Friday, September 18, 2015

For Laughs

20 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. This guy is a "Contributing writer", which to me means his bread and butter is to reel off reams and reams of disposable articles that will fill a space in a publication. Whenever i see articles from Ben appear on a website i know it's a slow week for news. In fairness to him though he did ask Djokovic a question on Odensik but has been subdued since - wonder if he got himself into trouble?

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  3. It's clear that Rothenberg, Nyugen et al. would much to prefer to report about gossips, feuds and other petty topics. Never will you see them delving into the issue of doping in the sport as their livelihoods depend on being Tennis journalists.

    "And being a blabbermouth wouldn't help my work. The end"

    Says it all really.

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  4. "UEFA play down doping fears despite report showing 67 players with high testosterone levels"

    UEFA responds to the study, which showed about 8% of players had suspicious testosterone levels......

    "UEFA has had a very thorough anti-doping programme for many years with over 2000 tests a year and only two occurrence of positive tests, both for recreational drugs, which proves that doping in football is extremely rare.

    So negative testing means clean athletes? Hurrah! That means tennis is clean too!!

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/uefa-play-down-doping-fears-6480400

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    1. YES! That means Armstrong was clean too. Phew. And here I thought he was a doper.

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  5. Actually, I get that reporters can't be in the business of speculating and I respect Rothenberg, who I think is a good reporter. His pieces in the NY Times have been pretty consistently well reported. Let's hope reporters are actually using their reputations for objectivity to do some sleuthing on this issue. Given our lack of confidence in the whole testing process, I do think an admission by a player's team member or doctor would be the bombshell that would blow this issue open.

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  6. I agree with Mary.

    For this issue to get real journalistic traction, I suspect it's going to require 2 things.

    First, it'll take new information. I don't see a journalist revisiting the panic room, Del Moral, or Fuentes without something fresh to renew interest. I'm not talking about a major revelation proving doping (since this which would force all journalists to deal with the issue), but new information that creates fresh suspicions and invites renewed scrutiny.

    Secondly, I think it will require one or more committed individuals from major publishing outlets whose stature and reputations are such that the sport can't turn their back on them. They would also need solid management backing. The pressure in cycling came from leading journalists from the Sunday Times (who got sued), and the NYT, among others. I also think you need journalists who are passionate about clean sport, and prepared to put that ethical stance ahead of their love for a sport and its athletes. Those folks are a rare breed.

    With all due respect to Ben Rothenberg, I think it's too big an ask for someone in his position. I don't mean that in a snide or negative way, I just suspect he has too much to lose by suddenly becoming the guy who peppers players and tour officials with the awkward questions we'd like to see asked.

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    1. I agree he's a small fish. But the big ones don't get motivated by swift, sudden comments. They do by seeing the small ones get restless.

      By the way, have you seen: http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2015/09/dimitrov-hires-former-del-potro-coach-franco-davin/56426/#.VgTFXrSprFI

      Is it just me or is Dimitrov looking urgently for a doping coach more effective that Rasheed?

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  7. WADA interviews WADA DG Davis Howman.........

    https://www.wada-ama.org/en/media/news/2015-09/wada-talks-with-david-howman

    Not much of interest, but I was disappointed with his response to the issue of National Federations being inherently conflicted. He said that WADA oversee and give them the seal of approval (or not). Problem is that WADA don't decide whose tested, when, and how often.

    He also says >90% of athletes are clean. How can he be so sure about that?

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    1. More of a problem is that WADA is spending money on "WADA Talks" -- an internet based talk show about how "clean" sports are. Here's an idea....use the money to actually test people.

      In any case, "WADA Talks" generally only gets a couple hundred views per "episode," so it is probably not reaching anyone anyway. Those hundred are probably just WADA employees clicking over and over again on the videos to promote their own propaganda.

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  8. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3243399/The-rise-BIGOREXIA-male-gym-goers-anxieties-muscles-excessively-lifting-weights-taking-steroids-leading-depression-suicide.html

    Talks about health issues with steroid use for amateurs.

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  9. "Another rider caught in retesting of doping samples"

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/cycling/2015/09/21/another-rider-caught-in-retesting-of-doping-samples/72560324/

    "retesting" is one of my favorite words...... If I had my way, the statute of limitations would be increased again, and AD samples would be aliquoted into multiple units, so retesting could bedone again and again as technology improves. That might be a more effective deterrent

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    1. Interesting. So the sample was provided in 2012, and retested in 2015, returns positive for EPO. But what has changed in the EPO test since 2012? the UCI simply said "new scientific developments," but what were those developments? Testing in 2012 was robust for EPO, or so we were told by WADA. So, were they covering up the truth then, or are they covering up the truth now?

      In any case, no chance any sames will be resubmitted by the ITF -- being that tennis is completely clean and all.

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  10. Decent article on the BBC regarding potential drugs problems within Rugby Union; interesting to note both the tone, and the timing of the article - slap bang in the middle of the World Cup, and appearing on a major news outlet:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/rugby-union/34314851

    Some may believe however that the BBC have another agenda here. Since the Rugby Union WC UK TV rights did not involve the BBC, they have been putting out a stream of negative articles about the sport. But, whatever works.

    BBC to publish a similar article on tennis during Wimbledon? Not on your life, Reg.

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  11. Well-informed discussion about the recent UEFA testosterone study....... Doping discussion starts about 40% in. Sensible comments about federations being conflicted. Interesting to hear about reports of soccer players getting 'vitamin shots' and having elevated red-cell counts.

    http://www.newstalk.com/podcasts/Off_The_Ball/The_Off_the_Ball_Football_Show/106147/

    "Off the ball" has featured really good items about doping in sports.

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  12. World Rugby will not reveal how many doping tests it will conduct over the next six weeks of the World Cup. But it maintains that the sport is clean at elite level.

    Rugby union led the number of positive tests in Britain last year. But World Cup officials at Twickenham say the sport at international level does not have a problem with drug cheats, despite the game becoming bigger, faster and stronger.

    “We do not believe there is a culture of systematic doping at elite level,” said a World Rugby spokesman. “Nonetheless, we are not complacent about doping in our sport.”

    http://www.irishtimes.com/sport/rugby/international/world-rugby-cites-the-clean-elite-despite-british-doping-figures-1.2362305

    Sound familiar?

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  13. David Haggarty has been appointed as the successor to Francisco Ricci Bitti, and will be the new president of the ITF.

    It would be desirable, IMO, if this post was given to someone with a robust history of fighting corruption and doping in sport (the overwhelming threats to tennis' integrity and long term prosperity), but it doesn't seem as if he's that guy. He has an tennis-related sports industry background, so I fear that he will prioritize sponsor-relationships, and fail to grasp the nettle when it comes to issues that could generate bad-for-business PR stories.

    In the race-for-election / lead up to his appointment, he said this.......

    "I think we are fortunate in that we have kept our eye on the ball and Francesco has done a very good job with the sport, from an anti-doping and a betting perspective. We're in good shape compared to many of the other sports. We don't have the governance issues that some sport have had and the clouds around distribution of funds and that sort of thing. So for me the exciting part is getting to focus on what needs to be done, and that is generate revenue to promote the sport.
    http://www.sportspromedia.com/quick_fire_questions/redressing_the_balance_david_haggerty_on_his_run_for_the_itf_presidency

    Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose, it seems, but who knows, maybe I'll be surprised.

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    1. It would be in the best interests of Tennis to employ someone who wants the integrity of the sport to be precedent. The reality is they will employ someone who'll be good for the business model - only when the business model is threatened will they try to establish/reestablish integrity. Which begs the question as was asked a few times on this blog - When will Tennis have it's day of reckoning in relation to coverups and drug scandals etc? I would say it's not a matter of if but when.

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  14. "I think we are fortunate in that we have kept our eye on the ball and Francesco has done a very good job with the sport, from an anti-doping and a betting perspective." That's all we need to know. More of the same. This is a clean sport...

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  15. Came across a weird article based on an interview with Serena Williams, discussing various split personalities...this is strange, very strange. With so much stigma out there around mental illness she's let perpetuate it by insinuating she could have a mental disorder to excuse her behavior...
    http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2013/05/serena-williams-explains-multiple-personalities/47701/#.VgZj0ctViko

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