Wednesday, November 5, 2014

It's all in the game...

Irish sports journalist Ewan MacKenna has something interesting to say about doping and tennis. A couple of excerpts:
"...The reality is this is a cosy little club where media get access and everyone else gets rich. As one prominent tennis writer says, “For some reason most tennis journalists don’t want to know about drugs in their game”."

"...Tennis players have the same motives of wealth and fame and the same opportunities through a weak testing regime, so to think they’ve fortified morals because they’re likeable is to be blind."

"...do you believe doctors doped athletes in other sports but not their tennis clientele?"

"...Does quantity equal quality, why no figures to show if testing has switched to winner-targeted, where are key statistics once readily available? For all the talk, we aren’t allowed see the walk."
Indeed.


27 comments:

  1. Nice article. Hopes this gets a look from other tennis journalist that fail to do their actual work.

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  2. Love his choice of photos! Also his reference to Djoko's rediculous 2013 Aussie Open win which sometimes gets overshadowed by his 2011 exploits.

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    1. Djokovic's performance at AO 2013 was insane. I remember a Journalist asked him how he recovers and he answered something along the lines of "What I'm doing is legal"

      I found it odd. I believe he was referencing the CVAC pod amongst other things.

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    2. Neil Harman of The Times wrote a bold article on doping following that final which I think is posted here somewhere. Tom English in the Scotsman too. Its frustrates the hell out of me that there's been a number of accusatory articles from mainstream journalists over the last few years but they never seem to gain much traction and the journalist themselves don't seem motivated to write follow ups. Its like they feel they have one strike and then they're (shut) out.

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    3. Yes, I remember Harman's article. Some say he wrote it due to sour grapes maybe, but it was on the money. Bold and unwavering, similar to Bodo's early pieces regarding doping in Tennis. Nowadays, no mainstream journalist is brave enough to tackle the issue.

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    4. But of course Harman is now a disgraced journalist without a job. Maybe he stepped on the wrong toes.

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    5. Nah, Lopi. he was just stupid in that regard. Plagiarism of all things...

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  3. Fantastic article. We need more Irish journalists it seems.
    Have Walsh and Kimmage inspired others?

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  4. Good for him..... Happy to see this site referenced and complemented, too. THASP continues to serve a key function for the curious and skeptical by condensing various pieces of info related to potential doping in tennis in a single location.

    Long live THASP!

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  5. In other news, Toronto Maple leaf's NHL athlete Carter Ashton denies intentionally doping, and blames a positive test for clenbuterol (a well-established doping substance) on borrowing a fellow athletes asthma inhaler..... (I kid you not!)........

    FYI,Clenbuterol is not approved for human use in North America, Europe, or Australia.....

    "Deny and obfuscate, deny and obfuscate, deny and obfuscate"... The doper's hymn.

    Even if the denial is risible, and the explanations are ludicrous, it's still better for the athlete to deny guilt, because if they fess-up, they have to answer all the "how?, who else?, and who helped?" follow-on questions........(and answer to their sponsors)

    Will the press address the massive credibility fail in this situation? Probably not.

    http://www.tsn.ca/leafs-ashton-suspended-20-games-for-violating-ped-policy-1.127003

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  6. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/tennis/rogerfederer/11216129/Roger-Federer-reveals-the-secrets-behind-his-incredible-success.html

    Nice interview.

    “I used to go in spells, but he doesn’t believe in taking too long of a break. He says it’s fine to do that when you’re younger, but when you’re older, maybe it’s easier for your body to keep on playing. We took a similar approach in training. Stefan reminded me to keep on playing points, whereas before I would only do that when the next tournament was close. I think it actually helped me to remain in a good rhythm. When you take a direction like that, you’ve got to stick with it and see if it works out. For me it did, because I’ve had no recurring issues any more with my back.”

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  7. Doping is not medically benign.............Always good to remember that

    http://www.usatoday.com/videos/news/world/2014/11/08/18706341/

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    1. Doping back then on humans was almost as crazy and irresponsible as current doping in animals. It was just a mess decades ago.

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    2. My point was that some people keep claiming that doping should be allowed

      (this from last week in the Huff post
      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/raymmar-tirado/is-is-time-to-say-yes-to-_b_6110718.html )

      What they don't accept is that this would lead to a spiral of more and more drugs to stay competitive, and the inevitable health problems that would follow.

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    3. I agree. Human nature tells us there will always be some, whether bent athlete, coach, sports federation, the state even, willing to bend the rules and push the envelope in the lust for money and glory. And of course we can always rely on a corrupt IOC or bent FIFA to manipulate the politics and allow it all to happen. Not to talk of tennis of course where the ITF has more in common with Rip Van Winkle than a modern, dynamic governing body.

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  8. Somebody knows how stem cells can be of use for recent back problems? To me, it's just insane to even suggest it.

    http://www.tennisworldusa.org/Rafael-Nadal-Treats-His-Back-With-Stem-Cells-articolo21180.html

    Someone remembers how Tony refused to talk about Rafa's wrist problem because 'he didn't talk with Rafa about medical problems'? So much bullshit.

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  9. Please read this you are in a Spanish sports daily (as). The stem cell treatment is illegal in Italy. Is doping

    http://tenis.as.com/tenis/2014/11/10/mas_tenis/1415581778_667691.html

    Nadal recovers an illegal method in Italy
    Nadal will return to training in early December after an appendix operation and receiving a stem cell treatment in Italy.


    Before an appendectomy on Monday 3 Rafa Nadal starred for curing your back with the call processing 'stem cell', confirming his uncle and coach, Toni Nadal: "Treating back meant a few weeks of hiatus (... ). Rafa returns to training in December because of this, because it is a topic of stem cells and to do well you need five weeks, "Toni Nadal said in an interview with the DPA.

    It is not the first time that Nadal undergoing treatment called 'stem cell' and that's technically called the 'autologous plasma' or plasma (the subject) enriched in platelets. Rafa has used it to his knees, and in December 2013, and now for the back. Treatment requires a cycle of inactivity. In Italy it is not considered legal after the problems that occurred on the transalpine autotransfusions athletes who went to the 1984 Games in Los Angeles under the supervision of doctor Francesco Conconi.

    Spaces. In 1985, after an interpellation Andrea Ceci, political and hematologist, the Italian Parliament declared not legal any autotransfusion system (the law also censorship hypoxic chambers). "What makes the stem cell treatment is to return the body that spin plasma and enriched more pressure than it already would be normal in the bloodstream. This increase in pressure based reason for Parliament to stop legal consider these practices. Since then, he is a risk to health, "she told the journalist Pierangelo AS Molinaro, Olympic specialist La Gazzetta Dello Sport.

    Among the Italian press believes "should go to a uniform regulation by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA / AMA) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC)." Nadal is cited and other famous cases (players, Bolt, Bryant ...) dealing Hans Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt (Bayern doctor) at his clinic in Munich. "Müller-Wohlfahrt in Germany and almost everyone who uses benefiting from treatment reasons exceptions orthopedic or joint problems," says Molinaro. In 2015, WADA will review this issue. I could go to hold an opinion that the permission of enriched stem cells to strict medical advice must first be declared plasma.

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  10. There is some rationale based on animal models, but very limited and inconsistent human data for this.....

    http://news.emory.edu/stories/2014/02/clinical_trial_stem_cell_injection/campus.html

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25373318

    www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25050446

    It's not FDA approved for this indication in the US.

    Unbelievably, the Italian government did approve this, despite lack of data. So I guess using it is within WADA guidelines.

    http://www.eurostemcell.org/story/scientists-raise-alarm-italian-government-rules-unproven-stem-cell-therapy

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  11. Amazing Nadal continues to get away with this shit.

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  12. Rafael Nadal will undergo stem cell treatment on back

    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/tennis-busted-racquet/rafael-nadal-will-undergo-stem-cell-treatment-on-back-171205488.html

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    1. "Next week's treatment will be similar to stem cell treatment he had on his knee last year, his doctor told the AP. He should be back to training in early December."

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  13. Undetectable stem cell treatment could be the wave of the performance-enhancement future

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/undetectable-stem-cell-treatment-could-be-the-wave-of-the-performance-enhancement-future.html

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    1. Very interesting. This seems to be the future. If it is going to extend the career of a player tha all the specialists predicted would have had to retire already... Bring it on!!! it is clearly legal and this is supposed to be the 21st century so why not?

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  14. Germany threaten jail for athletes under new doping law

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/30007100

    This is also the future. Clearly differentiate what is legal and what is not, and deter professional cheaters from making big money out of sport treating doping as a serious crime.

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  15. Interesting take on the Biological Passport. It's mainly about cycling and the case of 2012 Tour of Britain winner Jonathan Tiernan-Locke but it applies to tennis as well. It this just an attempt to discredit the program by exposing loop-holes? Or is it really potentially flawed?

    http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/cycling/29959937

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  16. Don Catlin, who ran the UCLA Olympic Analytic Lab for 25 years, and developed the carbon isotope ratio steroid test, was pretty critical of the bio-passport in tennis, primarily due to the long lead-in time.

    http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2013/mar/12/tennis-anti-doping-expert-drug-testing

    This is his Wiki... he's been involved in anti-doping endeavours, in numerous guises, for a long time, so probably a voice worth listening to.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Catlin

    (and that's Catlin....... not Gatlin LOL)

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