Wednesday, April 8, 2015

"There's a code"

Jon Wertheim writes:
"The doping issue is peculiar. You hear speculation—immeasurably more than was issued just a few years ago—and while it often comes from members of the camp rather than the locker room, you proceed on the assumption that the coach/agent/trainer/botanist of Player X wouldn’t be expressing these views if Player X weren’t similarly skeptical.

Yet when players are clipped for violations, their colleagues close ranks and decry the system, the onerous testing and the feckless administrators. I understand that there’s a code. And the sense of brotherhood (the majority are male) and collegiality is admirable. But it’s surprising to me how often the indicted player is not disgraced, but rather has the public backing of his colleagues..."


  1. What Wertheim is describing, is classic "Omerta". It has been observed in cycling, Track & Field, Baseball, and many other "dopey" sports.

    Of course, Omerta has existed in tennis as well, for more than a decade. By pretending to be a naïve writer, just catching onto what THASP, and many others with some common sense have suspected for many years, Wertheim is trying to "protect" himself, should the deck of cards come tumbling down.

  2. One minute he is talking about Odesnik being "a serial bad actor", and the next saying there is "immeasurably more" speculation about doping amongst players and their camps. Obviously, he is more in the know than he is willing to admit. I don't think you can chalk up the Omerta to collegiality. You won't have an Omertà unless most of the top players are doping. No one wants to back a doper if they are clean themselves.

  3. One of the big problems in doping is that sport journalists are also fans of sport stars ( each sport journalist has his/her favourite sport star ) and in so doing, their attitude is corrupted at the root because in the best scenario their favourite sport star is clean but knows very well all the doping methods used by other sport stars, in the worst scenario their favourite sport star is also a doper but they ( journalist sports ) tell themselves ( big lies!!) that he/she is so talented that he could even win without doping and in the specific case, tennis, doping doesn't make any particular difference in the sport performance!!

    Apart from that, sport journalists are in the business of selling mass media products and the creation and worship of a sport star is their most tangible mass media product!!

    Another thing to say is that sport sponsors buy their silence very easily because their advertisements are source of money for the companies in which sport journalists work!!

    Best regards.


  4. Significant step for Mr Wertheim, IMO. By citing entourage member's doping speculations, and presuming this reflects player's views, he's taking suspicion away from the so-called "Don Quixote" fans and lodging it firmly in the game's inner circle instead......... That's a pretty big deal.

    Re: player reactions... I think it might be two scenarios. Some may be reluctant to slam dopers because the issue is too close to their own home, but others are probably just parroting the usual corporate PR rhetoric, and keeping their tours happy. Even if you're clean, do you want a major scandal in the sport to choke revenue like it did in cycling? They know where their breads buttered.

  5. I notice one of the comments on the Wertheim story suggests that Djokovic successfully lobbied for a change in the drug testing rules. Is that true? Given how weak the rules are, I hate to think they are being made weaker.