Saturday, September 6, 2014

Marin Cilic

From the US Open...

Q. Have you spoken to Viktor, and do you think there is a drug problem in our sport?

CILIC: I mean, I have spoke with Viktor in April. I have seen him, but I haven't seen him since he started to play. He was in Europe. I mean, he also had extremely difficult period. I mean, he wasn't positive on a test and got suspended for a year. That's, I mean, difficult to understand. But, I mean, I don't think there is drugs in our sport. I feel that it's pretty safe...

Q. Going back to your previous answer, you said the process was unfair. Could you explain in what way it was unfair or how you weren't treated properly? 

CILIC: Well, I mean, first, a notification letter what they have sent me they sent me that I was positive to a substance which I wasn't. That proved to be one of the main things that were talked about in the hearing and that, you know, I was released basically. On the day of the decision it was already four months past, so it was basically like they were giving me zero. That was difficult to understand, why it happened like that and why. I haven't gotten any explanation for that. I mean, for me there was nothing much I could do because they played with the rules and they used it for their advantage.

47 comments:

  1. Meanwhile, Troicki is winning some Challenger. He seems to be having more problems to rock the tour after a suspension.

    Back to Cilic's comments.

    What does he mean with "they were giving me zero"? No bending the rules a little to let him slip through without noticing the public - behind close doors - as per usual with all the others before him? Is he insinuating that?

    I don't think there is anything "difficult to understand" here for Cilic, that is, only if he is implying that things used to be handled differently before and in his case had been changed, procedure-wise, for some reason.

    Why would he need an explanation, really? He was caught with an illegal substance and it is his duty and part of his job description to make sure he knows what he consumes. Tennis pro does not mean swing a racquet and look fancy on court - it comes with certain obligations that should have mattered to him, if he really loved the sport and fair play.

    I am all for using the rules for "their advantage" if that entails being strict and applying them without blinking or special deals and in disregard of the staus of a doper. Rules are not there to be bend, to accomodate the player's PED's habits - they are there to gurantee that no chemical enhancers are corrupting the sport.

    I am curious what Cilic thinks the ITF has been gaining by using the rules to "their advanatge". Appearing vindictive against a poor little Monaco-resident and doper while letting other's go who commited the same or eviler deeds? Is that what he is saying. That would be interesting and confirm what we suspected all along.

    In any case, it remains true what we already discussed/established in the Cilic post, back when the media got wind of his positive test and he was outed. The ITF had to set an example, because the media pressure was high and they could not let it fly under the radar, as previously. They are a bunch of corrupt, double-faced douchebags in it for their personal gain and unable to set up a programm that is both functioning, unbiased as well as tough in its verdicts.

    Cilic is simply another coward pretending to be innocent.

    As a an aside, I also don't believe his coach, Goran Ivanisevic, was able to make that Wimby win back in 2001 without little helpers.

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  2. It's obviously a bit of a language barrier here, but I think Cilic has a colorable argument in terms of how his case was dealt with. If I understand him correctly, I think he is referring to the CAS decision. In that case, the suspension was basically reduced to time-served, and he apparently has the point of view that the CAS decision didn't want to exonerate him entirely; because it would be impossible to give him the time back that he had already served. As such, it's better politically to just say that he bore some responsibility and give him a 4-month suspension (for time served).

    I'm not saying I necessarily agree with him, but his point of view is bolstered by at least two key facts:

    1.) The CAS decision reinstated all points and prize money (except for the tournament where he tested positive), AND

    2.) The CAS Decision said this: "As to who the prevailing party was, the Panel notes that neither party has been entirely successful. But the reality of the situation, after considering all facts and circumstances, is that the Athlete is the prevailing party."

    Irrespective of opinions, from a legal perspective, that's language indicative of a player who was mostly exonerated in a legal setting. Given that paragraph, I can easily see how Cilic would feel that maintaining the suspension for time he had already served was a face-saving measure by the tribunal.

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    1. I think you make a lot of interesting points.

      I think the reason I had trouble with Cilic's answer(s) is that I'm so conditioned to see players lying about doping that I automatically assume Cilic is not telling the truth. Especially since he originally tried to cover up his suspension by saying he was suffering from a "knee injury." But I definitely see where you are coming from.

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  3. Believe it or not Cilic may actually be telling the truth here, but still the rules are the rules. I don't want to get in to what I know about Marin's situation - it's really not the important point. The important point is what you said "The ITF had to set an example, because the media pressure was high". ABSOUTELY

    Not only that, but the pressure has been high ever since Armstrong got nailed. That's why you see many more normal situations this year on tour of players tiring and being hurt - this is normal for the type of rough tennis and schedule that is now produced on tour.

    Still, there are still some odd happenings by the big money makers - 2 come to mind.
    1- Nadal struggling physically at the AO after his brutal win over Monfils. Then suddenly - after a supposed skin regenerator for his hand and who knows what else - is 100% and incredible vs Federer. He even looked good early against Wawrinka before his back gave out. When the body is trying to tell you something - like, STOP PLAYING YOU ARE KILLING ME!, then maybe you should listen. If it's covered up with drugs then something has to give- like a ripped back muscle - or worse.

    2- Yesterday's Serena match. It's pretty obvious she has had to change her off court regimen to protect herself and the results are evident. More fatigue. More self doubt (yes, the drugs help the body which helps the mind), more normal power. Serena is still the most talented and powerful player, but it just wasn't the ridiculousness of last year or two. Then suddenly she was superwoman again yesterday.

    I have watched Serena very closely all year. Watched her come back into form this summer. Watched her struggle with a big body , a little extra fat starting to appear again and the heat/humidity. Yesterday was completely bizarre and off the charts. Of course all the fans are just saying- She's Amazing and Makarova not that good. Just like Wimbledon - they believe what they want to believe.

    I'm not saying she did something illegal this week - I have no idea. Im just pointing out that it's strange to see someone stumble around at Wimbledon - stumble around in her 4th Rd match and Dubs matches - then play in her greatest form ever IN A BLINK OF AN EYE! No progression of form - no consistency.

    I probably watch as much tennis or more than most out there. There is a progression to things. To me - the sudden jumps - both up and down - signal a red flag.

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    1. Agree. She had to tone it down, respectively, messed more with her regimen, hence, the bizarre Wimby episode we encountered.

      The weight issue you brought up is relevant, I do think she is using diuretics to control her weight and to mask more serious doping, obvs. They also come with side effects that are oddly reminding of some of what we saw at Wimbledon: Side effects are constituted by dehydration, dizziness, cramps, headaches, nausea.

      I don't think she is the most talented player, though, or rather this gets sidelined simply by her uber-female force she puts on display. This makes her game monotenous to watch and simply overpowers everything else in her way. She does not even need to do marathons to be quick - she can afford to not run after stops or go in long rallies. In that respect, her tennis is very economic on her body.

      To score a win against her, you need to work the angles mercilessly and be able to handle her serve first of all and the general speed of her shots. That is, handle the power she puts in all her shots. This is where most players fail against her - they are simply not in her league. They last ag her maybe for spells or score the occasional upset when Williams is bored by tennis. And if they are in her league, I'd suspect doping as well.

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  4. According to my commentator, Djokovic stayed the last couple days with his good buddy Gordon Uehling III, in Alpine NJ. Remember, the one who conveneintly owns that pressurized egg, the CVAC pod.. Djokovic did not train on site instead stayed upstate.

    Enuff said.

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    1. I guess the egg failed him.

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    2. Nishikori hit the egg longer, perhaps?

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    3. I think he brought Cilic along.

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    4. Heh. Sad, but true. Cilic seems less flaky and his crosscourt fh is quite a weapon.

      Fed looks genuinely spent /clueless - as anybody would coming off a tough 5setter without sitting in a pod for hours or under a tent. Maybe he finds a way back into the match?

      As I speak, he FINALLY gets that break! We'll see...

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    5. Nah. It's pretty much over. Where's that unknown guy who said Fed must be doping because he beat Monfils? If he was doping he would have recovered in 2 days.

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    6. Once their theory is going down the toilet, they stop posting.

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    7. So I can't suspect about Federer the way I suspect every other player? Jesus, some of you are immature. A direct answer to my post there would have been nice instead of gossip-like posts here. We're not in high school.
      Yeah, Federer losing like that to Cilic is suspicious. I could have been wrong (about Fed doping) or simply Cilic is doing a far more extreme regime. Who knows. Yeah, people, I'm all for admitting a mistake. I'm human and I expect we can behave a little more like adults next time, alright? OR should I exclude Fed from every doping insinuation because of you, folks?

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    8. Isn't the Nishikori win over Djokovic a similar situation? Djokovic has been accused of doping around here and yet he lost to an even more suspicious case of extreme fitness: A player known to be frequently injured - Nishikori - with 2 five-set matches previously defeats Djokovic. That, according to you, must prove that Djokovic has always been clean during his entire career.

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    9. In all honesty, Federer was lucky to beat Monfils. Federer won because Monfils choked. Federer played really, really bad against Monfils and barely pulled it out. I just had a feeling Cilic would beat Federer today. Cilic didn't just beat Federer he routined him.

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  5. Djokovic v Nishikori is like a video or computer game. But that's the modern game, isn't it?

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  6. Cilic admits to taking a supplement containing a banned substance, when the ingredient was listed on the packaging. End-of-Story.

    He's doing what all caught athletes do in this situation, which is deny and obfuscate. That will never change. However, whats disappointing is the the journalists let him away with it.

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  8. Oh, color me surprised! Nishikori outdid Djokovic in what he usually does best: keep winning despite having played a string of long, tiring five-setters. Djokovic must be mad.

    I applaud Nishikori's fitness team, then. True geniuses!

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    1. Amazing how it took Nishikori so long to catch up to the physicality of the top players. At 24 years old, he's the same age that Mats Wilander was when he won his 7th and final major. Looks like 24 is the new 17 in men's tennis.

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    2. I was absolutely stunned after Nishikori beat Djokovic. The whole time, I expected him to falter physically but in the end, it was Djokovic that wilted.

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    3. Yes I think Djokovic is doping but Nishikori is suspicious as well. This is a player who routinely had injury problems during tournaments, pulled out of matches, defaulted, etc. Basically a Djokovic Jr. Now he is an Iron Man virtually overnight and never seems to tire. Djokovic got beat by his doppelganger today.

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    5. @Seeya, I was basically thinking the same thing. And when they were both wearing white shirts, it was honestly hard to tell them apart at times.

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  9. Looking at Cilic's box right now - they must have had a roidy breakfast. Everybody so pumped and buff, including Ivanisevic.

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  10. Cilic comes off a doping ban makes a grand slam final (ok it hasn't happened yet but it's looking likely). Is that irony or just a big F.U. to the doping officials? The ITF is doing a great job.

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  11. Heads will roll.

    How are they going to promote the match? Guy gets caught doping and then goes on to make slam final? Doesn't exactly pull the heart strings.

    Better to focus on nishikori
    .The first possible asian male to win a slam


    I wonder if this cilic result will be another step to the tipping point of tennis getting serious about doping.

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    1. You dream on. I mean, we wish. But the reality is what we see out there today. They/ the ITF/tennis media have let this happen, in fact, they actively supported this kind of doping culture in tennis by turning a blind eye or handing out weak or even reduced sentences to caught offenders.

      Whether Cilic is clean or not now, he, despite is wining and complaining, was given a treat with that reduction of his suspension. And he is better off than ever before. He should stfu.

      Federer had a rather ambiguous comment on Cilic in his Monf post-match presser:

      Cilic, after coming off his reduced doping suspension, is "playing really nice, you know. I must say he's really cleaned up his game."

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    2. Well, he's the natural underdog, short and scrappy, so it makes sense to bill him as David, and tall, rangy Cilic is perfect in the role of Goliath. So there you go already.

      I think they're going to sidestep the doping issue by focusing on this one as the "changing of the guard". Translation: the young guns have finally learned how to 'roid up properly so they can depose their (mostly) roided-up elders.

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    3. demisphere is correct. I've already seen people calling it the "death of the Big 4", and saying that the new generation is ready to take over.

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  12. what a joke. This blog should be called: Tennis is a Fucking Joke.

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    1. The Kardashians are more trustworthy and respectable than the people running tennis.

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  13. Cilic seems to have made drastic improvements in all areas of the game during his time off. His serve has become a monster, his groundies are more powerful, he moves better, he's more consistent off the ground (he won a lot of long baseline rallies against Simon for example) and he also has a lot more stamina. Wow, just wow...

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    1. Thanks to his suspension, he had plenty of time on his hand, a new coach and fitness team to finally figure out micro-dosing once and for all.

      Previously, from what I recall, he used to have long spells of unforced errors, stray shots in his matches, lot's of inconsistencies and misses. HIs serve was already a weapon, yet, he df a lot. And he used to be not so good in the last third of matches, fitness-wise.

      And now?

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  14. Whether or not Cilic is doping wasn't much of a factor in today's outcome. This guy was hitting insanely accurate and powerful (which he's always had) serves and ground strokes. He even read Federer's serve beautifully. Mary Jo Fernandez said that this is the type of play that beats even a Nadal. I'd take it even further to say that Cilic would have beaten Nadal at the French Open the way he played today.

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    2. I would disagree a bit with you here - he was not as accurate as he was today, or rather, has been this year. I would have check the stats to prove this, but I am too lazy and would like to rely on my memory/ impression of him from previous matches. Like his QF match at the UO ag. Murray in 2012 or Berdych in Beijing in 2011. There was a pattern of him being exhausted in the latter part of matches, going down easily. Especially when his serve deserted on him.

      However, I do agree that he was ahead of Fed's own serve and anticipating it nicely. Also, Fed's returns were deplorable today, Cilic read them well, too, and exploited that weakness ruthlessly.

      I think I recall Cilic sending Nadal home from Beijing in 2009 in the semis. Granted, it was the Asian swing, Nadal is notoriously weak on that. So, yeah, he does have it in him to beat top players, yet, he never maintains that level.

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    3. His first serve in stats were not great at 56%, but it's the 87% first serve points won that was astonishing. Either a lot of them were well placed or Federer just wasn't reading it very well, but it seemed like Fed got very few back in play. Fatigue was not even an issue, since the match was over in 1 hour and 45 mins! But yeah, Fed didn't do enough with the returns. Instead of attacking, it seemed like he was waiting for Cilic to miss, which didn't happen very often.

      We've seen flashes of brilliance from this guy - the one that comes to mind is 2009 USO vs. Murray - but other than that, I can't recall a GS where he maintained it the course of a match.

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  15. Well for one fed is old. Prime fed could have beaten him..2009 fed would have had a chance. But this fef..no.


    That said. You know the spectre of his doping suspension will hang over this final

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  16. Did it ever cross anyone's mind that maybe the reason they suspended Cilic's sentence is because he might have said "look I know for a fact that certain top players are doping and I'll blow the lid off it if you don't give me back my prize money and points'? I wouldn't put it past this crooked system.

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    1. This type of thing has crossed my mind numerous times, but I always come back to, Why would anyone believe him? Unless he can prove it, it's just some angry player making a claim. Given that tennis is not a team sport, it seems like a player would have to be really sloppy to be seen by another player taking or shooting up with something illegal. And even if seen, unless they had their phone's video recorder running at the time, it would just be one player's word against another.

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    2. yeah true but you've got to wonder about coaches. A coach doesn't stay with a player forever. They move on from player to player so you've got think that if coaches know anything they would divulge that info to their next charge. Except of course for Nadal who has had the same coach since the beginning. Very safe and convenient for him.

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  17. Cilic did poorly in all the runup events to USO--losing fairly early. Yet he made the final. And he lost in the first round of Queen's Club, yet made the quarters and very nearly made the semi. This doesn't make sense: poor performance in the lead-up events suddenly followed by remarkable performance in the Grand Slams. Unless, of course, he's doping.

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  18. I didn't like the way it came about, with the silent ban and then blaming it on his mother. But Cilic has served his ban and it was some nonsense like glucose, it wasn't steroids, EPO or HGH. It's time some people got off their high horses (Cambers, Dickson et al) and trying to make out that every violation is the equivalency of Marion Jones or LA. When me up when some one is banned for actual PEDs.

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  19. You're going to be asleep for a very long time.

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