Monday, July 28, 2014

Paul Kimmage: "But f***ing tennis..."

An interview with Paul Kimmage from the Irish Post:
“Possibly, and this may sound ridiculous, cycling is one of the cleanest sports left because the controls are full on. But f***ing tennis, I find it nauseating to watch it on TV to see the McEnroes and all the commentators engage in this big love-in. And the bottom line is we are all getting rich here folks, lets not upset the apple-cart.”


  1. It's good to see Paul Kimmage put the spot light on potential doping in tennis again and again.. He's probably the only journalists who went after Armstrong whose done this.

    Meanwhile, the tennis press have not zealously gone after the issue, probably fearing loss of access to individual players.

  2. It's better than nothing, I guess. I'd prefer to embark on a journey to unmask tennis dopers, though.

  3. Spot on - big love-in.

    Tennis: a unique microcosm where people are way too chummy with each other and generally uncritical when it comes to doping. The In-crowd rather argues over dress codes, hairstyles, gruntometers or Nadal's repeated time violations (which should have had consequences ages ago already) and possible shot clocks or ride the GOAT debate to death, or, likewise generally excell in sycophantic arse-licking when summarizing players twitter convos which passes as "commenting" these days. And most tend to get all excited and dribbly about fresh blood added to the pool of the ususal top 100 players, while neglecting the real reasons why it has become so difficult for younger players to break through or beat a top 20 player these days.

    However, if one prominent British member of the in-crowd turns out to be a plagiarist, he gets shunned quickly once this scandal picks up speed and becomes public...All benefits revoked. Not because he cheated, don't be fooled! Only because they could not keep the lid on that scandal. Harman still partied with the Wimby winners and mingled with the in-crowd this year. His books remained on the shelf up until Rothenberg threatened to publish...

    Tennis, don't you just love it?

  4. These are links to David Walsh recently discussing his investigation of Lance Armstrong. They are interesting viewing in themselves.

    However, at about 30 mins in the first link, there are telling moments where Walsh mentions other (unnamed) journalists - who were too scared to do the work themselves - but still wanted to quietly tip Walsh off about Betsy Andreu and Emma O'Reilly, whose testimony would ultimately be crucial.

    For me, this encapsulates the conflict journalists face: self protection/cowardice in the face of losing access to the athletes vs the courage to pursue the truth.

    Journalists willing to blaze that trail are sadly lacking in tennis.

    1. Sports reporters became 'fans with typewriters' - David Walsh
      How true.
      Will he fancy be doing another investigation, maybe in tennis?
      I actually asked him on Twitter. No reply though.

  5. Oh well, the soap opera continues. I'll leave this here for you, Serena, in her own bubble:

    "It was interesting and I was scared after," Williams said. "I didn't realize how I felt until later. In the moment I didn't realize how sick I was. It's weird but that's the fight in me. I never know when to say when." (...) "I was really ill," she said. "I got to thinking about a lot of things and because of family history, I'll get the tests done and we'll go from there." (...)

    Doctors wouldn't let her leave her room, so she got some much-needed rest before resuming a full schedule that included a working vacation and a movie shoot.

    She would have continued had not Venus insisted she get off the court.

    "She kept saying, `walk off the court, I'm the older sister and I say you have to leave." Williams said. "I'm feeling really good right now and I'm happy to be here."

    Williams maintained that after three days in bed, she had already moved on and stopped thinking about it. She also ignored internet rumors."

    >I bet she is good at that... So self-absorbed and out of contact with reality - you really wonder what she is on these days other than her usual mix.

    1. This girl can do whatever she wants - she doesn't have to explain anything and the press will never dare to question her.

    2. Questioning her? Serena? What are you, a racist?

  6. I wonder if Kimmage's comments will be picked up by any other news outlets out there?

  7. Nadal out of Toronto and Cincy with a wrist injury. Give me a break. How did he do it? Playing poker? Or trying out that new serve? LOL.

    1. Well, if we buy into his schtik ( we don't) it all happened during training... And it ended with having to get an MRT...out for two to three weeks...

      Was he tweaking his serve and twisting his wrist while doing so, or did his hand get stuck up in his arse retrieving his g-string?

      This fucking saga needs to stop. Kimmage needs to investigate this bullcrap...we need a kickstarter.

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  9. Mark my words, one day the Nadal saga will beat the Armstrong saga. This is what ? the 1000th time Nadal's camp comes up with a mysterious injury out of the blue to explain why their man has to pull out of a tournament.
    2009: During the FO Nadal complains about out-of-competion tests. Many said at the time that Nadal was just defending Moya who missed an ooc because (he claimed) he forgat to inform the testers about his whereabouts. Nadal went on to lose at that FO in the 4th round (his only ever lost in 10 years at Roland Garros) and then pulled out of Queens but decides to play an exho in London before Wimbledon, Nadal then went on to withdraw from Wimbledon because of “tendonitis”. We would later learn that Nadal missed an OOC in that period of time ( June 2009). Nadal returned to the game in august looking like a shadow of himself and unable to make a final till the end of the season. His doctor claimed that he had to lose 10 kg in order to protect his fragile knees.
    2010 after a poor start to the year Nadal rebecomes Hulk (huge upper body mass with endless stamina) apparently the knee healed itself. Nadal cleans up the clay season (wins all clay masters + FO), wins Wimbledon and then completes his slam record by winning the USO using that special 130mph+ serve that had never been seen before and probably won't be ever seen again.
    2012 after glueten free Djokovic dominated 2011 and the first three months of 2012 Nadal is back to the drawing board. Once again he has a succesful clay season but this time he follows it up with a 2nd round loss at Wimbledon. He then withdraws from the Olympics blaiming yet again a knee problem. His uncle said he was also in doubt for Canada master but he will be playing in Cincinnati. Later that fall we found out that Nadal wasn't going to compete in 2012 at all and that in fact he was already starting his AO preparation.
    2013: Everybody was expecting Nadal to make his comeback in Melbourne but surprise, surprise a mysterious flu that he caught in Spain forcess him to skip AO. Inevetably people started asking themself (like they did in 2009) if Nadal's career was over. How wrong they were. After winning some smaller tournaments in South America Nadal wins his first hardcourt masters in 4 years (IW) he then goes on to win Madrid, Rome, RG, Montreal, Cincinnati and the USO (arguably this is his best ever patch of results).
    2014: His season is up and down, F at the AO, winner at RG and loses early again at Wimbledon. And now this bougous wrist injury that occured out of nothing. If history teaches us something when it comes to Nadal then the cheating spaniard will come back looking stronger and fitter than ever before.

  10. The injury was to his right hand (he holds the racket with his left). Nothing to do with his serve.

    I suspect that this injury is legitimate because it will decrease his chances at the USO, if he doesn't play in any warm-up tournaments.

    I suspect that he will miss the USO, and the fall hardcourt season, but be extra ready for the 2015 Australian open to get the "double" (at least 2 of each) career slam, and one up Roger.

    1. I can't say anything about its legitimacy. But if he plays in the USO, it's fairly certain to say that his doping regime had to pospone to cover this slam and the WTF. He seemed disappointed losing WTF last year.

    2. @GoldenAgeOfDrugs methinks you haven't been paying attention if you think this is a legitimate injury. And I was being sarcastic when I mentioned the serve. ;) But I agree that he will probably miss the US Open. This is like 2012 deja vu.

    3. Agreed. Uncle Toni knows that, even if he breaks Federer's GS record, the Robot will never be regarded as the GOAT with 10 French Open titles and half that amount of everything else. Focus right now is another Aussie Open, but then don't be surprised if he loses a few FOs and starts to win more of the other three. Sadly, the only thing that's gonna stop that is if gluten-free (i.e. 2011) Djokovic makes a comeback.

    4. Prediction: Nadal will have a "career threatening" wrist injury that takes him out for 6 months. Then he will make a "heroic" comeback in 2015, winning 2-3 Slams and getting close to Federer's record.

    5. Rinse/repeat. Agree with Lopi - this is 2012 all over again.

      Also agree with Jenny - he will come back "stronger" than ever in 2015. And we will hear ad nauseum about what a warrior Nadal is and how brave he is. Pass the vomit bag please.

  11. Interesting read on Alex Rodriguez's doping. It included EPO, as prescribed by Victor Conte. Seems Conte is back to his old tricks. Note that Conte is accused of "designing" Rodriguez's doping program, not for supplying the drugs. When asked about him helping Rodriguez, Conte replies "I did not give Alex EPO". Of course he wasn't accused of supplying the drug, so he never answered the question. Slippery guy this Conte.

    1. If EPO helps in baseball (where the players are idle for the vast majority of the game), you bet your butt it would help in tennis (despite what Stuart Miller says).

    2. As the saying goes, you can never keep a good skunk down.

  12. Quite apposite really, the mention of 'I took steroids but didn't know it' McEnroe.

  13. @ savetennis' post on Walsh and journalistic ethics.

    Surprisingly, there is a new voice on, JOel Drucker who writes on Serena.

    I don't follow them for the most part, they are opportunistic journalists who, apart from the occasional decent read from Tignor, can be subsumed under "Stockholm Syndrom" type of journalism, yet this Drucker seems to be a new kid on the block and does things a little different. Still not as daring as I would wish - but still, no ass-licking, at least.

    To quote from his article:
    " No one in tennis has been more of a press conference bully than Williams. Many of her post-match interviews over the years have been marred by everything from conspiracy theories to less than exemplary sportsmanship towards her opponents and a rather distasteful desire to make herself a martyr. A vintage example came at Wimbledon, when following her third round loss to Alize Cornet Williams waxed as only she can: “Well, I think everyone in general plays the match of their lives against me. . . . these girls when they play me, they play as if they're on the ATP Tour, and then they play other girls completely different. It's never easy, you know, being in my shoes.”

    In theory a press conference is meant to be a conversation. Of course in a genuine conversation, if someone spoke like Williams the other person might counter by saying, “Are you serious about any of what you just said?”

    But a press conference is largely a top-down affair, we journalists the supplicants, seeking kibbles and bits from the allegedly higher power. Pity the writer who so dismays the subject to the point that the entire interaction turns dark, hostile, negative, the subject deciding not to part with a precious quote of value. The more workable model is a variation on the Stockholm Syndrome, wherein hostages find themselves sympathetic towards their captors.

    Following two kindly on-court interviews a subdued Williams entered the media room. This was time for the beginning of a longstanding Serena Williams tradition: the beginning of the comeback. Any of those bad vibes from the early Wimbledon exit were long gone. “I think I played really well,” said Williams. “There’s room for improvement, but I think I’m going in the right direction.” This of course was a textbook press conference answer.

    Asked if she felt fine physically, Williams gave one-word answer: “Yes.”

    Two days prior to this match she’d mentioned her plan for more medical tests that she planned to take after the end of the tennis season. Why wait? “Cause I’m sure it’s nothing serious,” said Williams. “But being the hypochondriac that I am, that’s it.”(...)
    This was the Serena who knew that the best way to address what happened at Wimbledon was to cease talking about it with much engagement.

    Asked by a complete victim of the Stockholm Syndrome if tonight’s 64-minute work day would put an end to questions about her health, Williams said, “I’ve moved on, so I’m just doing things that I think I do best. If anyone has any questions, they’re more than welcome to ask.”
    The press conference was gently concluded by a WTA official within a minute. Serena has moved on. Must we?

    1. Interesting. Thanks for sharing. One of the few telling it like it is.

    2. Sadly, this glimmer of hope was immediately flanked by the ususal Bodo dribble about Serena "having the blues" as a plausbile explanation for her infamous Wimby episode...

      It would be a good start if writers would stop imagining possible scenarios and thereby delivering excuses for players no one asked them for. They need to stop this brainless hypothesizing - pure (fan)fiction and instead ask questions and be critical of the subject they are dealing with.

    3. Since Serena won today it's been nothing but the fans with typewriters saying "she's back" and basically kissing her ass again. Of course if she loses at the U.S. Open, I'm sure her or her team will come up with another "sickness" excuse (as she always does when she loses). And the media will go along with Serena's narrative as they always do (like they do with Nadal and other big-name players).

  14. There is a report that Nadal got "Hormone treatment" for his "injured" wrist, to help speed the healing.

    First he says he is "changing his serve", then he "gets a torn soft tissue" injury in his right wrist. Then he gets HGH injected into his right wrist.

    Is he getting another IGF1 injection to help his strength (and add 10 mph to his serve) ?

    I guess he has overused the "knee injury" excuse to hide his illegal IGF1 excuse, and needs a new excuse.

    1. You know what's funny? Media and (dumb) fans alike state that Nadal doesn't use PEDs but when something like this happens, they defend him because this PEDs usage is legal. Sad-

    2. There has been speculation on this blog, that he is not actually getting the treatment he claims he is getting.

      Dr. Galea was believed to inject HGH for strength enhancement (not just in the injured joint for joint repair.
      Many believe that these Spanish doping doctors are doing the same thing.

      So the treatments may be ILLEGAL. It is probably all a ruse, in case he tests positive (he would claim he got a legal treatment that caused the positive).

  15. Should there be some limit to how many TUEs a player can get in a career? As things stand, players can get their personal doctor to vouch for their injury of choice and get treatments which make them stronger than ever. What we have here is a situation similar to where a car gets its engine rebuilt again and again to outrace other cars which are still on version 1 of their engine.
    All this might be legal, but is certainly asterisk worthy at the very least.

  16. "Almost no part of his body has not been assaulted: Right elbow, left ankle stress fracture, tarsal scaphoid bone in left foot, requiring constant shoe adjustments and training precautions; shoulder, tendonitis in both knees, perpetually, back pains and right wrist."

    you can't make up this stuff. LOL. He needs to play in a head-to-toe tensor bandage.

    1. Let's not forget the stomach virus, no?

    2. which one? There have been many no?

    3. Nadal's had so many "injuries" it is easy to lose track of what injury he is claiming for each day.

  17. First Nadal (through a PR mouthpiece) tweeted that he is treating the wrist with "growth hormones". This is an illegal performance enhancing drug.

    Última hora de Rafa Nadal: La semana que viene le inyectarán hormonas de crecimiento para acelerar el proceso de recuperación en la muñeca.

    Then Nadal "corrected" himself to say he is getting "growth factor". Getting growth factor (like IGF1) injections are illegal as well. They are performance enhancing.

    Nacho Mühlenberg @NachoMuhlenberg · Aug 1

    Me corrige @b1pr, ayer puse 'hormonas de crecimiento' y parece que son 'factores de crecimiento'. Lo puse tal cual me lo habían informado.

    You are currently allowed to get "PRP", which is spun blood products, that the body uses to create IGF1 (amongst others) as a by-product. But you are NOT allowed to inject IGF1 directly.

    I am sure that Nadal will correct himself again, and say he is getting PRP, and that he was confused about the whole thing.

    The tweets are here.

    The fact that his serve speed goes up after these "PRP" treatments, leaves no doubt in my mind, it is not PRP that he is getting, and these "injuries" are bogus (to give him a reason to get these treatments).

    1. Not to mention, he was reported to need a cast.

      Rafael Nadal’s US Open participation has been called into question by an injury that will force him to wear a cast on his right wrist for up to three weeks

      But he ends up with a "splint" that looks like something you get at a pharmacy.

      Between Nadal and Serena, who is the bigger BSer ?

    2. You combine all that with Nadal's announcement of a "new serve",

      "Heading into a new challenge, Nadal posted a picture on his Twitter page, in which he was seen sporting a new serve for the hard-court season."

      and only a total idiot would still believe he is not covering up something.

    3. @ GoldenAge

      Looks like someone was unaware of the does and dont's of the current WADA list and just chattered away, accidental whistleblowing...
      I wish this would have some consequences for Nadal. Common sense would dictate that, you would think.

      You would think that the ITF would require a second, independent doctor to check his TUE and diagnosis when a performance enhancing substance has been "prescribed" by Nadal's best buddy/doctor. Further, you would expect to see his ass tested frequently in the period leading up to the UO.

      Yet, we all know this won't happen as long as the ITF is in charge. Enuff said.

    4. Uncle Toni and Nadal's PR Team tried to put out the fires on that report REAL quick by saying that is wasn't "growth hormones" but "growth factors" instead (when it is basically the same thing, trying to make it sound better by changing the wording).

      It's a crock and if Nadal somehow makes it to the U.S. Open and plays well/or wins, it will be further proof that his entire career has been a farce. Although with the questions arising, he'll probably pull out of the Open and focus on 2015.

      I'm also not holding my breath on the ITF to do anything or any mainstream tennis commentators bringing this up.

    5. Nadal camp getting sloppy with their lying ways, but who could blame them, it's not like the ATP will do anything about it...

      Still, Nadal all but admits what anybody's who's watched him play in the last decade or so knows (he's a lying doper), yet it barely registers a blip on the mainstream media's radar. That is beyond sad.

      Also, does any self-respecting journalist believe in their heart that Nadal's PRP treatments over the years weren't some kind of under the radar doping regimen? It is so obvious, no?

    6. What's sad is that no sport media at all reported the 'weird incident'.
      Let's summarize:
      July, 31:
      A spaniard sport journalist states that Rafa's going to get growth hormone injections to speed up recovery.
      'La semana que viene le inyectarán hormonas de crecimiento para acelerar el proceso de recuperación en la muñeca.'
      'Next week he'll get growth hormones injections to speed up the wrist' recovery process'

      August, 1:
      - Said journalist is corrected by fans (because they know what's happening, clearly) about growth hormone, saying that it's growth factors. Nacho states that it was Rafa's technical team that specifically said 'growth hormone'.
      'Así me lo informaron desde el entorno y cuerpo técnico del jugador.'
      'That's what I was told from the environment and technical body of the player.'

      - A sports marketing company, expert in publicity, that represents Rafa says in response 'esto es incierto', which translates to either 'this is uncertain' or 'this is untrue'. 'incierto' is more commonly related to uncertainty in Spanish, but I don't know what was the comment's intention.

      - 10 minutes later, the journalist tweets that said marketing company confirms it's growth factors, not growth hormone.

      - The journalist insists that it was Rafa's technical team that gave him the 'wrong' name. Because it's obvious that Rafa's marketing company is closer to Rafa than his technical team.
      'Yes. Me tiraron mal el nombre. Ya está aclarado. Gracias!'
      'Yes. They gave me the wrong name. It's all cleared up. Thanks!'

      -Spanish news site El Pais, states that Rafa's using a sprint and an Indiba machine. Because Rafa's is the sole human being that makes ineffective alternative treatments work[1]. El Pais' article also states that if this doesn't work (obviously it won't), Rafa's going to use micro-injections. Again, the author refers to alternative treatments:, maybe because pain relief medications don't exist. Perhaps because alternative treatments need no specifics.
      No mention whatsoever about PRP (the legal way to get growth factors).
      English version:

      Everything crystal clear. ;)

      [1]Article stating that PRP saved Rafa's career:
      Tons of scientific evidence that say PRP is as effective as saline water for tendon and ligament conditions:

    7. Nice summary. Why am I not surprised that the English speaking press did not even pick up on this story?

  18. For those that never saw it before, the controversial 'Nadal filling his gas tank with his urine'-skit is at the end of this tennis doping compilation.

  19. The London Times reports that of the 11 fastest times run for the 100m this season only two have been by athletes who have not served a doping ban. Before we assume that doping in tennis is largely a Nadal issue the figure above suggests that it is likely that 8 out of the top 10 players have doped.

    1. Federer's silence regarding Nadal's obvious doping (especially in a post-Armstrong world) has me worried that he probably used something himself at some point in his career. Hopefully I'm wrong.

    2. I have highest level of suspicion against Nadal but do realize that other top players could be users too.

    3. How can any player blow the whistle against a fellow player without appearing to be out to get him, especially when that player has an overwhelmingly positive H2H against them? No way could Federer say anything about Nadal. We've had this discussion here before. It's just not going to happen. I'm not saying Federer is above reproach but I think assuming he has doped because he doesn't rat out fellow players is just erroneous. No player in their right mind will do that. He has said he wants samples kept for 8 years and that he thinks the testing is inadequate. What more can he do? Sure he could get together with other players who are clean and say "let's bring down Nadal" and maybe as a group they could. But tennis is an individual sport more or less and I doubt players share their doping secrets. And then there's Nike. 0_0

    4. all valid points (I'm a huge Federer fan btw, I don't think he used, but the possibility that he did is there).

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