Monday, November 23, 2015

Suck it other sports! (Updated)

"Mr Roman-Gomez, a 38 year-old player from Spain, provided a urine sample on 15 June 2015 in association with his participation in the F17 Futures event held in Martos, Spain (the “Martos Event”). That sample was sent to the WADA-accredited laboratory in Montreal, Canada for analysis, and was found to contain benzoylecgonine, a metabolite of cocaine..."

"Mr Martinez, a 24 year-old player from Venezuela, provided a urine sample on 14 June 2015 in association with his participation in the F17 Futures event held in Martos, Spain (the “Martos Event”). That sample was sent to the WADA-accredited laboratory in Montreal, Canada for analysis, and was found to contain cannabis..."

In other news: "The boss of the ATP said that tennis's reputation as a 'clean' sport was helping it attract blockbuster sponsorship deals."

Another big time bust: "Mr Gakhov, a 19 year-old player from Russia, was notified that he had been included in the International Registered Testing Pool under the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme (the “Programme”), and of the consequent requirement to make Whereabouts filings. He failed to comply with the requirement to make complete Whereabouts Filings..."

Update #2:
Gakhov has posted his test results:


  1. Just about all the major pro-sports are taking hits, atm. A Dinamo Zagreb soccer player got a 4 year ding for a doping-positive. Soccer's obviously has its recent corruption issues, but it's had relatively few doping positives. Tennis, however, chugs along nicely with its upper echelons utterly unscathed. Credible? I doubt it.

    In other news, the British press have been digging into IAAF president (and 6-figure-a-year-Nike-ambassador) Seb Coe's potentially conflicted relationship with Nike! Inference is that money might buy influence..... who would have thought!

    No one digs into tennis, though :(

  2. I'm confused.....

    World #421 Ivan Gakhov has been sanctioned for "whereabouts failures"

    "Mr Gakhov, a 19 year-old player from Russia, was notified that he had been included in the International Registered Testing Pool under the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme (the Programme”), and of the consequent requirement to make Whereabouts filings."
    But, why was he in the ITFs International Registered Testing Pool?

    "Selection of the 2015 ITF International Registered Testing Pool. The criteria for selection of players for inclusion in the IRTP has been based on the year-end rankings. Those selected for the 2015 IRTP includes (but is not limited to) the top 50 men and women by singles rankings, top 10 players by doubles rankings and top 10 men, women and quad wheelchair players. A list of these players can be downloaded from the bottom of this page."

    There are about 170 athletes in the testing pool (including men and women). There are some minnows on the list, but I don't see the point of including these random athletes...

    All these sanctions in the so-called "off-season" .... Hmmm

    1. Not sure why he was in the International Registered Testing Pool. This list is maintained by the ITF and presumably the ITF can put anyone on it they see fit.

      However, in looking into this, I found an interesting admission by WADA. Found here:

      While the above document is the 2014 version of the "Rules," it discloses what the "Rules" really were prior to 2009 for whereabouts. If you read Page 84, you will see that is says that if you missed a test prior to 2009, you could just make it up the next day. --- Yep, that what WADA says their own rules allowed (even though any remote reading of the rules would not allow anything close to this).

      So, basically, WADA has told us that whereabouts, prior to 2009 was a joke, was not enforced, and just let people make up their own rules for what constituted a "missed test." (Completely explains the Serena "panic room" incident.) However, now, they are clean -- really, just trust them.

    2. Those are the kind of watered-down rules you get when facilitators like Blatter and Verbruggen hold down influential committee positions in WADA. The place must be full of fifth columnists, placemen and spies.

    3. Obviously, it's not random. They're targeting him. Putting a 19yo ranked in the 400s in a whereabouts program suggests to me they have intelligence that something is going on.

      But what on earth could be suspicious about a Russian athlete training in Spain? lol.

  3. Am i the only one who thinks Wayne Odensik retirement and subsequently dropping off the face of the earth strange - i mean after May 2015 there's nothing on an internet search or follow up articles (which i thought would be a media stable).
    I watched an interview at Wimbledon 2013, the parallels to Armstrong type rebuttal is sickening.

  4. Why whistle blowers are crucial for sport

    Good read. Tennis is in bad need of one.

  5. Incredible
    Betting company to sponsor Davis Cup and Fed Cup tennis

    1. Betfair had a commercial deal with the Australian open in 2010, which was widely criticized in the press. Since that time, 'Bet-at-home' has continued to act as a tournament sponsor in Hamburg and Linz. Tennis means income for gambling operations, hence the interest. My gestalt is that the ITF take a more hard-line view of match-fixing vs. doping, and that gambling-sponsorship is the reason.

      While fact checking this, I came across an 2010 ESPN article I hadn't seen previously. It dealt with a law suit by several Italian tennis players who were sanctioned for betting on matches. They were (basically) suing the ATP, saying it was unfair to persecute minnows, while covering-up similar offences in higher ranked players, in order to protect tennis' reputation. Bracciali and Starace were among the instigators (both later banned for match fixing), so unclear if the testimony/sentiment is totally reliable. This was the time-period where a match involving (then world #4) Davydenko was scrutinized for potentially irregular betting patterns, and Betfair (ironically) voided $7M in bets.

      "Their suit, filed in the Middle District of Florida, claims that the ATP violated its "fiduciary duty" to them by, among other things, "discriminately targeting them as low-ranked, less prominent professional tennis players ... and by ignoring more serious violations ... by high-ranked, more prominent professional tennis players in order to avoid negatively impacting its revenue and reputation."

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. I agree. Remember some years ago a "black list" was released that had names of 41 players suspected of match fixing. It had some well known players:

      Philipp Kohlschreiber
      Potito Starace
      Andreas Seppi
      Fabio Fognini
      Janko Tipsarevic
      Michael Llodra
      Nikolaj Davydenko
      Teymuraz Gabashvili
      Victor Crivoi
      Christophe Rochus
      Oscar Hernandez
      Jevgenij Korolev
      Filippo Volandri
      Wayne Odesnik
      Victoria Azarenka
      Agnieszka Radwanska
      Francesca Schiavone
      Sara Errani
      Maria Kirilenko
      Kateryna Bondarenko

      Brian Dabul, Eduardo Scwhank, Jeremy Chardy, Simone Bolelli, Lukasz Kubot, Carlos Berlocq, Igor Kunitsyn, Andrej Golubev, Alex Bogomolov, Somdev Devvar-man, Steve Darcis, Marin Cilic, Flavio Cipolla, Ivo Karlovic, Viktor Troicki, Flavia Pennetta, Roberta Vinci, Virginie Razzano, Romina Oprandi, Dominika Cibulkova, Eleni Daniilidou

      And also this:

    4. With that number of players involved (some still active as of 2015) it's enough to affect the outcome of tournaments or even grand slams. How genuine is pro Tennis?
      I'm still finding it hard to digest the outcome of the 2015 Ladies US Open. Vinci who played "out of her mind" against Serena in a SF match but couldn't find the same form against the older and ill Venus in any subsequent matches (Wuhan, Bejing...i think). Vinci then lost to Pennetta who she classed as her "sister" before the Pennetta makes the big reveal on her retirement. Its all seems to contrived to me. I also wonder to how much money the bookies made from Serena's calendar slam lost considering it was giving for most.

  6. Coe steps away from 100k Nike ambassadorial role

    I still think there are too many unanswered questions with him, but at least he wasn't able to brazen this one out.

    Pressure for positive change can work, but there just isn't anywhere near enough in tennis.

    1. The main unanswered question with Coe is "Was he so incompetent that he wasn't aware of his boss's corruption, or was he covering up for what he knew was going on?". He can't win, and the bottom line is that he's the wrong man for the job of rebuilding confidence in the IAAF.

  7. Cloud of Corruption and Doping Hangs Worldwide

    "The blows to sports credibility keep coming."

    "In my view, any antidoping system that allowed this to happen needs wholesale change,” said Richard Ings, the former chief executive of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority. “Remember, it was the media, not the system, that picked up these issues. Indeed, the system for some time pushed back on the media message, so any system that allows this type of conduct to occur is a flawed system.

    “There are several hundred antidoping organizations, or ADOs, all responsible for managing their little piece of global antidoping,” Ings said. “Each of those ADOs has the ability to be judge and jury on athlete cases. Oversight is poor and sporadic. ADOs are never held accountable for their own compliance with the system. This is the incubator for fraud, and it has to be wholesale addressed."

  8. In other news........

    FIFA medical chief: No evidence of doping in world football Hurrah!!

  9. "FIFA sponsors demand 'independent oversight' of reforms "

    "LONDON (AP) — Five of FIFA's sponsors have written to the executive committee of soccer's scandal-battered governing body demanding "independent oversight" of the reform process.

    Sponsors were originally promised places on the FIFA reform committee. But instead of being invited into meetings discussing the overhaul of the organization, they have only been offered seats on an advisory board which is yet to be appointed."

    Pressure from sponsors and fans is critical in getting ADOs to take doping seriously........

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  11. The press ought to start looking at those old, untainted heroes of the track - Coe, Cram and Ovett - and see what they actually did get up to. They must have been smashing cheats left, right and centre. Blood doping was rife by the 80s and wasn't actually banned most of the time. They were certainly aware of the possibilities, particularly Coe's trainer dad, known for his 'cutting edge' training techniques.

  12. Victor Conte: Banned substance use in sport is rampant

    Re: IGF1-LR3
    “The tests they have for growth hormones are relatively weak,” claims Conte. “My understanding from talking to lots of people in lots of different sports is that there is a rampant use of this substance, and it’s not being detected by the WADA testers.”

    In short

    and in more detail........Discussion of the IAAF scandal, with David Walsh.

    1. Long version is a must listen.

      Vitaliy and Yuliya Stepanov get the credit they deserve, and Coe gets roundly castigated for his handling of the situation.

  13. Kermode on the current state of the ATP......

    Basically, everything is wonderful, and the money is flowing in. Oh, and he'd like another 3 years in the top job, please. Puff-Piece. No mention of protecting tennis from doping, match fixing, or corruption, which is so just out-of-tune with the current environment of world sport.