plants. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glucose). So, eating grapes is taking a "glucose supplement." Obviously, eating grapes is not banned and will not lead to a positive test of any kind no matter how many grapes you eat.

    Clearly, Cilic took some type of "supplement" that may or may not have contained glucose in it. But it was not the glucose or "high glucose" that would result in a positive test. Apparently, the "supplement" contained a warning that it contained prohibited substances, but Cilic was potentially unaware of this. (See the Changeover article which states that the product contained banned substances but incorrectly states that the banned substance was glucose).

    The only way glucose would be a banned substance would be if it were injected intravenously. Any type of IV infusion is a banned method, even if it is just water. Obviously, drinking water is not banned, but injecting it directly is. However, the test for these is not "high water" or "high glucose" in your system, but rather whether trace elements of the plastic from the bag and equipment are in your system -- because plastic is not normally present in the human body. However, it would be difficult to imagine that Cilic "accidentally" took an IV infusion.

    At least the Cilic issue is focusing attention on the lack of transparency and how the "provisional suspension" system essentially forces players to lie.

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  17. @ MTracy

    I tried to outline above in my comment the possibilities to dope with insulin/glucose in combination with hGH or without it. So if he claims they checked his glucose level during testing and he got flagged for it, it might actually be related to something more severe than a simple power bar with a sprinkle of cocain in it ;)

    So far, we only know his side. And things don't add up. He seems to be headed for the Contador type of excuse, food was contaminated accidentally...

    However, we DO know that Cilic is already down with two "missed" test. And I don't think those were accidental either.
    I can't bring myself to the required level of suspension of disbelief anymore these days...

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  18. Right, it makes sense if he was using glucose with other banned substances (insulin and hGH). If he would have said, "I tested positive for insulin/HGH," then there wouldn't be the confusion.

    I was unaware that he had 2 missed RTP tests (whereabouts). Hopefully they had targeted him for additional follow up and he certainly should have been off the juice. At least that is the "smart" strategy -- dope until you have 2 missed tests within 18 months, then you have to go clean because you can't miss the next one (unless you are friends with Dr. "Feelgood" Miller.).

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  19. I was looking at the Troicki ~situation~ again, re-reading the ITF's decision and here are some loose thoughts:

    First, how can Reader be so unaware of testing procedures? After how many years on tour? Has he been living in a cage?

    Tellingly, the ITF wrote in their report:

    "Despite having been a professional tennis coach since at least 1985, he affected not to know the detail of the ITF’s anti-doping rules."

    I think he needs to get some ban as well. He was clearly feinting. Since we have talking about the responsibilities of entourage regarding doping, Reader might be a case in point. How can he have been so untouched by what a missed test really means to his client?

    My guess, he was hoping the ITF would cover it up anyway and not act upon it. Which, surprisingly, they didn't!

    From reading the WADA report (the one linked above) you get many clues as to what federations are capable of doing when it comes to avoid a positive sample. Ranging from intimidating the person (DCO) who collected the sample, or bribing them. Or giving the lab a call and arrange testing so that they won't look for the one incriminating substance.
    So there is incredibly leeway - not all federations, NADAs follow the WADA protocol. For some reason, even CAS appeals can be onesided, turning a blind eye on the facts when reaching their decision, as Pound acknowledges in his report...

    Another implausibility: How can Troicki NOT know the specifics of testing intimately? He is 27 yrs old and has been around for a while. For that alone he derserves the ban imo. The report states Troicki knew the relevant Anti-Doping rules...

    How can Troicki, as he claimed in one of his statements, be allowed to first shower and then do some stretching BEFORE the sample is collected? Any minute counts if you want to find traces of micro-doping. Normally, a chaperone would have to follow him and make sure he is not out of sight.


    As MTracy already pointed out, there were attempts at phoning/faxing Dr.Miller. This alone is telling. The report states however, he did not reach him, but still. If Troicki has his number, I am assuming others do as well. It is telling in so far as a testing body ought to be independent from tennis establishment alltogether. There is too much closeness and intransparency.

    Another odd bit from the report, how can you inherit a phobia from your parents, phobias are by definition NOT hereditary, I found that point utter bs.



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  20. And of course Wertheim is there to repeat the party line.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/tennis/news/20130731/tennis-mailbag-roger-federer-viktor-troicki-marin-cilic/index.html

    Anyone who thinks that there are cover ups is a tin foil hatted conspiracy theorist.

    Except that as we know, (despite Richard Ing's claims otherwise) that the authorities can and do cover up tests - three examples are Lance Armstrong's failed tests, Alberto Contador's failed test and the non-supply of Armstrong's suspicious blood profiles to the biopassport committee during Armstrong's comeback

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    1. Also reading WADA's report on Lack of Efectiveness of Doping Testing" (link above in one of my posts) is an eye-opener and gives you plenty of clues about what is possible concerning cover-ups and interference/influencing of test results and testing bodies through NADA's and federations.

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    2. Oh boy, I'd hate to have a nightmare called Richard haunting not only my dreams but also my waking hours! For then I'd have to forever-on mention her/him in every comment I ever make on this blog... Just imagine the Living Hell of the Cursèd Situation!

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    3. Or for that matter a nightmare called Rafa, Serena etc. Or of course to perceive that anyone is the centre of anyone's attention.

      And more to the point, Wertheim is repeating Ings' line of argument that a cover up is impossible. Whether a cover up is possible is key point.

      But hey ho, you see what you want to see.

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  21. MONTREAL -- Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France has withdrawn from the Rogers Cup tennis tournament due to a knee injury.

    The eighth-ranked Tsonga hasn't played since June 26 when he was forced to drop out of his second-round match at Wimbledon. He says he needs more rehab on his left knee and hopes to be ready for the US Open next month.

    The main draw in the men's edition of the Rogers Cup starts Monday in Montreal. The women's Rogers Cup goes next week in Toronto."

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    1. Interesting...letz see here, Tsonga and sharapova withdrew from Rogers cup with injuries that magically appeared at Wimbledon. Cilic failed drug test. Gotta just wait and see where this leads since ITF will reveal nothing.

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    2. From Matt Cronin's twitter feed: Fish & Monfils join Tsonga as Montreal withdrawals. Monfils says ankle injury, Mardy 'personal reasons' again.

      Monfils withdrawal comes straight off those rumors of a positive test. Interesting.

      Mardy being secretive again, tsk, tsk. At this point we know something is wrong with his heart. Why does he keep being insistent on keeping these matters private? I wasn't aware having a heart condition is something to be embarrassed about.

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    3. Fish's condition is very peculiar. If he has a heart condition, he has a heart condition (what's the big deal) unless it was caused by PED use. But that's just speculation. Wish there was some proof.
      Now, Roger has pulled out of Rogers cup with a back injury that has been bothering him for some time per Roger. And Nadal has pulled out of Cincy with left knee injury, but has still not pulled out of Roger's cup. Why the heck would your knee injury allow u to play next week but have to skip the next tourney??? Weird, no???

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    4. Yeah, Nadal's publicist mentioned testing out the knee at Montreal, but pulling out of Cincy to rest it. I suppose he wants to gauge the knee sooner than later, and use the following week for practice or daresay, gain an advantage. He is also playing doubles with Marc Lopez at Montreal (more practice they mentioned). To be plainly honest, the word was a lot of players complained about playing "in the middle of nowhere." He could just want to skip it, he has no points to defend.

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    5. Add Robredo, Querrey and Cilic to the list of withdrawals. Monaco has pulled out as well, but I think there should be nothing suspicious about that as he's playing in the final of Kitz tomorrow.

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    6. Now, Azarenka has pulled out with a back injury. But wasn't her hip injured at Wimbledon, not the back?? I wonder

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    7. Whoops. Got cut off. I wonder if this is "preparation" for the US Open cause Vika just played a final against Sam the man, so don't think Itz failed test or anything.

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  22. Tsonga. He fits the bill. See my post above, or don't. Don't actually, it is very poorly written, all hearsay with no evidence. But his Wimbledon performance was just, well...sad. That's a good way to put it. He went out there and played like a man who expected to meet the guillotine that night.

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    1. There's truth in your post in that lot of people are in denial about drug use in sports or they just don't care, plain apathetic. Wimbledon was just way too strange to dismiss. Unfortunately, as u say, we have no evidence other than what is revealed to us so we end up looking like conspiracy theorists. When in fact, there's too much going on behind closed doors.

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    3. This year's Wimbledon was one of the strangest Grand Slams I can remember. The top players were dropping like flies and it's hard not to get suspicious of certain absences with all the doping news coming out lately.

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  23. I thought this particular story was of some interest, considering the stories emanating out of the tennis world over the past few weeks.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/tennis-busted-racquet/novak-djokovic-diet-lesson-strict-commitment-being-best-171756387.html

    In the wake of his Serbian buddy Troicki's tummy-ache excused absence from a blood test, the Djokovic camp goes out of their way to publish an extensive description of "the diet to get to #1". Absolutely, this could only coincide with the release of his new book, but the timing of it all is what stood out.

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  24. New Bob Brett comments appeared over on The Tennis Space regarding Cilic/drugs:

    http://www.thetennisspace.com/bob-brett-on-cilic-drugs-and-the-peril-of-doctors/

    He makes it sound as if his handlers screw it up and Cilic himself is passive in all this...I know they worked together and he wants to be nice, but still...I mean, we know that Cilic missed two tests.

    Brett: "He’s always been someone who (has followed) the code of the game. But he’s just been naïve in letting these things happen."

    Brett:"I’m disappointed that it’s something that’s happened to him, especially because of the guidance I’ve given about not taking any risk, as any coach should do. I certainly would wish that it would be something that’s not true. I know he had knee trouble and has had knee trouble at various times over the years."

    Knee troubles, well, who doesn't have knee troubles these days, no?
    This would be the moment to talk about how doping and medical treatment have become meddled in a not good way. As sad as it is, it might be better to either quit the game for good when those knees can't be fixed ina legal way or really rest that knee until it gets better than meddling with illegal procedures which are doping.

    Btw, does the ITF have a health insurance for their players that pays them during periods of illness? I know that football has it and that takes off pressures from players to function/perform instead of heal.


    He also talks about the supplement issue, I am sure he could say more and he is very careful to avoid stuff, but now he makes it sound the legal stuff is extremely expensive, yet the hGH /illegal stuff awfully cheap and most are broke anyway. That's too easy, imo. I think there a veritable culture of using PED's exist in tennis (like in any other commercial sport) and players simply don't want to buy expensive GlaxoKline stuff lacking the "right" type of ingredients that would give them an extra edge...

    Here is Brett's quote:

    "I was on the ATP Committee that was looking for a way to have products that could be tested and not contaminated and do things that way. GlaxoSmithKline came up with various products that could be tested, shipped to the players, who would have to sign for them. (The problem is that) players at different levels, some don’t want to spend money. Some don’t have much money, others are trying to save money and for some it’s because of the way they’re brought up that they don’t want to (spend). The Tours need to help educate the players and people working with the players of the consequences and risks. Maybe they can help make (the supplements) cheaper too. The price is not excessive but some just don’t want to spend."

    Also very carefully phrased by him:

    "I think what’s happened in the last 25 years is that in the search for high performance, many more players are with doctors and are being given things that wouldn’t test positive at that particular time but in later years perhaps they would. More doctors are at tournaments. Doctors are trying to use their expertise to help with high performance. Some are definitely clean and others are taking risks. They are looking to gain an edge over someone else. You’d be amazed how many young sports people are just buying stuff off the shelf. I’d hate to think what would happen if sports people were tested at 15. They copy what they see from (stars) because they think it (must) be OK."

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  25. Anybody see this...

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324354704578638142604610644.html

    It's not EPO; it's the diet!!

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    1. HAhahahaha.

      He clearly is the male Gwyneth Paltrow when it comes to obscure esoteric food regimens and body cleansings!

      "The first thing I do out of bed is to drink a tall glass of room-temperature water," Djokovic writes in "Serve to Win,"


      ""The second thing I do might really surprise you: I eat two spoonfuls of honey. Every day." He says he also eats it during matches."

      No, he does not! That is unless honey comes in the shape of pills...


      This one is priceless:
      "Djokovic says he drinks mostly warm water because cold water slows digestion and "diverts blood away from where I want it—in my muscles." He reveals perhaps a bit too much about his ideal hydration level—"I like to have a bit of color in my urine"

      Fellow tennis players, take note! Chocolate only AFTER beating Nadal in 6hr matches. HAhahahahaha.

      Now I get where his motivation comes from. It's chocolate, duh!


      Didn't work with Murray though.

      Fun fact, he gets hangovers from eating a bagel... Uh huh.


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    2. It's sad to think that there will be people out there who are going to spend money on this ridiculous book.

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  26. I thought this article was interesting and having a peek as to what WADA actually does.
    http://m.cyclingnews.com/news/uci-and-wada-blamed-for-anti-doping-failure

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