Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Murray, Walsh, and Armstrong

The recent edition of The Sunday Times (subscription required) features a piece by renowned anti-doping cycling journalist David Walsh interviewing Andy Murray. During the interview, Murray asked Walsh a series of questions about Lance Armstrong:
"We're about to leave when he brings up Lance Armstrong. What can you tell me, he asks. I want to play the small-time mafia guy in the interrogation room: I know nothing. But Murray is not taking no as an answer. He has seen the documentaries, he has read the books and he needs more. The gym where he does his peak oxygen uptake testing used to have an Armstrong poster on the wall and before the Texan was banned, he said to the lady in charge he thought she should take it down.

"The poster has gone now, as have the two Livestrong bikes at another gym he uses in the US. Murray wants to know about the $10m (PS6.5m) Armstrong has been ordered to pay SCA Promotions and how many cyclists died from EPO abuse and what happened to the blood bags in the Eufemiano Fuentes case and why they weren't analysed."
One hopes that this is the just the beginning of Walsh getting involved with tennis.

26 comments:

  1. Murray seems to be almost goading Walsh into getting involved. Interesting to note that in the same interview he declares Murray Britain's greatest sportsman and, given the tone of the piece in general, he clearly holds the guy in high regard. If he does have suspicions about tennis players, I doubt Murray is one of them based on this.

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  2. When Murray began his professional career was as thin as an anchovy but now has a body like an Olympic swimmer!!

    What a strange coincidence..!!

    Oups, I forgot the usual story: Nadal has been and is the only Top 10 tennis player on doping, all the other players in Top 10 are pure like vergins...!!

    Best regards.

    Fab

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    1. I don't know where you got the impression that posters here think Nadal is the only one in the top 10 doping. That's far from the case.

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    2. Seriously? Nadal is only the most glaring example - there are many of us on here who think that a lot of the Top 10/Top 20/Top 50 are dopers. Nadal is such an obvious case - that is why he gets talked about the most.

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    3. When he began his career, he was a kid. Now, he is no longer a kid.

      That would be enough for those who are not retarded, but....

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  3. Murray is playing it smart. It does his reputation good to pretend that he is anti-doping.

    Of course, we all remember his serial complaining about drug tests, before Armstrong's confession. His current anti-doping campaign, is pure PR.

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    1. Under your narrative he's brazenly pretending to be anti-doping right under the nose of one of the sharpest and most important anti-doping crusaders out there and "playing it smart" enough to seemingly pull the wool over his eyes. That just doesn't seem likely now does it? Also asking about EPO deaths and bringing up the blood bags (again) is way beyond the usual lip service required in these type of interviews.

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    2. "he's brazenly pretending to be anti-doping right under the nose of one of the sharpest and most important anti-doping crusaders out there and "playing it smart" enough to seemingly pull the wool over his eyes."

      In the tweets this article produced, David Walsh responded to the following question "Much doping going on in Tennis ?" with "My guess is that it's more than we know about, less then we imagine."

      Want to see for yourself? On here:- https://twitter.com/davidwalshst/status/567767734252232704

      Makes the hopes that Walsh might be the guy to blow it all open seem slightly forlorn.

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    3. ^ for someone who witnessed cycling and all the unearthed skeletons in its closet, i think something's up with this statement. the ITF may have actually gotten ahold of him with warnings etc.

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    4. Sure it can be seen as suspicious but I think the Armstrong case just opened Murray's eyes to the cover-up of doping in sports.

      I am on the fence as to whether Murray is a doper or not (I am suspicious of everyone considering how poor the drug testing in tennis is and how they are known for covering up positive drug tests), but at least he - like Federer - seems to want doping in tennis to be uncovered rather than hidden.

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    5. truth be told, i don't really think he is. he is neither super consistent nor suspiciously cyclical in his performance throughout a year. has a normal recovery curve in injuries and is inconsistent in slams. he grew in size, but isn't a physical juggernaut. and throughout a match, he doesn't necessarily exhibit stamina the level of nadal. if he did take something, it definitely is way less than whatever adal took.

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    6. "the ITF may have actually gotten ahold of him with warnings etc."

      Maybe, though Walsh doesn't seem the sort to bend to those sort of threats. He stood up to Lance Armstrong's strongarm legal tactics, remember.
      I think it is more likely that his focus is simply elsewhere, i.e. still on doping in Cycling and to a lesser extent Athletics. See his response when someone tried to incite him into investigating Rugby Union, which is another sport generating a lot of smoke whilst its officials insist that absolutely nothing is on fire:- https://twitter.com/DavidWalshST/status/571273776782041089

      If that is the case, we can be disappointed but ought to give the man some leeway. It is a bit much to expect one journalist to do WADA's entire job for them...

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    7. Paul Kimmage is tackling rugby these days, which isn't going down well in Ireland. I saw him being interviewed recently, and the interviewer was a little dubious about there being doping in rugby, and fairly aggressive when it came to the possibility of Irish players doping. While Kimmage wouldn't name names, he thought that the physique and stamina of some players should be questioned more.

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    8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  4. I remember when Murray was skinny and had a neck like an ostrich ow he has calves like tree trunks, his neck is so thick you can barely see his Adams apple and his whole body looks like it is carved from rock.

    Sure,

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  5. ...it could be down to training. But Andy added a good 30 lbs of muscle playing a highly aerobic sport with a physical grinding style.

    We all know about Rafa's body "exploding". Murray's is up there too.

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    1. Murray's physique developed gradually over 5 or 6 years. He didn't even look fully developed by the time he played the 2010 Aussie open final aged 22 although he was certainly more built than when he first broke into the top ten aged 19/20.

      Not saying this proves or disproves anything but at least we could see a change in increments over the years rather than say disappearing for a year as a scrawny 15 year old and returning a Raging Bull!

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    2. Here is Murray in 2008 ( may ) when he had a neck like a giraffe:

      Andy Murray vs Juan Martin Del Potro 2008 Rome Masters

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rN8Bxa_vNI0

      and then as if by magic in the next three years there was the miracle of his muscolar explosion in spite of the fact that in all those three years he intensely played many tournaments and theoretically he was also due to train heavily!!

      Let's say that obviously the whole matter isn't linear to say the least!!

      Best regards.

      Fab

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  6. I forgot one thing!

    I am 190 cm tall ( the exact same height of Murray ) and when I was 20 because I was too skinny (72 kg) I started body building for a year with intense workouts, constant diet and only protein supplements, result: after a year I weighed 82 kg, I had put ten
    extra kilograms ( kg ) of net muscolar mass but during that time I couldn't even do 2h a week of jogging if not everything I had done in training was burning straight away !!


    People in the same gym instead with the trick of chemical help (always firmly rejected !!) had put muscle mass with much more ease and built crazy musculature !!

    And it came to people of 180 cm, 186 cm and 192 cm, in short, tall people that started from situations of thinness like me!!

    Question:

    has Murray the testosterone by Superman?

    I don't think so!!

    Best regards.

    Fab

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    1. "as if by magic in the next three years there was the miracle of his muscular explosion"

      I don't understand your point? A miricle explosion that took three years? Also, the 2008 video shows he is already noticeably bulkier than when he first played wimbledon as an gangly 18 year old therefore you seem to be agreeing that his physique too 5+ years to develop?

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  7. By my standards, in the 2008 video above reported, Murray is still a skinny professional tennis player ( I don't think I'm the only one who thinks an obvious thing like that, most people would agree with that! ) and as far as your consideration "A miracle explosion that took three years?", I also took into consideration the fact that:

    "in all those three years he intensely played many tournaments and theoretically he was also due to train heavily!".

    Hence as a consequence, if Murray played and trained in 2009, 2010 and 2011 in such a way ( above mentioned ), it is almost Mission Impossible that in those three years he could develop such an impressive muscular system with only natural methods of training and eating!!

    In other words, if you are a tall man like Murray , very slim by nature and you professionaly play a sport like tennis at top level which is a highly aerobic sport, you don't have almost any chance to develop a body like an Olympic swimmer in no time frame what ever it is: three, four, five years, etc. because the physical and mental stress is so high that the body itself by natural means can't process muscolar upgrades of a certain size!!

    Best regards!

    Fab

    PS in the previous post, I also reported my personal experience and the personal experience of other people seen with my eyes, in other words, I walked the walk!!

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  8. Exactly Fab. You don't see muscle bound marathon runners. Traditionally top male tennis players are trim or lanky.

    But Murray and Nadal are bulging with muscles. Djoker is trim and cut but I woukdnt say overly muscular for his frame. Berdych has thighs like tree trunks.


    Look at Sampras..his body barely changed from when he was 19 til retirement.

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  9. As far as Djokovic, he also uses his own tricks like any other top player!!

    For example:

    The Secret Science of Novak Djokovic's Training Pod
    It's called the Cyclic Variations in Adaptive Conditioning machine, and it looks like a sci-fi egg from outer space. In theory it one-ups standard hypobaric chambers by giving users greater aerobic gains in a fraction of the time...

    http://www.outsideonline.com/outdoor-adventure/science/Will-the-CVAC-Pod-Change-the-Way-Athletes-Train.html

    To point out that the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has not yet banned this type of equipment but has defined it "contrary to sportsmanship".

    Apart from that, last year Djokovic in a famous and popular Italian talk show on tv said:

    "I play for the love of the game and not for the money"

    But if he earns something like $20Milions a year ( among prize money and sponsors ) and if his fiscal residence is in Montecarlo ( a sort of fiscal heaven in Europe ) but he says he loves Serbia and Serbian people, how could he say a big lie like that??

    In other words, if he lies on obvious things like professional efforts and financial rewards, his credibilty is zero!!

    In fact, he didn't put his money where his mouth was like other top tennis players because on the one hand they said that anti doping controls should be much more effective, on the other hand, they didn't give any money to make it a reality in practice and not just words in the vacuum of mass media news!!

    In other words, they have talked the talk but they haven't walked the walk!!

    What a strange coincidence...!!

    All the best!

    Fabrice, greetings from Italy.

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  10. "But if he earns something like $20Milions a year ( among prize money and sponsors ) and if his fiscal residence is in Montecarlo ( a sort of fiscal heaven in Europe ) but he says he loves Serbia and Serbian people, how could he say a big lie like that??"

    Are you dumb? Why on earth would he pay taxes in Serbia when he doesn't use any of their government services?

    I'm not sure if you noticed, but most people don't want to be robbed of their earning, no matter how large.

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  11. First of all, here the only dumbest person is yourself and not me because it'widely known that any person like Djokovic ( very rich ) stay in Montecarlo only for fiscal reasons and not because he doesn't use any of government services from the country where he was born and where he was living before he made millions!!

    Secondly, his book ( "Serve to Win" ) is also dedicated ( it's clearly written in the preface ) to the Serbian people!!

    Third, he said that once he retires as a professional tennis player, he would like to start a career as a politician in his native Serbia!!

    Fourth, he has showed very often to be very proud of being Serbian, as a consequence, he should like to live there in his free time and not saying big lies like:

    "I decided to stay in Montecarlo because I like the Mediterranean climate very much"




    Goodbye!

    Fab

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  12. I forgot the last point!

    Fifth, he has played Davis Cup for Serbia many times, hence, if Serbia is a nation like any other which still works because the vast majority of citizens pay taxes, how come he doesn't pay a cent of taxes in Serbia?

    Who is he , is he a son of a special Serbian God who enjoys the exemption from paying taxes or is he just a professional sportsman who is basically a Big Paraculo?

    Any objective person would say that the second hypothesis is the right answer!!

    Goodbye!

    Fab

    PS paraculo = a cunning opportunist individual, sly in taking advantage of the social mechanisms that govern the world without showing it....

    http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/paraculo


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