Saturday, June 13, 2015

“They wanted the IV for whatever reason..."

An interesting story by David Epstein from athletics regarding a number of allegations being made against coach Alberto Salazar:
"... one runner recalled being tested four times in a matter of months for thyroid function — despite a lack of any symptoms — until getting a result that, while still well within the normal range, was deemed sub-optimal. The runner recounted finally getting a prescription for the thyroid hormone drug Cytomel."

"...Kara Goucher previously told ProPublica and the BBC that Salazar discussed with her how he coached Rupp to fake symptoms of dehydration in order to obtain an IV before an important race. “They wanted the IV for whatever reason,” Goucher says, “to make Galen feel better, whatever, and they were manipulating the system to get it.”"

"...Two former Oregon Project athletes described being told by Salazar to do a hard workout, and then run up the stairs to a doctor’s office to take an asthma test. “You sprint around the track, sprint through downtown Portland, and sprint up the stairs and go do the test,” the runner said."

35 comments:

  1. Nadal won a small grass court tournament, for the first time in years. People who watched, said that they saw some extra oomph in his serve.

    Watch his average first serve speed at Wimbledon, and the USO. If it approaches 120 mph in the second week, he is probably upping the testosterone intake. This has to be done in-competition to be effective.

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    1. 1. How do I track a player's average serve speed? Is there a site that keeps track of this. My searches in the past have come up with only patchy results.

      2. I'm not convinced that he has ever doped to help his serve speed. I think he generally serves slower and with more spin on purpose to keep his first-serve percentage high and placement precise. On the faster surfaces, though, flattening out his serve may result in enough free points to be worth the drop in accuracy.

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    2. All of the slams give the average first serve speed for each match, by each player, while the slam is in progress (the information is deleted after a few months, so you have to monitor their websites as the slam is in progress).

      I have been watching Nadal's serve speeds since he came on the scene. He barely broke 100 mph in 2005, to 2007. Then his serve speed started climbing, until 2010, when he hit 120 mph at a number of matches in the 2010 USO. He claimed, it was due to a "grip change".He has never hit 120 mph since.

      This is highly unusual, for a player, well into their twenties, to make dramatic improvements to their serve, then have that serve speed disappear. Especially, when the player uses his non-dominant arm.

      Baseball pitchers use HGH and anabolics to add up to 10 mph to their pitches. A tennis serve is almost the exact same motion.

      We KNOW that Nadal has been getting HGH/IGF1 injections (he has admitted this himself). The addition of Testosterone could add 10 mph to his serve.

      Regardless, if Nadal's serve speed hits 120 mph at the age of 29, for the first time in 5 years at Wimbledon, or the USO (the two fastest slams, where the extra speed would help the most), then I know what I will suspect that is causing it.

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    3. To see Nadal's serve stats for RG (quarterfinal), go here :
      http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/scores/stats/day16/1501ms.html

      His average first serve for the match was 185 kph (about 115 mph). This is on the high side for RG (usually about 112 mph).

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    4. Click on "serve stats".

      Nadal actually slightly outserved Djokovic. VERY unusual.

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    5. I'm aware of what happened at the US Open in 2010, but I actually buy the party line in this case -- he flattened his serve out, and his average 1st serve percentage for the tournament was 64%. At Wimbledon 2010, he was at 68%, and at Rolland Garros 2010, his was at 77%. Interestingly, at US Open 2013, where he didn't serve as hard, he was at 67% (if you throw out his match w/ Robredo, which appeared to be an outlier, he was at 68%).

      At Rolland Garros this year, the commentators talked about how he always serves harder/flatter vs. Djokovic because otherwise he'll get eaten for lunch, and lo and behold, his percentage was down at 60% (compared with Djokovic at 63%). His other matches were 68, 59 (windy?), 68, and 69.

      So my opinion is that, in the summer of 2010, he experimented with a flatter serve, and he won the US Open (but didn't win Cinci or Canada). In 2013, he traded off some speed for accuracy (though was still likely juiced to the gills), and won it all.

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    6. Until at least 2008, Nadal's serve was ridiculously slow (late 2009 too, IIRC, but hey, he was affected by a stomach ailment and his parents' divorce, L-O-L), it was really sticking out. Then came the infamous USO 2010 "grip change". Since, his serve has never been as strong as 2010, but never as weak as pre-2008. Whether you buy it or not, there is something fishy going on there. Over the course of the 2010 US Open, even famed Nadal homer John McEnroe, said, tongue in cheek, something like "who knew a simple grip change could translate to 10 MPH more on your serve...".

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    7. It seems like the grip change claim could be verified through video analysis. I have to imagine we're talking about going from semi-Western grip to a continental grip, which would be a 1/8 turn. That would tend to flatten out a serve somewhat. I don't know if it could account for 10 MPH, but it's worth knowing whether there actually was a grip change.

      As for Nadal's more gradual improvement during '08, it seems possible he benefited from both general improvements in his strength *and* his technique. I recall Agassi improved his serve mid-career as well. In both cases, doping may have played a role, but just because a player is doping, it doesn't mean he doesn't also work on his technique.

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    8. Of course he can improve his technique, but the "technical" changes can also be smoke screens that the gullible/willfully blind press will never challenge anyway. Low risk, high reward. So many weird and confusing happenings with that chap Nadal. Lying in plain sight has never been as easy as it is today with the starstruck press always there to cover up for the big stars.

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    9. Sorry all you clever people with your serve stats, but if you actually watched the clay season and Stuttgart you will have realised that the problem of Nadal in the first was not the serve but his landmark strokes, particularly accuracy and depth of his forehand. Drugs/no drugs it seemed that the pressure of having to perform when not at his best managed to make him loose scores of points. Now he is in the part of the season he is not expected to do well, pressure is gone to a great extent, he is hitting the ball much cleaner. And, probably he had the best volley in the Stuttgart draw.

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    10. @Picassowhat, yes, the media seems disturbingly reluctant to question things, such as how Rafa's knees are utterly fine after years of tendonitis.

      @apanchuful, yep, spot on analysis.

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    11. To be fair, the media doesn't seem to be challenging anyone anymore. As a point of comparison, only a very small group of reporters were really asking tough questions to Lance Armstrong, the rest were coasting and enjoying the residual limelight they could get from the puff pieces.

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    12. The media seems to just regurgitate whatever the players and PR minions are spoon feeding them. And the players are purposefully benign in their statements so as to not piss off their sponsors (http://ftw.usatoday.com/2015/06/roger-federer-novak-djokovic-not-friends-dont-like-each-other-boris-becker-rivalry-rafael-nadal). So, yeah, no real journalism going on in tennis.

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    13. People try way too hard here to tie every little thing to evidence of doping. It's such a shame.

      As if there is not possibility that someone who is doping could go on a skid for whatever reason not related to use of PEDs. Using the eyeball test which used to be so reliable here Nadal is as jacked as ever so yeah.

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  2. Do you think that anybody cares what the golden age of drugs thinks?This retarded obsession with Nadal's serve.Shit,a lot of the women were serving 115 at RG.What the fuck is wrong with you people?Can't you just enjoy a tennis match?Damn man this 17 year old girl Ana Konjuh was serving 115 at Nottingham today.You are a joke everybody is on drugs.Some people can't play tennis as well as other people.That is the way life is.And if everybody is doing it then so what?If I cannot win doing drugs then it is time to quit and do something else.Nadal,Djoko,Federer,Murray,Serena are just better than everybody else period and exclamation point.

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  3. "We KNOW that Nadal has been getting HGH/IGF1 injections (he has admitted this himself)." I am a relative newcomer to this site and I don't know this story. I hate to ask about a story others may already know, but I would love to learn more about this.

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    1. http://www.menstennisforums.com/showthread.php?t=502921&highlight=growth+hormones

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    2. Nadal's publicity guy, originally tweeted that Nadal was getting Growth Hormones, then when there was a scandal, changes it to "growth factors". Both "growth hormones", and "growth factors" are illegal performance enhancing drugs.

      He meant to say that he was getting "PRP", which produces a small amount of IGF-1 as a by-product. Not enough to be performance enhancing.

      Of course, he always seems to be bulkier, and hit harder after these treatments (which should NOT happen if he is getting PRP).

      Since other doctors have been caught red-handed using "PRP" as a smokescreen to administer HGH or IGF-1 injections (Anthony Galea), and PRP probably does nothing to help injured joints it is widely suspected that Nadal is faking injuries, claiming to treat these injuries with PRP, but is in fact, getting HGH or IGF-1 injections.

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  4. Good article in the Guardian today about doping in sport, so it should get some attention. There's special reference to the CIR test that did in Justin Gatlin. Hadn't heard of this cheap but effective option (Carbon Isotope Ratio), which picks up recent micro-dosing and was praised by Victor Conte(!):

    http://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2015/jun/14/willpower-cash-lacking-anti-doping-struggle

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    2. I heard Conte talk about this, too. and he pointed out that the thresholds used for an AAF using the TE ratio (rather than CIR) leave wiggle room for dopers. IIRC, a ratio of <1 is normal and >4 generates an AAF. Values in between tend to be increasingly "non-physiologic", but don't trigger a positive, so there's room for systhetic steroid use, as long as the athlete doesn't push it too far.

      I think it was in the interview that he did with the MMA journo, Joe Rogan. It's long (and it's been posted before), but worth watching. I wouldn't trust Conte 100% with his track record, but his insights are interesting.

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  5. Lance Armstrong's recent attempts to rehabilitate himself in the public eye make me sick.

    He should just disappear from the public eye, and not try to carve-out a post-cheating career.....

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  6. The WADA report of Averse analytic findings and their outcomes for 2013 is very interesting to read.....

    Tennis had 14 positives. No action for 4 of them, since the athletes had TUEs, and "there was no case to answer" in another 2, leaving 8 confirmed anti-doping rule violations.

    I don't understand the "no case to answer", unless they chose not to act on recreational drug positives......

    Across all sports, A total of 207,513 samples were received and analyzed in 2013 by WADA-accredited laboratories. 2,540 samples were reported as AAFs. Of these:
    -
    1,687 (66%) samples were confirmed as ADRVs (sanctions);
    223 (9%) samples were dismissed because of a valid TUE held by the athlete;
    347 (14%) were categorized as “no case to answer” (i.e. case closed for a valid reason other than a TUE);
    106 (4%) samples resulted in “no sanction” because the athlete was exonerated; and
    177 (7%) samples were still pending.

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    1. https://wada-main-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/resources/files/wada-2013-adrv-report-en.pdf

      The ITF collected 2578 samples. 12 generated adverse analytic findings. Among them, 4 had TUEs, and in a further 2, there was "no case to answer".

      this is what no case to answer refers to................
      Cases closed at results management level, excluding TUE cases. Such cases include for example: authorized route of administration for glucocorticosteroids; departure from International Standards; medically justified AAF (low-level athletes as per the definition of athlete in the Code*); cases outside WADA’s jurisdiction (including non-Code signatories); and, other particular cases (for example, THC cases that were closed based on the principle of lex mitior upon increase of the threshold in 2013 for this substance). "

      LOL that Portugal's NADO tested 3 times as much as their Spanish counterpart (!), and a third of the Spanish positives didn't result in anti-doping rule violations, based on TUEs/No case to answer or just no sanction given.................

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  7. Numbers in the WADA report don't seem to be tallying with ITF announced sanctions from 2013

    1] WADA reported 14 adverse analytic findings, of which 8 were found to be anti-doping rule violations (ADRV was defined in the report as "A decision was rendered and an ADRV was recorded against the athlete following a full disciplinary process. The sanction was either a reprimand or a period of ineligibility")
    The ITF only publicly sanctioned 6 players for drug related anti-doping violations that year, as far as i can tell (Aleksanyan, Aldossri, Gregori, Esteve, Llagostera Vives and Cilic). What happened to the other 2? Looking at the report, it looks like the athletes with positives that we don't know about were in-competition tests from Serbian, French and South African athletes.

    WADA reported 4 non-analytic anti-doping violations (these cover whereabouts violations, test refusals etc). ITF only sanctioned 2 athletes for these (Troicki and Da Silva Barata). What happened to the other 2? Based on the report is looks like the athletes were from Italy and Luxemburg.

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    1. Great work on this one. Almost unbelievable. After being told for years that a "silent ban" was impossible and prohibited by WADA, it now appears that entire story was a lie. Although the WADA rules never mention "no case to answer," apparently, the practice is to pretty much to allow anyone off for a variety of different and ill-explained reasons. Are we really supposed to believe that 14% of the positive tests were dismissed because of "departures from international standards?"

      It should be noted that the WADA rules only allow for a "no case" when there is a departure from international standard (that is, the test was not conducted properly). This report expands to far more items than permitted under Rule 7.2.

      Then, the ITF discrepancies that Arcus notes up above -- I haven't even started to look at those. Again, the ITF has assured as for years that this was impossible. Any doping violation would be publicly reported -- unless it wasn't, that is.

      I suggest that this be moved to its own thread -- this is really the biggest piece of news I have seen in a long time that completely undermines everything the ITF has been saying for years.

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    3. Firstly, WADA should be praised for their transparency. This is what you get from an independent organization. If only that principle applied to all parties involved in sport's 'fight against doping'.

      There may be valid explanations for the discrepancies that (I think) I encountered. I relied upon official ITF press releases as evidence of public sanctions for analytic/non-analytic ADRVs in 2013. If I was in error, mea culpa. If not, why were there no public reprimands, what were the circumstances, and why the lack of transparency?

      I still don't have a clear understanding of the 'no case to answer' situations... I don't believe WADA would generally tolerate this without good reason (and it seems to be an issue across many sports (based on their report), so I'd welcome clarification of this issue from those in the know......

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  9. Allow me to switch sports here...

    I surely must not be alone in thinking that Lebron James looks like a roided up monster, right? Basketball fans are seemingly as blind as tennis fans because I never hear anyone suggest James could be on some massive HGH regimen. Reminds me of 90s/early 00s MLB baseball players with that physique of his. And the press is fawning and drooling, pumping up puff pieces about King James left and right all the time.

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  10. Question that just occurred to me. If you are instructed to lose a match due to testing positive for PEDs, is that match fixing?

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  11. The study does not mean alcohol consumed by the mother is the cause of autism". you can try this out

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