Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Insert Expletive Laced Tirade Here

Douglas Robson at USA Today reports on the ITF's "investigation" of Biogenesis. Stuart Miller drops some big time knowledge on what's going down:
"It's not a case closed...It's certainly something that appears from the media that there are ongoing developments in relation to Biogenesis in general. We are keeping a watching brief on that."

"Obviously there were reports in the media when the original story came out that there may be the name of a tennis player associated with the Biogenesis files. So clearly that is something that we needed to look into and we are continuing to look into it. But other than that...I don't have any specific comment to make."

"I will say that under the anti-doping program we've conducted a number of investigations in the past on our own and in cooperation with other organizations — the Wayne Odesnik case being one example...Yes, we do have investigative powers under the tennis anti-doping program. We do exercise those powers when need arises."
I'm not sure what point Robson is trying to make with the article. We gain zero information. The case is "not closed" tells us nothing because we don't even know what type of case has been "opened." Miller's comments make it sound like the ITF's investigation consists solely of reading media reports. There is no mention of cooperating with MLB. Or contacting Biogenesis whistleblower Porter Fischer (who told ESPN that only MLB has contacted him). Or contacting Biogenesis-owner Anthony Bosch. There is no information indicating that any type of credible investigation is taking place (e.g., player interviews).

Meanwhile, Jon Wertheim has this to say about Biogenesis:
"I asked the ITF to comment here and eagerly await a response. While tennis players were indeed implicated in Biogenesis, there were allegedly a dozen athletes among six sports other than baseball and none were stars. That's an average of two per sport, obviously. We already know the identity of one tennis player linked to Biogenesis, Wayne Odesnik. (He has denied any involvement with the clinic.)

"I'm not suggesting that this isn't worthy of further investigation and inquiry. But don't expect a big name to emerge."
Have a nice day!

73 comments:

  1. Sen, you were asking on twitter about that doping study in Germany currently making waves and possible ties into tennis.

    Well, of course there are ties! Manifold!

    Let me explain. I think I wrote about that study in one of my posts a while ago. Anyway, that study finally got the green light and got released a couple days ago after much censoring and quarelling. Rather revealingly, the Federal Sport Institute (BISP) decided to NOT make all the pages/names available to the public, only less than a third of the study got released.

    But the pressure via the media is currently increasing and they are very likely to give in and publish the whole damn thing about "Doping in W-Germany". Sadly, the most important period, from 1990 to 2005, was not finished due to cut fundings and obviously unwillingness to get names incriminated of prominent enablers/dopers, who still work in sports.

    Anyway, I was going to point out one obvious link to tennis: Prof. Dr. Keul, an infamous doctor at the prestigious University of Freiburg, head of the sports science institute.

    Keul and Dr. Klümper and Herbert Reindell were the prominent figures in post-war Germany's doping research and, sad to say, pioneers in applying illegal means to compete with GDR athletes. Their sports science institute was also heavily involved in the Team Telekom doping scandal in the Nineties.

    And supplied doping (anabolics mostly, though officially banned since 1970, and amphetamines, insuline,hGH, to name but a few) already during the early Seventies to the German Olympic team (1972/Olympics in Munich!!) and from what witnesses have been telling in the study, to various top-notch athletes throughout sports. Ties into football are on the record, DFB, but also the local SC Freiburg were taken care of at the doper's paradise in Freiburg.

    But Keul was also prominently featured in Germany's Davis Cup Team as team doctor until he died, in 2000. Remember, Germany won in 88/89/93! Jehlen, Stich, Kühnen and Becker!! Yet, he functioned also as Boris Becker's personal go-to-doctor!

    Keul's institute did groundbreaking research (founded by tax-payers money and granted via the Federal (!) Sports Institut (BiSP)!) on anabolics and various forms of doping already in the late Sixties! They were using hGH waaaay before Balco in 1972, extracting it from pituitary glands of dead corpses! With the danger of transmitting CJD! Also (Troicki, anyone?) using insuline as a means of doping. In 1991 he is on the record for publicly advocating the usage of EPO. Calling it harmless.

    Unfortuantely, most of the files in the BISP on his federally-funded doping research have been destroyed. This is an utter disgrace, again it's a federal authority meant to store everything for public usage! The shredding of crucial files is closely related to this study on doping in W-Germany, which I was refering to in the beginning. Well well. So athletes are being protected by the German state / conservative government, respectively our minister of interior, a total flake and douchebag, need I to mention that?

    Fun fact, Dr. Keul's institute welcomed many Spanish doctors as guest researchers for a while... Sports science did not exist in Spain at that time and Keul was vain enough to spread his knowledge.

    As it looks, Freiburg was crucial in initiating many Spanish doctors into their arkane doping sciences. (I did not get hold of the entire list, so far no Del Moral or what's Nadal's doctors name again, yet this is something that could/SHOULD also be investigated by someone other than Miller, aka someone who is actually giving a fuck).


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    1. pt. 2

      Anyhoos, back to Dr. Keul and his love for tennis. Judging from his manifold doping practices, it is fair to say, he applied his science also to tennis players.

      We have this wonderful quote on sleeping pills in Boris Becker's autobiography (otherwise, if I may add, a piece of staggering genius, truely a work of art in its own right, full of second hand embarassment etc. pp):

      "In spring 1987 I could no longer take the pressure. I started with sleeping pills - seemingly completely harmless. Prof Keul asked us at one point, 'Problems with sleeping?' Every athlete has that. In order to be top fit you need eight, nine hours' sleep. So we all tried Planum.

      "I lived for years with this stuff. At the end I would wake up in the middle of the night because the effect lasted only three or four hours. I would then have to take two more pills - the double dose.

      "At times I could not even close my eyes without sleeping pills. Three, four tournaments a month, jetlag, stress, then a week off. The first night afterwards, on my back, on my stomach, left side, right side - standing on my head was the only position I didn't try in the search for valuable sleep. In my worst phases whisky came into it too, as it strengthened the effect of the tablets."

      Some links below - mostley in German, I apologize for your not knowing this language ;) - also for my convoluted reporting.

      There is so much more to it, the study created a HUGE frenzy in the media currently here in Germany and things are being slowly revealed and more questions will be asked and hopefully the whole study in its entirety will be released soon. Also, Germany might make doping a criminal offense, prosecuting dopers and their handlers/enablers in the future. Let's see. Pressure is ON. Also, there is excellent investigative journalism here, who brought many dirty details to light. I need to credit Grit Hartmann, Daniel Drepper, Jens Weinreich and many others who tackle omerta in sports, corruption and are generally being brave! Wish the US had more of these types to look into Biogenesis or Odesnik/ITF...

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/germany/1445975/I-was-hooked-on-pills-and-whisky-in-glory-years-admits-Becker.html

      http://www.dradio.de/dlf/sendungen/sport/1447409/

      http://www.badische-zeitung.de/suedwest-1/doping-made-in-freiburg-das-system-keul--14977398.html

      http://www.badische-zeitung.de/sportpolitik/freiburger-uni-forschte-mit-hormonen-aus-leichen--74135923.html

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    2. Thanks a lot for the summary - I'd have struggled to follow this in German. I've long suspected drugs came into tennis in the mid/late 80s, this seems to confirm it.

      Also makes it interesting to consider when one country has so many good players at once ....... Sweden anyone?

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  2. Ok, so baseball busts 12 players based on their links to Biogeneis, and the ITF conducts its investigation by surfing the internet?

    Even if true, a brief internet search would show that Odesnik is somehow alleged to be involved -- though he denies it. Wouldn't that trigger some type of additional investigation into at least Odesnik? Wouldn't you call the guy who has the files and ask him for a copy? Given that Bosch (the Biogenesis owener) is cooperating with baseball, is there any reason to believe he would not cooperate with tennis? (https://www.nydailynews.com/sports/i-team/ex-biogenesis-employee-shake-a-rod-1m-article-1.1389269 -- noting that MLB filed a lawsuit against Bosch but agreed to dismiss him in exchange for cooperation against A-Rod. Note to "Dr." Miller -- this is how you apply pressure to someone, not by threatening to read about them on the internet.)

    Anyway, don't be too hard on Robson (the reporter). He got a couple quotes from "Dr." Miller. It is very hard to hear what "Dr." Miller has to say due to the fact that Miller's head is so far up his rectum.

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  4. Are Wertheim's numbers true? I wonder, where he get them from?

    And anyway, each single doper caught is worth the hassle imo. Wertheim and the ITF seem to think otherwise, since they already decided/made sure there won't be a prominent name on their lists.

    Wertheim's idea of investigative journalism: emailing his own federation and doing some 4th grade math to come up with no relevant suspect...

    How about he asks the whistleblower for an interview?

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    1. His numbers are not supported by other statements made regarding the case.

      First, the documents allegedly contain numerous transactions giving PEDs to teenage athletes. http://espn.go.com/espn/otl/story/_/id/9512043/whistle-blower-documents-show-high-school-players-received-peds-tony-bosch-biogenesis-clinic-sources-say

      While these are obviously not professional level players, there are clearly more than a "dozen" of them.

      Second, there are reports such as this one: http://radaronline.com/exclusives/2013/06/baseball-biogenesis-drug-clinic-scandal-spreading-to-other-sports-star-athletes-as-whistleblower-hires-top-attorney/ Noting:

      “The top paid athletes in baseball, soccer, tennis, football and other sports will be exposed as clients of the performance enhancing drug scandal,” the source added. Given that Odesnik is not a "top paid" athlete, this is clearly referring to other people.

      Funny note: The whistleblower's attorney is named "Ray Rafool" -- not making this stuff up.

      Fischer (the whistleblower) indicated that there are hundreds of clients: http://gantdaily.com/2013/07/25/witness-athletes-from-other-sports-had-connections-with-biogenesis/
      “In just the four years that I know, it’s got to be well over a hundred, easy,” It is not clear whether this "hundred" people included the 20-25 baseball players, but if it did, doing the math 100 - 25 = 75, not a "dozen."

      Finally, here is the reference to the "dozen" --

      Porter Fischer, a former employee of the now-infamous Biogenesis clinic in Miami, told ESPN's "Outside the Lines" that there are at least a dozen more athletes across numerous professional sports leagues that have yet to be exposed. (http://www.tsn.ca/mlb/story/?id=428482)

      Well, "at least a dozen" could mean 12, 13, 15, 26, 40, 60, etc.

      But, the same source in other articles says there are "at least 100, possibly more" athletes involved. http://comeonvacationvitaminclyrics.informationrevolution.info/1448/biogenesis-whistleblower-calls-the-doping-scandal-bigger-than-baseball/ (Note to "Dr." Miller, 100 > dozen )



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    2. Thanks MTracy for clearing that up.

      Funny, I kinda knew that Wertheim's assumptions were trivialized down to the smallest denominator possible.

      With him (as with most other sports journalist pretenders dabbling in tennis) I feeel like they should talk about whatever difficulties they face in adressing these issues and explain what makes them NOT book a flight to Florida pronto to get exclusive access to what is going on. If I were a journo, that's the FIRST thing I'd do tbh.

      Coming back to the above mentioned study one more time, soz,for it makes some really good points: In it, scientist have laid out convincingly that doping in Germany is systemic (notice, NOT systematic) - what it entails is that a system is set up so as to benefit doping while appearing on the outside as fighting against it. Systemic entails not only the relationship among competitors or between coaches and team mates, but also officials, apparatchicks, politicians and the media have their fare share. Already in the early 70s athletes knew when to stop steroids to not get caught thanks to lazy testing and complicitness among most involved in sports.

      Things got so absurd that Dr. Keul and his buddies applied for federal money to conduct various studies on the negative effects of doping, which, in fact, turned out as valuable studies in how to use doping efficiently. Surprise! And that's what they have been doing ever since the early Seventies.

      So knowing how prevalent and protected doping happened in W-Germany (not to speak of the systematic doping via the state in the GDR & SU), I really don't buy into Wertheim's, or Miller's crap anymore. It's a farçe we have been seeing in many, far too many acts. It needs to stop.

      Isn't Wertheim blushing from shame when he writes that defensive, absurd prose to his believers? Does he have any self-respect left? Repent, all you Wertheim's! It's never too late ;)

      Also, please can anybody step up who lives in Florida and give that whistleblower a call, he is DYING to tell-all, don't you see that?

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  5. Jon Wertheim:"Move along, nothing to see here."

    Yet, the doofus doesn't have ANY inside information. How does he get paid a hefty sum speculating like this all the time? Fucking ITF shill.

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  6. Tsonga out of Cincy also.

    Interesting timing, given his withdrawal from Wimbledon along with Cilic and Monfils ..... who previously had the same coach as Tsonga does now.

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    1. Talking about Cilic... any OFFICIAL information about his status?

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    2. Nope. ITF and his agent have issued non-denials, ie "can't comment on that". Bob Brett has confirmed it though.

      Interesting that the initial leaks suggested they were going to allow him to return in Montreal, via giving him a backdated 3 month ban. However, since that's gone public, I imagine they don't know what to do with him - would have been a lot of awkward press conferences.

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  7. Whenever I read Wertheim's thoughts on doping as weird thing happens inside my head the Laurel and Hardy's theme tune starts playing inside (which actually gives it more credibility).

    Even if it was 12 (and that is a mighty big IF) as Wertheim's own book, Scorecasting, would note these figures are likely to be part of a random sequence so it could be 2 or it could 1 or 3. I wonder why Wertheims goes against his own reasoning but then again why would a man supposdely good with numbers and journalists (should be good with language)interpret 'at east a dozen' as definately 12? Seems like he is going against his own ideas to produce these quotes? Also he assume Wayne Odesnik but Wayne has actually never tested positive (that used to be the be all and end all for the head in the sand brigade).

    Wayne Odesnik is also in that bracket of tennis players who were gonna go on strike because they were too poorly paid and that's why the prize money was increased. On the subject of a prize money increase I do remember Wimbledon annoucing they had doubled the amount of money dedicaed to PED testing (what a shame it coincided with those terrible slippy courts).

    I do agree with Wertheim about one thing "don't expect a big name to emerge." Although I think he and I have different reasoning to reach that conclusion.

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  8. Connections of Biogenesis to tennis (other than that busted flush Odesnik) will only come from a combination of joint federal i.e criminal and USADA investigation, with relevant information passed by those agencies to the ITF. This is probably why Miller sees himself as a passive observer. The USA has a notoriously lax attitude to PEDs anyway so it would not surprise me at all were the Biogenesis case to fizzle out to nothing. Odesnik is clearly playing for time hoping it will all blow over without federal investigators and USADA picking up the ball.

    No major tennis names will emerge. Big cheeses don't need to rely on quacks like Tony Bosch. The MLB players who did clearly lack IQ or are journeyman types like Odesnik himself who cannot afford more discreet, bespoke programmes.

    This case also clearly shows the limitations of international sporting federations to investigate doping leads. Anti-doping will only progress once a consensus is reached by nations to remove conflicted bodies like the ITF from the fray altogether. The anti-doping role must focus more on aggressive, proactive NDAs capable of mustering a range of agency forces in their endeavours to expose dopers and their enabling entourages. This is way too complex for the ITF to handle.

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  9. Story on doping in Germany can be found on BBS site and Independent
    Here is the link
    http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/general/athletics/latest-drug-scandal-to-hit-germany-dates-back-to-1960s-8753784.html

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  11. More news from the German study:

    Interesting details from the above mentioned study on "Doping in Germany": A very prominent German doctor has been deeply involved in doping research. Back in the 80s, he was part of a team of researchers conducting a study officially entitled "Regenration and Testosteron" which tested "Testoviron 250" on 16 pro-athletes over 6 weeks at the University of Freiburg. Some of the results were conveniently used by him for his thesis. His thesis supervisor and head of the researcher team was the doyen of Germany's doping holy grail in Freiburg: Prof. Keul.

    Said Dr. Wolfahrt now received his thesis in 1988 and ever since climbed the ladder of success as a sports doctor. Not only is he in charge of the (very successful) German Biathlon Federation and head doctor of the German Olympic Team ever since Salt Lake City, but he is also currently part of the medical commission of Germany's NADA! How convenient!

    At least for Germany I can report two people at NADA, who are officially involved with fighting doping, yet have, in fact, a past that implies otherwise.

    I highly doubt their serious commitment to their task, or to be more specific: I believe they act as advocatus diavolus, serving both sides just enough to stay on top. Like most officials in Federations and NDAs, as we already suspected.

    This is what is wrong, those systemic failures need to change. NDAs need to be absolutely independent. None of their experts should also hold a position in the very sport they are meant to police, while serving in any official function, as consultant or whatsoever on a NDA.



    http://www.sueddeutsche.de/sport/doping-experimente-mit-testosteronspritzen-musterschueler-mit-makel-1.1742619

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  12. A ESPN reporter states that there is a "federal investigation" into Biogenesis. Sorry, it is an audio link, but he basically says the documents list high school athletes receiving PEDs. He says that he has spoken to multiple individuals that confirm that these types of practices were going on. He said that he was investigating Biogenesis prior to it being closed and had himself seen teenage boys in the "anti-aging" clinic.

    It is not clear how they know a federal investigation is underway.

    http://www.npr.org/2013/08/09/210412640/feds-probe-if-student-athletes-were-biogenesis-clients

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    1. Here's a written link.

      http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/07/31/3534955_p2/feds-now-zeroing-in-on-biogenesis.html

      There's not much likely to happen from this as far as tennis is concerned unless USADA take an interest. It's not a criminal offence as such for an athlete to take peds and federal investigators have no brief to turn in athletes who dope over to sporting federations. Look what happened in Spain with the Fuentes evidence. Federal investigators will be more interested in illegal trafficking, money laundering and, possibly, the promotion and administration of steroids to underage athletes. It does seem that in the States (and other countries) anyone is free to take anything though doing so breaches regulations and codes administered by sporting authorities. The MLB federation appear to be taking a very tough line now to PEDs, in stark contrast to past practices.

      Way to go, ITF.

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    2. "...and had himself seen teenage boys in the "anti-aging" clinic."

      MTracy, how do we know these were not the results of the successful treatment of old guys?

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    3. @Mike: Good point. I instantly thought sports doping, but those guys could have been 70 year old men cured by the "anti-aging" drugs. And I thought Odesnik was doping, it turns out, he was just trying to cure old age in Australia -- what a nice guy.

      In an unrelated note, I found a some information on the glucose-HGH link that team_kickass has talked about in another post. (http://www.futurescience.com/hgh.html). Long article, but about 3/4 the way down, it notes that:

      "Many people experience increases in blood glucose levels when starting HGH. This effect usually goes away with time, but there appears to be a definite advantage to taking the prescription medicine metformin along with HGH to keep glucose levels under control. (Also, there is evidence that metformin can slow the aging process at a more fundamental level than HGH.) Alpha-lipoic acid or R-lipoic acid, which are both similar nutritional supplements, can also help to keep blood glucose levels under control."

      Was Cilic's "high glucose" simply the result of him trying to keep his youthful appearance? I guess we still have to wait and see.

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  13. Fellow anti-doping crusaders, lo and behold!

    I just evidenced how Serena did some pill-popping on court despite winning that first set ag. Radwanska, albeit not convincingly.

    Let's see how that changes her game. Maybe she'll magically find a new level of aggressivness...

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    1. She broke right back. And god she must have roid rage. That over aggressiveness is off putting. You are the best player by far and there really is no need for that nonsense. I've never seen such blatant disrespect for the opponent.

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  14. Nadal looks stronger than ever. I still don't get how the guy comes back from a career threatening "injury" and then wins everything in sight. Maybe he lost intentionally at Wimbledon to give himself more time to "prepare" for the hard court season because other than that he's been unstoppable this year. Hard courts were never his thing but this year so far he's unbeatable on them. If you watched the match against Djokovic yesterday you would see how hard he's hitting that ball. I'm actually shocked Djokovic managed to keep it as close as he did. Although the tiebreak was a joke. Djokovic is merely a shadow of the player he was in 2011. What's up there?

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    1. Inexplicable how a guy like Nadal in that kind of form can lose to someone like Darcis. And what happened to his knees giving way on hardcourts? That seems to be an excuse that only appears when needed.

      Ever since he first appeared on the Tour I've been convinced he's one of the most assisted sportsmen on the planet. Never seen anything to make me doubt that view.

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    2. Unfreakingbelievable!!! Talk about the most suspect player on tour. He's beating everyone including Novak, but b/c Djoker seems to be the only one to come close to making the match competitive Cincy next week decided to aim for a Djoko vs. Nadal final. Since any other person against nadal will put the crowd to sleep. Nadal also said he plans to skip Cincy to rest his knee after playing roger's cup, but looks like since he won today, he' s certain he can wiin Cincy too and will play there. Yay for us. : (

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    3. @ AJS: Inexplicable? Grass is a very different surface and plays very different. He had a bad day and perhaps not enough preparation + Darcis was playing exceptionally well for his standards. Yes, Nadal could very well be doping, but his loss wasn't as inexplicable as you seem to think.
      Federer's loss to Stakhovsky was at least as surprising, no?

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    4. Actually, nadal's loss was necessary at Wimbledon so he's well set for the hard courts. U need to read how PEDs cycling works. You have down periods where your body crashes, hence u need to plan the cycles well. i dont think your argument about grass makes any sense b/c Nadal has won wimbledon twice. and he feels his worse surface are the hardcourts, esp. since it bothers his knees so much. So, why is he making guys who love hardcourt play look lousy. Not saying Fed is clean, but he has been losing consistently this year even to nobodies. Plus, his age is up there. Why r u choosing Fed to pick on if u r so objective? Truth is that TENNIS has a PEDs problem & definitely at this point every pro player is suspect of using at one time or the other b/c of how slack & corrupt the anti doping system is.

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    5. @ Hola: I don't need to read anything, I know damn well how PED cycling works, don't make assumptions that you know more than me, and I will do the same about you.
      My argument about grass was based on it being harder to adapt to quickly compared to hardcourt or gravel, not it being Nadal's weaker surface. They hardly ever play on grass and rallies are very short, making it a more difficult surface to 'get into' than the others without much preparation.
      I wasn't 'picking on' Fed, I mentioned him for the simple reason that he was the other player from the top 4 who lost early on Wimbledon, and his loss was equally surprising, if not more.

      Yes, tennis has a PED problem, I wholeheartedly agree, not because they are all using, but because the lacks testing gives them opportunities to abuse PEDs.

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    6. Meant to say at this point every top pro player is suspect of using at one point or the other b/c ITF is slack on testing them & looks the other way for them since they generate the most money for the sport and they also have the most money to hire the best people to help them dope. There have been people who come on here and start attacking Fed the minute anyone talks about Serena or Nadal, so wasn't sure if that was the angle u were using, so apologize for misinterpreting. But despite what the media says, Fed's loss was not as unusual at Wimbledon b/c the match was fairly close and could have gone the other way, plus he has been losing even early rounds the whole year. Unlike nadal, whose form change was very abrupt. He went from winning everything to losing fairly easily and now is back in great form again. If u look at nadal's history, he disappears from tour every few years for extended periods and comes back better than ever, but claims his knees still bother him. I remember, not sure which tourney, when Chris evert asked him how his numb heel feels while playing b/c she could barely move when her heel was numbed for pain alleviation. He said Itz not a problem and he went on to win the tourney I believe. It doesn't make any sense to feel fine running on a numb heel. No matter how much anyone defends this man, I can't believe he's clean most of the time.

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    7. @ Hola: agreed on almost all your points. I am not a fan of Nadal in particular , despite I guess sounding like one in my first post. Haven't been a fan of anyone since Krajicek :)
      I see different things in all top 4 players that I really like: Fed's fluidity, Nadal's playing like every point is his last, Djoko's confidence and Murray's grumpiness :)

      Whether Nadal's loss or Fed's was more surprising will always be a matter of perception.
      I can't believe he's clean either, but time time will tell hopefully whether we were wrong or right.

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  15. Nadal's record has been ridiculous since he came back from his "injury". 4 M1000 titles and I think he reached the final in 10 out of 11 tournaments he played.

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    1. TENNIS HAS A NADAL PROBLEM.

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    2. Haha, very true. Nadal will rack up titles left and right keeping people guessing with his so called "injury". Nice ruse there to keep the PRP "treatment" going. I guess it is time to say "congrats Rafa!"

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    3. Absolutely, Must say his team & him are the winners here since no one is gonna do anything about his suspect annihilation of almost every player on tour with bad knees that act up only if he loses or is down in a match. Rafa---Itz ok to lose matches, if u keep winning everything Itz gonna look ridiculous and unbelievable as it already does!! But I guess if there's no doping organization that's gonna even try to stop u, why not keep winning, fooling the world, and filling those pockets with money galore!!!
      It looks as if he needs time off as he did in the beginning of the year, to fine tune his "preparation" for what he wants to win & had to sacrifice wimbledon to supercharge himself for the hard courts.

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    4. The more he wins, the more suspect he looks I guess. :-/

      Still, depressing as hell. It's so obvious the guy is doing PED cycles, it's not even funny. Can't wait for the day this all blows up in their faces.

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    5. and he's not even attempting to conceal it. He's just being as blatant as possible and basking in the glory and riches. I find it hard to believe that no one in sports media is suspicious of this guy. He thinks he can lose early in one tournament all year and that proves he's clean? I'm not buying it.

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    6. Tennis.com has the headline "MASTER CHARGED" to describe Nadal's latest triumph. What an apt description - Nadal's fluctuation in form is not dissimilar to a rechargeable battery.

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    7. Wow, the singling out of Nadal on here is ridiculous, he is pretty much convicted by you guys, huh?

      Is he doping? Perhaps, I wouldn't be surprised, but how some of you consider him a doper based on flimsy at best 'evidence' is simply not correct. In my opinion, Djokovic, Murray and others are just as suspicious. Murray's bulkiness nowadays compared to his skinny former self is impressive. Djokovic' change in fitness is also quite ridiculous. And how about Federer never having been seriously hurt? My point is, there is no real reason to single out anyone in particular.

      @pk and @hola: How in the world could you call Nadal's form "fluctuating"? In fact, he has been superb from the moment he returned this year, save from his performance at Wimbledon. Since grass is quite different from the other surfaces, not that surprising is it?

      @Picassowhat: it is "so obvious he's on PED cycles"...And what is that evidence according to you, oh mighty all-knowing Picasso? Taking his injury for fake just because you want it to be fake is not real evidence, and assuming he served a silent ban is also just that - an assumption.

      As for the other 'proof': he's a muscular guy, yes, especially for a tennis player. He does not look like he's on steroids though. I work out fanatically, without steroids, 6 dys a week and have a physique close to his. Considering he has far more time to devote to training, he doesn't look ridiculously bulky. His vascularity is also not extreme at all The only thing that really stands out is his left arm, but considering that's his forehand, I would hardly call that surprising.

      I am not a defender of Nadal in particular, but him being singled out over others is incorrect.

      Finally, compliments to the author of this blog, he maintains his objectiveness fairly well and does an outstanding job with this blog.


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    8. Nadal DOES NOT work out. He has said so multiple times...

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    9. You're very wrong Robert van lith about nadal being singled out. If u read thru other posts, u will find that Murray & Djoke get slammed as well. R u kidding me that u think we won't bash Djoke for his suspicious run in 2011 & on due to gluten free diet. But 3 wrongs don't make it right ever!! These guys r getting away with making millions, getting fame, fortune etc. for cheating. Itz not that there is no evidence. There is evidence against them, it has & continues to be covered up/swept under the rug by the ITF & other international doping organizations that r not doing their job. We have to at least commend the MLB for calling out A-Rod & USADA for Armstrong being punished as well.
      Do u really believe nadal when he's out for 7 mo. After a shock loss at Wimbledon, only to come back beating everyone in sight winning all tourneys and then faltering at Wimbledon again only to come back winning again but conveniently using his ailing knees as an excuse whenever convenient. One thing u have to at least commend Djoke & Murray for doing is that they will give credit to their opponent for being beaten. For nadal, a loss is always about his knees. If u know anything about the way the body works physiologically then you' ll know that knee sprains or tendonitis never heals that quickly not even for athletes as they r human too. Being on the losing end but taking it with grace and courage is much more valuable to me personally than winning by cheating and disillusioning these poor kids who r growing up thinking these guys/gals r their heroes. What about suspicions now about cilic, Tsonga, monfils, troicki, etc. etc. Itz not just nadal but he sure as hell isn't helping clean the sport up anytime soon.

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    10. There are videos of Nadal working out.

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    11. @Robert van Lith PEDs are used just as much or more for recovery than for bulking up. Geez even I know that.

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    12. @Hola: you are right, after perusing older posts more, I noticed that the others are also slammed. I guess I got the impression from more recent posts that Nadal was being singled out more, but I guess that's understandable considering his run this year. For that I apologize.

      As for Nadal using his knees as an excuse when he loses, I have a different perception, I feel he rarely uses it as an excuse and he mostly gives credit to opponents where due (did he use it as an excuse after losing to Darcis?), but I'm sure both of our perceptions of any player are colored by how much we like/dislike him/her. Personally, I think Djoko, Nadal and Fed are all great representatives when it comes to respectfullness, altho I find Djoko's celebrations after tough matches a little offputting. And yes, I know all about tendonitis and other knee ailments and how difficult they can heal, which makes it remarkable what Nadal is doing. Not impossible though with good treatment and control, keep that in mind before convicting him (or others for that matter). You have already labelled them cheaters, with so far pretty much no evidence. Nadal is the most suspicious case of he top 4, that is for sure true though.

      @Lopi: I am a biomedical engineer by profession and know damn well what PEDs do, so you can leave your belittling tone behind, thank you very much. If you read my reply again, you see that I nowhere say that PEDs are for bulking up only, I actually mention that e.g. Djoko is suspect because of his increased fitness. My point about Nadal's muscularity I made because many use his physique as 'proof' that he uses steroids.

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    13. Belittling tone? Testy testy. When I say "even I know that" doesn't that imply that I'm no expert? So how you felt belittled by that IDK. Believe me Mr. van Lith one day it will al come out. If Lance can be exposed with the mighty Nike in his corner and A-Rod then I've no doubt the truth will be known about Nadal as well.

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    14. BTW after Nadal lost to Darcis. when asked about his physical condition he said: "I say before I think is not the day to talk about these kind of things. I am confident that I will have a good recover and be ready for the next tournaments."

      Where in that statement do you feel he wasn't blaming his knees? What exactly did Nadal mean when he said today "is not the day"? Does that mean it will come out soon that the knees were bothering him? Just not today because he didn't want people to call him a poor loser? Nadal doesn't have to mention the knees because the media does it for him. Every tournament that's all we hear from the comms. Even after he won Montreal I heard a comm say he needs to rest his knees so he may not play Cincy.

      What I wish someone would ask him in an interview is what exactly is wrong with his knees? What's the final diagnosis? Because we've heard so many conflicting reports. It makes people suspicious. It is not that complicated to diagnose a knee injury. Surely there's a name for it.

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    15. Robert van Lith,

      If you're a biomedical engineer and know "damn well what PED's do" can you please elaborate which PED's prevent a player from getting "seriously hurt?"

      You consider all of the "evidence" against Nadal "flimsy at best" but your evidence against Federer is the he's "never been seriously hurt."

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    16. Robert - Nadal won a bunch of titles in the clay season but his form did fluctuate. In earlier rounds at RG he looked vulnerable but from the semi finals onwards he was devastating. Nadal gets singled out because he is the most obvious "cyclist" out there. When Djokovic, Murray, and Federer complain for years about debilitating injury which never hinders their level of play, take mysterious injury layoffs and make astonishing comebacks, then they too will receive equal amount of attention as Nadal.

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    17. @Lopi: when you said " even I know that", you implied that you know despite being no expert, but also that I was NOT aware of that fact, so yes, that's a belittling tone. If you didn't mean it that way, mr. Lopi, that's fine, but your wording was belittling.
      As for everything coming out one day, perhaps yes, let's hope so in fact for any player that's doping.
      "I've no doubt the truth will be known about Nadal as well." Perhaps you should consider that in fact, you do not know the truth yourself, you simply think you know what is going on. If he's not doping, then there is nothing to 'come out'.
      Personally, I think all top players are doping, perhaps up to the top 20-30 at least, although I'm hoping at least some of them are clean. I don't actually know about any of them the actual truth (besides the ones that got caught).

      @ Swisscheese40: Based on your name, I assume you're Swiss and don't like that I even mentioned Feds name in a post, because if you read my comments again, you can clearly see that I don't mention his never being hurt as evidence for him doping. Where do I say Fed's doping, and where do I say that his never being hurt is evidence for it? I'm simply mentioning him never being hurt to point out that if you want to, you can see suspicious facts in everybody's career.
      As for PEDs preventing injury: injuries are often due to fatigue that sets in, overtraining etc. Any PEDs that aid in recovery (after training) or that keeps fatigue at bay helps in preventing injuries. No, PEDs don't directly prevent you from a torn ACL, but they do aid in e.g. quicker recovery from microtears, strengthening muscles and reducing fatigue so your coordination remains better. All factors that reduce your chance of getting a more severe injury.

      @pk: again you claim to know Nadal is such an obvious "cyclist", still all assumptions from your side without real evidence. What you mean is that based on his injury layoffs and performances in between, that Nadal is the most suspect. That's quite different then stating his "cycling" as a fact....

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    18. His comments at Wimbledon can be construed any way you want, since he doesn't really say much (he often does not really say much, frankly...). Hard to know whether he's implying anything, really.

      "I say before I think is not the day to talk about these kind of things. I am confident that I will have a good recover and be ready for the next tournaments."
      "is not the day" meaning it's not the time to talk about anything besides the match itself. "I will have a good recover" meaning recover from the physical and mental effects of the lost match, not necessarily any problems with his knees.

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    19. Robert, what you've seen before your very eyes for (at least) the past 4-5 years is evidence enough that the guy is juicing. Plus, you don't need a failed test to be a doper anymore, Lance Armstrong and Alex Rodriguez are proof of that.

      As far as the Nadal quote is concerned, you cannot be serious: the guy clearly implies something is wrong for him physically, but he is such a nice guy that "he won't talk about it that day" so to not steal the limelight from his opponent... but in Nadal fashion, he exactly does that! He even started limping at the middle of the third set so to show the world he wasn't right physically. Nadal and his team are so good at this little game that everytime he loses, the press almost always hint that he is possibly hurt.

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    20. Robert,

      Do you also assume, from my name, that I'm a piece of cheese? Sorry to disappoint you but I'm not Swiss. I'm from Illinois in the good ol' US of A. Born and raised. From your name I only draw the conclusion that your name is probably Robert.

      Your "where did I say x or y" is an attempt to muddy the water. You sound more like a lawyer than a biomedical engineer. You came out guns-a-blazin' crying your little eyes out because Nadal was being "singled out." Whether you're aware of it or not, your use of the phrase "singled out" speaks volumes about how you feel. If you truly believe he is being singled out then you believe he is doping, along with others that aren't being singled out, which evidently makes your butt hurt. By definition, if he is the only one doping then he isn't being singled out. In that case he is the only one doping. If he and others are doping and only he is being discussed then he is being singled out. So your use of the term "singled out" implies, whether you like it or not, that you believe Nadal and others are doping and you don't like the fact that his rivals are being let off the proverbial hook. If, on the other hand, he isn't doping then again he isn't being "singled out." In that case he's being slandered. You didn't cry that he was being slandered. You cried because he, in your opinion, is being "singled out." Words matter.

      If you truly believed that Nadal is clean you wouldn't be angry that he's being singled out. You'd be angry that he's even being mentioned in the first place. Maybe you don't even realize it but you believe Nadal is a doper. You also believe, or hope might be a better word, that Djokovic, Murray and Federer are also dopers. That's why you mentioned them by name and gave specific examples of why they are, in your opinion, "just as suspicious." You think they are all doping and the example you gave in regards to Federer is that he's never been seriously injured. So irrespective of that fact that you never used the exact quote "I think Federer is doping" you clearly implied you think he is.

      But I digress. My point is that your "evidence" against Federer is a straw man. PED's are NEVER associated with preventing injuries. They are associated with recovering from injuries and contributing to them in the first place, but NEVER preventing them. So the fact that Federer has never been seriously injured means ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. If, on the other hand, he had a history of overcoming several serious injuries in his career that would make him suspect.

      So instead of continuing with this serve and volley game of semantics simply answer the following questions:

      1) Do you think Nadal is a doper?
      2) Do you think Djokovic, Murray and Federer are dopers?
      3) If you think any of them is clean why did you use the term "just as suspicious" to describe them?
      4) If you say you think Nadal is clean why did you cry that he is being "singled out" instead of crying that he is innocent.

      For some reason you believe they are all doping yet you only want to defend Nadal, which ironically means you are the one "singling out" Nadal. Why aren't you defending Djokovic, Murray and Federer as much as you are defending Nadal? You play Mr. Devil's Advocate with every piece of "flimsy" evidence against Nadal, but can never bring yourself to actually type "I believe Nadal is clean." because you clearly don't believe he is. You then, especially in the case of Federer, point to even flimsier evidence - evidence, in fact that isn't even evidence and that can actually be considered exculpatory - to besmirch your target.

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    21. @ swisscheese (or should I call you illinoischeese from now on ;) )

      Swisscheese, I think you summed it up nicely!

      @Robert, this site is trying to collect indirect evidence, contradictions, absurdities as well as current research on doping.

      This site is interested in looking behind the official rhetoric and frugal stats issued from officials. We are also noticing incorrect, exaggerated info from behalf of the players to put that into perspective. Also to speculate - but hopefully by supplying good arguments and NOT slander.

      We do look at ALL players, we even look across sports and try to get a grip on what is happening in pro tennis or sports in general. All this is based on statements, observation, second-hand evidence via press releases, interviews, or from investigations in other sports or coming from retired players who speak up. We check the media and comment on their shortcomings when they talk about doping.

      Our big manko, I won't deny it, is that,so far, none of us have actually been physically present when a player received his EPO shots or hung out in their eggs/tents to increase their red blood cells. We are working on that ;)

      We regret that. Needless to say, I insist that we have been doing a fair job here lately (with the rare exception of an understandable, but slightly biased "WTF! Player xyz-moment" in the heat of the discussion or after particularly obvioius matches that called for an immediate outlet of one's emotions).

      Other than that, we try to avoid unsupported try-hard fingerpointing, for, I believe, after the recent scandals in cycling and running finally all of us have come to understood that very likely no top athlete can possibly be considered 100% clean. It gets tougher to maintain their innocence in the light of the past but also in the light of how testing is conducted in tennis.
      Sloppily and with gigantic loopholes.

      Speaking for myself, this is what interests me the most. HOw federations testing regimes are complicit in the current situation. How omerta works in sports. HOw systemic pressures leave us with a sport that does not deserves its name. Etc. pp. Not to forget the tempting medical possibilities out there which rarely get mentioned in serious fashion from tennis media. Which I regret and which I find biased, because instead the media insists on a players innocence or points mechanically to the ITF's "successful anti-doping programm", while, at the same time, they are keeping readers uninformed about what is possible in doping by contributing to the window dressing of the ITF.

      Looking at the what has been reported on SI/Tennis.com in the past, they shy away from educating their readers on what "high glucose levels" could actually entail, but instead go in great detail into Troicki's exculpatory rants. Needle phobia, give me a freakin' break!

      So when we occasionally discuss Nadal, it might be because we simply find an incredible amount of contradictions between what he says and how he performs. That's all. Obvious discrepancies are markers of something that is wrong.

      One thing, it would be nice, if we could work together here civilly, instead of bitchfights and butthurt. So far, we hvae been doing a good job, methinks. Despite all the mild fuzz you have been causing here, I am very much interested in what you have to say from your professional point of view on all matters doping.


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    22. Very nicely put, Team. It sums up quite nicely what this blog is about (only disagree about that last part of the last paragraph re: Robert's so-called expertise, but that's okay ;).

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    23. @ swisscheese 40: First off, it is unfortunate that, instead of simply discussing matters, you feel you have to resort to using "crying your eyes out" or me being "butthurt", I suppose as an attempt to offend me? It undermines your otherwise reasonable post. My first two points below address your questions, which I answered in my previous postings already.

      1) As I have indicated before already, I think all top players are doping, although I hope at least somebody in the top 20-30 is clean. Not holding my breath for that. So yes, I think Nadal is doping too.
      2) I have already mentioned before that after re-reading more older posts, I noticed that Nadal is not really singled out. He is only more emphasized recently, due to his results after injury and perceived on-and-off knee injury. My other posts have mainly been answering to others, and if you feel that I have been 'defending' Nadal, then that's fine.
      3) Again, you seem to think I use Fed's never being injured as evidence against him, while I only point it out to indicate that anything in a career can be considered suspect.
      4) I don't claim to be an expert on PEDs, but I know enough that certain PEDs are definitely considered helping prevention of injuries. You using caps to write "never' doesn't make it true. And yes, PEDs can also increase your change of injuries depending on which ones you use, how and what for.

      @ Team_kickass: I appreciate your reply, and I agree that this site overall is doing a great job of documenting what's happening (which is why I come here after all :).
      I think it's mainly individual comments that sometimes could use balancing, preferably in a respectful manner without resorting to bitchfighting or name-calling. Feel free to call me out whenever I may have done so.

      @Picassowhat: that's okay, I don't consider myself an expert on PEDs either, but know enough to weigh in on the matter in a useful way.



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    24. Change=chance.

      @ swisscheese: as you see, you are right in that I consider Nadal a doper too, I am simply trying to prevent too much emphasis to be put on one particular player when it comes to PEDs. And yes, I even think Fed is doping, although I agree that in his case, the case is harder to make. But, if you really want to, you can come up with something that could point to PED use for him too, which is why I brought the injury thing up.

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    25. @Picassowhat: "what you've seen before your very eyes for (at least) the past 4-5 years is evidence enough that the guy is juicing."

      You see, that is exactly what I don't like. What you (and all of us, unless you have some particular proximity to him) have seen before our eyes is, in fact, NOT evidence enough that he is juicing. You sound like you''ve already convicted him,
      I do think he's doping too, just as you, but what I've seen and heard about him the past 4-5 years is not evidence, although it did convince me that he is.

      Perhaps you feel this is all semantics, but just like criminal cases, it's an important difference.

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    26. Nadal is an "obvious cyclist" because of the breaks he takes coming back as good as ever. The other top players don't do it. His record in the YEC is appalling - uniquely so for a player with his record. And no it's not the surface - he's won all the top hardcourt titles.

      Of course there is no firm evidence Nadal dopes - if there was he'd be banned. But I'd put my house on him being dirty without a moment's hesitation.

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  16. Interesting read...

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/08/12/210487410/new-muscle-drugs-could-be-the-next-big-thing-in-sports-doping

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    1. Watching those freakin' scarry-looking "muscle mice" I feel like some tennis players are already using this... Belgian bull somehow morphed into Spanish bull... ah, my mind is playing tricks on me, no?

      But srsly, Myostasin blockers are non-detectable. Just like custom peptides (Tesamorelin, Sermorelin etc pp) they are the latest rage and mark the next level of doping in sports (and society, for that matter).

      Here a short description of what peptides can do:

      "So what are these artificial designer peptides? They are drugs that are being used to enhance the release of the body’s own peptide hormones. The synthetic peptides work by mimicking other peptides in the body such as GHRH (growth hormone releasing hormone). So Sermorelin (a synthetic peptide) mimics GHRH (a peptide produced in the body) in activating the release of human growth hormone (also a peptide) from the pituitary gland."
      (Quoted from Prof. Chris Cooper).

      Peptides have been rampant in Australian sport (where it caused a scandal recently), but I am sure what is availabe and happening down under, is also biasing sport results everywhere.

      It's basically an undetecatble way of increasing your growth hormones...I can see how athletes, as well as shady sports scientists might tout that as simply a "natural increase" and therefore don't deem it "cheating". What a convenient way to "naturalize" doping and manufacture a clear conscience for everyone involved!

      I found a good quote by Tygart regarding entourage/physios which sums it up nicely:


      "The proliferation of sports scientists is a global phenomenon. Tygart believes it's a profession that needs to be better regulated. ''We're really concerned about it here in the States as well,'' he said. ''There's really no certification required or regulation status or credentials for sports scientists or nutritionists or physios. It ultimately becomes what we see in Balco or Operacion Puerto or even Biogenesis. You have these snake-oil salesman who talk the talk to athletes with a bit of science. The next thing they convince athletes that everything is OK. They're often given a percentage or a flat fee direct from athletes of their winnings and the athletes end up doing well because of the stuff they've been given. It may not be legal.''

      http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/sport/its-tough-to-break-peoples-hearts-20130810-2roq3.html

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    2. Funny how the ITF never talks about these undetectable drugs, but somehow knows players are not taking them.

      Which leads to my criticism of the Tygart comments. While it is easy to criticize any program, as Tygart does, vague statements for more "regulation" are of no benefit. Administering prescription drugs (like Semorelin, HGH, testosterone etc.) to players without a medical license is illegal. So, making a regulation that a "physio" cannot distribute this to a player is not any type of additional "regulation."

      It is also nice to say, "Well, if there are these regulations, then let the government investigate their violation." This is a nice sediment but completely ignores the realities of limited budgets, mandatory sentences, and the proof "beyond a reasonable doubt" required for criminal convictions. Instead, prosecutors will simply say, "As soon as I have solved all the rapes, murders, and armed robberies, then I'll investigate whether a guy making $20 million a year took PEDs."

      In addition, at least here in the United States, criminal defendants can remain silent and proof must be beyond a "reasonable doubt." Most countries have similar protections. So, even if you did suspect that the "physio", "nutritionist", and "coach" were all involved, the interrogation would simply have them all saying, "I assert my right to remain silent." Which leaves you right back where we are today in that you would need proof that the PEDs were being taken.

      All of this is much easier in a civil enforcement action or arbitration because, while the witnesses can remain silent, their silence can be used against them and simply not testifying could result in a ban. In addition, the charge need not be proved "beyond a reasonable doubt."

      I would also be concerned that additional "certifications" and "regulations" of support personnel would be used to alleviate guilt or ban time from that athlete. That is, athletes would say, "I was using a certified nutritionist. He was responsible for ensuring I took no banned substances -- he is guilty, not me." Currently, this defense is not allowed and an athlete is responsible for all actions taken by his support personnel.

      The bottom line is that the ITF needs to dramatically increase out-of-competition testing, vary its in-competition testing, and actually start testing every sample for EPO and testosterone.

      While this will obviously not catch undetectable drugs, it will allow for other athletes who are not as smart to get caught. You can then took at where these athletes got their drugs and who else might have gotten them from the same place to expand your investigation into undetectable drugs. You could also exchange reduced bans for "substantial assistance" is catching others using undetectable drugs. This plan is much more viable, and concrete, than simply adding additional "regulations" for "physios."

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    3. Unfortunately there will always be a new, undetectable synthetic/biologic drug available for athletes to enhance their natural abilities, it's pretty much impossible to keep up with new developments for doping authorities. It takes tremendous effort (time+money) to just develop a reliable, specific detection method for a compound. And even if the detection methodology is fine, unless you test athletes for blood and urine constantly, dosing regimens will be researched to circumvent positive detection.

      I think you make a good point about testing for testosterone and EPO as 2 of the more relevant substances. In my opinion, it makes more sense for the ITF (or others) to devote more time and money on a shorter list of substances, let's say the substances that have been prioritized for their substantial effect on performance.

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    4. By the way, interesting point you make about considering it a 'natural' increase of your body's growth hormones.
      It remains an interesting questions, right, as to when do you consider something doping?

      My personal definition is that anything you put in your body artificially that you do/can not ingest through natural means (i.e. eating/drinking) should be considered doping. But, vitamins, creatine etc. also fall under that definition. The health argument usually helps, but there are always gray areas.

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    5. The problem is that both Myostasin as well as Peptides have a clear cut medical indication for their usage. So any team doctor (with a medical licence) administering them to an otherwise healthy (that is: not falling under the medical indication intended for that drug) person should face severe consequences for ab-using them.

      So far, all shady doping doctors (latest example: Fuentes, delMoral or the two team doctors of Team Telekom from Freiburg) have gotten a pass and were allowed to continue their careers elsewhere once the storm abated. This needs to change and criminal laws need to be applied in order to prosecute them severely, possibly ban them for life from their profession. I guess only drastic measure can serve as a wakeup call to others.

      I mean, if someone who propagated doping big time like Fuentes can get away easily, all the other quacks following his "trial" in the media won't be impressed much by the consequences. Deterrence is not severe enough imo.

      The "natural" argument from what I ve read f.e. in the recent German Report on Doping is used by quacks to actually justify doping. I get how psychologically it is needed so athletes can make themselves "believe" they are clean albeit they are anything but.

      It's a bit like Franz Beckenbauer in a recent interview asked about the WM in 74 and doping, when he replied, he did not even know what doping was at that time. Still, he claimed he was 100% clean at that time. Yet, at the same time he admitted to getting "vitamin shots". When pressed if he knew what was in them, he had to concede he did not know, however he trusted his doc that they were all natural and not doping.
      See what I mean?

      Especially in recovery this argument of "natural" gets conveniently stretched to justify all sorts of unnatural procedures. I do think that autologous blood-transfusions are being justified in a similar fashion so athletes can think those are ok.

      Anyway, yes, I do think "natural" is the key term in all discussions on doping. And I agree with your definition.

      Doctors have found ways to work around a conventional undertsanding of what natural is, that faustian Dr. Keul in Freiburg and his numerous acolytes knew how to play both sides: appear to be against doping, but at the same time using the very knowledge about doping to start a top-notch doping programm that has repercussions in German sport up till today. From what I understood, both with Keul and Fuentes it was also a narcissistic ego-thing, they liked the attention from athletes and the closeness to the competition, the thrill and excitement that their position came with, this is not to be neglected.

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    6. I totally agree that the doctors are a big part of the problem. Let's face it, the majority of athleties won't have enough background to really understand what's up with every product they could possibly take. They have to rely on their doctors for the most part. Actually, let me rephrase, they don't HAVE to rely on doctors, but they often do in hopes of their doctor giving them a (legal or illegal) product that gives them an advantage.

      Indeed, the deterrent for doctors isn't there much at the moment, so the allure of being involved with the best of the best and having a substantial influence in their successes (not to mention the monetary reward) seems bigger than any possible drawback of being caught.

      A big problem with drugs like myostatin inhibitors, for example, is that despite having a clear medical indication, it is perfectly legal for MDs to use them offlabel (this is imo a problem regarding doping offenses, not outside that realm).
      Offlabel use of a drug like a myostatin inhibitor can, in the case of athletes, be justified enough by an MD to prevent any serious consequences for his career as a doctor, since it'll be difficult to prove he was acting outside of what is acceptable in terms of health care. Depending on the drug and individual case, it is very challenging to have enough evidence that an MD was abusing a drug on a healthy athlete and not just using it to prevent the athletes deterioration in health.
      The most stringent possibility and perhaps only real option would be to prevent MDs who knowingly give athletes prohibited substances from practicing with (professional) athletes, but be allowed to practice elsewhere as an MD. Not sure if that's a real deterrent though (rhetorical, it isn't).

      And you're right, the monetary component is often overestimated with doping. Both with the athletes themselves and any in their support team, the honor/ego might be bigger. Just look at doping offenses in sports where you hardly make a buck anyway.

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  17. After his defeat against Kolschreiber, Mardy Fish said : "It just kind of shows you how amazing Rafa (Nadal) has been coming back after seven months off. To do what he's done is just not normal." (http://www.atpworldtour.com/News/Tennis/2013/08/33/Cincinnati-Monday-Baker-Dimitrov-Fish.aspx)

    "just not normal" : Hahaha

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    1. "Not normal"

      Armstrong's catchphrase.

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    2. A freudian slip or an intentional rip - who knows. Bottomline is Nadal is not "normal". And Fish isn't the only player who could not match the super natural Nadal. James Blake took PRP treatment for his knees as well but it didn't help him much if at all. He should have consulted Nadal's doctor for more effective "treatment".

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    3. you know what they say: loose lips sink ships. :)

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    4. Without disagreeing with anything anyone said up until now, I'll add a caveat: the majority of people have a clear understanding of only terms pertaining to concrete objects/actions/properties/etc., such as 'stool'', 'table', 'hard', 'knife', 'cut', 'soft', 'bread', 'racquet', 'hit', 'ball'... Beyond that begins chaos: the field of abstract nouns/adjectives/etc. of which they have only a hazy notion, at best. Add to it the ever-changing 'cool' (!) new 'meanings' of terms which previously had their clearly defined meanings, and which thereby, in no-time, lose their communicating function, and have to be, (un)necessarily, 'translated', even within the same language. Now, from my own translating and 'translating' experience(s), 'not normal' can mean anything from 'not according to the norm', 'abnormal', 'debased', 'high above the norm(al)', 'crazy', 'extraordinary', 'fantastic', etc., etc., etc. Mr. Fish (as well as his fellow Texan Mr. Armstrong), I believe, meant one thing, meant to say another, and ended up saying a third one - as 'shrewd' as they (and you, the interpreters), are.
      But they, their 'shrewdness' being what it is, are transparent enough... Unlike people who actually can handle language as thee thinking tool (wrongly, again, called 'sophists') to achieve their murky ends: witness the above, oh-so-eloquent, arguments of Robert van Lith - to whom I, in advance, apologise, if he actually believes his 'expertise' enough so as to put it above his own common-sense observations.

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    5. @Melchekzanikhar: I guess you are the real eloquent one, since I'm not quite sure what you're trying to say exactly.
      Anyway, if I understand you correctly, you feel I use (or perhaps you consider it abuse) language to achieve my 'murky ends'. I believe I have been pretty clear about my thoughts: I think all top players are doping, I do not consider any of us to have any real evidence on the ones that have not been officially caught, and I have been trying to balance how much emphasis is placed on certain players' suspicions.

      And it isn't about putting my 'expertise' (notice I never called myself an expert) above common-sense.
      My common-sense tells me most top players are dopers especially considering the lacks doping system in tennis.
      My knowledge on the subject of PEDs makes me informed enough to know that even the least suspect players could still be doping as much as the most suspect.

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