Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Pills, Pills, Pills!

The Sharapova decision is out. In my view it pulls back the curtain on what elite athletes are really doing. What I mean is that it shatters the myth that elite athletes are superhuman heroes who just train hard and eat well. No, they are taking loads and loads of medicines and supplements. Anything to get an edge (legal and/or not).

Just read the decision. The information about Sharapova's pill regime is as astounding as it is disturbing. In 2005, she was given a proposed regime of 18 medications and supplements. By 2010, the regime had grown to 30 recommended substances. She says that she reduced down to 3 substances, but only at the end of 2012. This is truly scary.

If you had children, would you want them going into professional sports? I hope the answer is no.

172 comments:

  1. "If you had children, would you want them going into professional sports?"

    14 year old Stewart: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z67VKWopCNM

    There is always the military:

    Miami Tennis Pro Katerina Stewart Considers the Military Option
    https://www.ustaflorida.com/miami-tennis-pro-katerina-stewart-considers-military-option/

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  2. 31. […] However she was not following Dr. Skalny’s advice that Mildronate be taken only 30 or 40 minutes before matches, but instead took two capsules in the morning of match days, because taking pills just before a match did not give her a good feeling. Nor did she follow Dr. Skalny’s advice to take Mildronate in the course of a long match because, she stated, she did not feel comfortable with putting pills in her mouth during a match.
    -
    What is Djokovic secretly taking?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxzIfPxbdGI

    I can’t seem to find it now, but there were similar videos that showed Venus Williams with some sort of inhaler on court and also another of Lendl putting some substance in a bottle and passing it on to Murray during a match.

    Whilst I’m not saying that they were all taking PEDs, it brings up the question of why Sharapova didn’t want to be seen doing the same. Is it a common practice? I presume she didn’t want to cast suspicion on herself.

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    1. Djokovic, and Nadal (as revealed by this year's FO pundit discussions between Jim Courier and Marian Bartoli) opt to eat a nice healthy snack of dates in between sets.

      I find it interesting that of all the players on the ATP tour (there could of course be others), those two have started to do this. Call me over-zealous with the tin foil hat of you like, but that seems a little, shall we say 'interesting'?

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    2. Dates are a natural masker for a particular chemical enhancer. Little known, but it works.

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    3. Or you could stuff pills into the dates and consume as required during a match in plain sight.

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    4. U all bring up a very interesting point. When they are eating during changeovers, what have they got hidden in their snacks? And what snacks do actually mask what particular enhancement substances?

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  3. "If you had children, would you want them going into professional sports? I hope the answer is no."

    This is my main point! Steroid use inherently implies mood swings, addiction, eventual loss of muscle tone, possible auto-immune conditions and could bring on an early demise! How could you stand by and watch your child sign up for this! All the result of the modern mutation of the game, which is NOT an improvement over the classic, all court game, with its lovely effortless backhand drives and more sensible continental and eastern forehand grips. Love to turn back the clock on this one, and am very grateful for the one in four top 100 men who with their coaches and parents made the choice for REAL tennis! In my humble opinion, most of these should be least suspect for steroid use, as they are putting forth a lot less efforts to achieve the same results.

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    1. I almost feel like she was being groomed like a race horse. Although Sharapova has to take responsibility for taking this drug, I can't help but see an element of abuse in this story and I am 100 percent sure she's not the only one being fed a pile of pills by someone who is allegedly looking out for the athlete's "health."

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  4. The surprise for me is the sheer number of substances that Sharapova was taking, rather than the fact she doped. In cycling for example, a common combo was EPO, supplemented with testosterone 'eggs' (large capsules); and the elite/hardcore also blood doping when intermittently free of drugs - from what I recall of Hamilton's/Flandis' revelations, it was never a vast quantity of combined drugs/supplements such as Maria was taking. I was almost certain that a caught doper in tennis would be along similar lines to cycling - but then again Sharapova was not exactly a stamina freak, and perhaps her regimen leant more towards increasing power and explosive speed; ergo her tacticless ball-bashing.

    Knowing that Maria was on such a vast quantity of medication, are we really supposed to believe that Djokovic survives on water, almond milk and runner beans alone...? Sharapova is not even close to being the most suspicious player on the tour!

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  5. I don't know what is worse, the fact that she was on 30 pills and doped to the eyeballs, or the fact that even with all that chemical assistance she still could barely take a set off Serena in the last 10 years.

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    1. and what does that tell you?

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    2. When I read the ITF decision that Sharapova was on 30 pills I about fell out of my chair. It's insane!

      As Lopi said, the fact that even with all those drugs she still couldn't beat Serena is very telling (about Serena - not Maria). If people think Serena isn't doping then I don't know what to tell them.

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  6. ok, it's the stupid side of me talking. but i feel very sad for sharapova. sigh. and to think serena is running about living in her panic room without any consequences

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    1. That shouldn't make you sad, it should make you angry. Why do some players get caught and others can win 21 slams and play till they're 40 (probably)? I question whether some of Serena's mysterious absences from the tour could be silent bans. To me, it is just inconceivable that she has never tested positive.

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    2. I don't feel sad for Sharapova at all. She was on 30 pills! I don't believe for a minute she didn't know about the meldonium ban, she arrogantly assumed she would never get caught.

      Once again I agree with Lopi. It should make you angry that players like Djokovic, Serena, Nadal, etc. have been able to beat the system and probably will never get caught. I'm hoping that Sharapova is only the tip of the iceberg and that we see more big names get exposed.

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  7. isn't it cheating?? two years ban is a joke, unbelievable.

    19. In the period from January to April 2006 Dr. Skalny sent very detailed messages to Ms Sharapova advising on her nutritional intake, including advice as to medications. The messages which have been disclosed include the following advice given in 2006 on taking Mildronate:
    “Mildronate 1-2 X 10, repeat in 2 wks (before training or competition)”
    “1 hr before competition, 2 pills of Mildronate”
    “During games of special importance, you can increase your Mildronate dose to 3-4 pills (1 hr before the match). However, it is necessary to consult me on all these matters (please call)”
    “30 minutes prior to a training session: Mildronat – 1 Capsule. 30-45 minutes prior to a tournament Mildronat 2 capsules”.

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    1. It is straight up cheating. She was doped to the gills for a decade or more and now has the insolence to LIE to us all about it. If CAS reduce this to 12 months and the shrieking swine is back again before we know it, I hope we grows a gram of humility and stops her tortuous grunting every time she hits the ball. After all, less dope (presumably) upon her return will mean less power in her shots.

      Then again less dope will also mean more motivation to put off opponents in other ways, being the dirty cceat that she is, so her shrieking may actually increase too.

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    2. Her prescription for meldonium expired in 2013. Where was she getting the pills from 2013-2016? It is clear as day she was cheating and lying about her condition.

      I hope her sentence isn't reduced but knowing that other players had their suspensions reduced (hello Marin Cilic) and the fact that WADA stupidly backtracked on the effects of meldonium, might work in her favor. Then again, I don't think they want to risk the outcry of being seen as caving to big stars and making suspensions meaningless.

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  8. As others have said, she was taking all these pillls all these years, and we are meant to believe that while Serena was whipping her butt all these years, Serena is 100% clean? (Whilst running to her panic room for good measure.) It's all so completely ridiculous I cannot believe that the general public take his seriously.

    And while Dopapova was running around taking her doping pills before every important match for years on end, the current gluten free superman of the moment, probably to win the grand slam this year, thrives and outlasts all comers on a diet of not much more than organic soy beans and water vapour?

    When oh when will people wake up??

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  9. LOL.. It is indeed a joke.

    On another note, I just watched young Taylor Fritz take Federer to three sets in Stuttgart. The kid is good. He has a bright future ahead of him. I would like to think he's clean. I guess in a perfect world he is. We need some good young blood to start winning some tournaments. Out with the old, in with the new (hopefully clean) players.

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    1. There are at least two photos of Taylor sitting in a CVAC pod on the internet - one featured on the ATP website. Makes me think the use of the 'egg' is not so unusual. It is not illegal apparently but does raise the question of ethics and sportsmanship.

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  10. I still worry, as I said on the previous thread, that tennis will use Sharapova, who basically fell into their laps, as proof that it is doing a good job with regard to doping. "Look, we took down a star; we must be doing a great job. You can be sure everyone else is clean!!" I think that may be one of the reasons for the harsher than expected (but reasonable) penalty.

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    1. There's no doubt snaring Sharapova is a huge boon for anti-doping forces, but it has also left me feeling less than optimistic that there will be a another high profile bust anytime soon, for two reasons principally:

      1. Catching Sharapova was a fluke. It required mindboggling negligence on her behalf (or someone’s) to get caught in the first place and then had it not been for what will undoubtedly go down in the annals of PR history as a catastrophic misstep, she probably would have got away with it.

      2. I am still taken aback by how few of her team knew she was taking Mildronate - her father, an obscure doctor back home in Russia and perhaps her agent (although I suspect he didn’t, and was trying to cover for her.) Who needs Omerta when it’s only your dad that knows? This episode tells me that the people in the know surrounding all the usual suspects are likely equally as tiny, and therefore the chances of a whistleblower are miniscule.

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    2. @Northwestcircus, right, but that is also a reason for hope. One might be suspicious about Nadal and Djokovic, but then you look at Uncle Tony and Djokovics father, you study their faces, expressions, body language, and you immediately get this inner peace and conviction, that these honest and trustworthy fellows would never do anything unallowed to help their players win. Never. Ever. :-)

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    3. @Manas, Lol. That's exactly the feeling I get when I study the face of Marián Vajda. Nothing shifty about him at all.

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    4. And then the angel face of Boris Becker. Who would not leave his little kids with nice uncle BB?

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    5. BB is the useful idiot who watches his maestro play with a look of contentment that can only be achieved by someone who genuinely believes that his mere presence in the players box is the source of all Djokovic's success.

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  11. Federer"s response to Sharapova's ban (from his press conference today in Stuttgart):

    "To me, it's about zero tolerance, you know, it's nothing to do with anybody, it's something wrong and it's zero tolerance. Doesn't matter if they did it on purpose or not. I don't really see the difference. You need to know what goes into your body. You have to be 100% sure of what's going on and if you're not, (couldn't hear what he said here). Of course she's got the right to fight the case like everybody else as well. It's just completely zero tolerance and I'm staying by my word that we should be saving blood samples for 10, 15, 20 years so we have to scare away the people who think they can cheat, you have to scare them so they will not do it. So they could retroactively also be banned or take away titles and so forth."

    and then someone asked him the process and he said:

    "Well, You're the guy sitting with the guy testing you so only you can fill it out (the form I assume) so I'm never with somebody, I'm always alone there so I'm the guy filling out my address, I'm the guy filling out what I took, and I sign the name at the bottom. Pretty simple."

    http://www.facebook.com/mercedescup/?fref=ts

    Pretty strong words from Federer, especially with regards to keeping samples.

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    1. He has incredible guts and a very cold poker face if he is / has been on something. Or he is just straight forward and completely honest about it. Having followed his career and person for many many years, I believe the second. In any case, his speech on this topic is consistent and absolutely flawless.

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    3. @Manas

      His insistence on saving blood samples is a certainly a strong indicator in favour of your second scenario. I hope they heed his advice, although as with Sharapova, I'm sure many of the cheats out there are taking other obscure substances, only available in Russia etc, that are unknown to doping controls and therefore "perfectly legal" and will get to keep their titles.

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    4. @Lopi

      your final comment to your post was:

      "Pretty strong words from Federer, especially with regards to keeping samples."

      I don't agree at all because in reality it's just pretty formal words from Federer, espacially with regards to keeping blood samples!!

      I'll explain it better!!

      Any sport journalist who walks uprightly ( and not bootlickers!! ) would have asked Federer the following questions:
      "Hey Federer, you can talk the talk but can you walk the walk? Why don't you give straightaway your blood samples, from the oldest to the latest, to an independent anti doping laboratory to make us know the results as soon as possible?
      If by chance there isn't any old blood sample of yours any more, given the fact that you have stressed the importance of saving blood samples many times over the recent years, how about you haven't told them to save your old blood samples?"

      As you see, dear Lopi, talk is cheap!!

      Especially if you are a star surrounded by yes-men!!

      Best regards.

      Fabrice

      PS the same is true for example for Murray, recently he has said:

      "The winners of tournaments are getting £700,000, yet the anti-doping program for the year is probably a few million dollars," by Andy Murray

      Hence, any sport journalist who walks uprightly ( and not bootlickers!! ) would have asked Murray questions like:

      "By now you are a leader in the professional tennis world, why don't you give the example, as a true leader, of what you have just said? For example, every year, you could donate a percentage of your earnings to the WADA"

      and other similar meaningful questions!!

      But again, as you see, dear Lopi, talk is cheap!!





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    5. @fab farm why are you calling me dear?

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    6. Actually, I am not sure Federer has control of his blood samples and I don't know that the testing authority would allow for independent testing because that would break the chain of custody.

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    7. @fab farm "Talk is cheap"

      Yes it is. And it seems Federer is the only one talking. What about the world no. 1? What has he said in support of anti-doping measures? Does he agree with zero tolerance? What about Nadal? I guess he's too busy avoiding breaking his wrist to bother commenting. I suppose with you Federer is damned if he does and damned if he doesn't (talk).

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    8. @Fab farm: It would not be appropriate for an athlete to fund WADA. It would do nothing for the integrity of the sport to have WADA dependent on voluntary contributions from top athletes in order to fund it. As such, requesting top players to fund WADA would actually seem counter-productive.

      @Northwestcircus -- great summary of the real problem. Any top athlete can use a legal substance or get a TUE. We see obvious examples of meldonium (not banned prior to 2016) and xenon (no banned prior to 2015). WADA is well aware that athletes are taking these, as has been shown by past monitoring of meldonium and the recent efforts of WADA to develop a test for xenon.

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    9. @Lopi

      1)I've called you "Dear Lopi" because I was writing in a hurry, in French is "Mon ami" ( My friend ), in Italian is "Caro amico" ( Dear friend ) and so being in a hurry, I came up with "Dear Lopi"!!

      2) As far as "What about Nadal? I guess he's too busy avoiding breaking his wrist to bother commenting"

      I remind you that:

      A) "Roger Federer: ´I want to Win Wimbledon. Nadal? I´m a big fan of him´ "

      Source: http://www.tennisworldusa.org/Roger-Federer-I-want-to-Win-Wimbledon-Nadal-Im-a-big-fan-of-him-articolo32781.html

      B) Rafa Nadal gives Roger Federer praise during an interview at Indian Wells 2015.

      Go on google, type the words above mentioned and you'll find the full interview.


      Hence, they know each other that they have their own "little dirty secrets" for their overperformances and as a logical consequence they praise each other in the interviews for the joy of their gullible fans and complaisant ( to say the least! ) journalists!!

      That's it!!

      3) I also remind you that professional tennis world is a world full of hypocrisy, even on tennis courts for trainings, here is a smoking gun:

      "Former French Open semi-finalist Ernests Gulbis hits out at hypocrisy in tennis"

      http://sport360.com/article/tennis/french_open/179773/ernests-gulbis-searching-for-french-open-redemption-two-years-after-semi-final-berth/

      4) As far as "I suppose with you Federer is damned if he does and damned if he doesn't (talk)."

      I don't consider Federer damned at all in any case, I've simply pointed out that a sport leader must put in practice what he preaches, otherwise he is just the leader of the storytellings written by complaisant sport journalists for the joy of his naive fans; the same is true for any political leader, any money manager in the financial field, any professional leader in the medical field and so on!!

      Instead the real questions should be:

      why a simple and wise priciple like " Put in practice what you preach" has become so rare among Western leaders in almost any professional field? Too much money and power at stake to be morally coherent? What could be the bad consequences of such moral incoherent behaviours for our Western societies in the mid long term?

      Hence, demanding a moral coherent beahaviour in professional sports can be a meaningful starting point!!

      Best regards.

      Fabrice





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    10. @MTracy

      As far as your response:

      "It would not be appropriate for an athlete to fund WADA. It would do nothing for the integrity of the sport to have WADA dependent on voluntary contributions from top athletes in order to fund it. As such, requesting top players to fund WADA would actually seem counter-productive"

      I remind you that:

      1)Andy Murray already suggested players give up some of their prize money to help fund more and tougher testing, although there was mixed support among his peers Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic for going that far.

      Source: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2015/nov/14/andy-murray-tennis-drugs

      2)WADA contributions for 2015 from United Kingdom amount to only $746 grand!

      Source: https://wada-main-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/wada_contributions_2015_update_en_0.pdf

      Instead Andy Murray's earnings for 2015 amount to about ( prize money + sponsors ) $22 Million!!

      Hence, Andy Murray would be in the perfect position to donate a percentage of his yearly earnings to that British public entity that makes the annual contribuition for WADA!!

      Best regards.

      Fabrice

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    11. @Mary

      As far as your response:

      "Actually, I am not sure Federer has control of his blood samples and I don't know that the testing authority would allow for independent testing because that would break the chain of custody."

      I remind you that:

      1) "Since 2006, the ITF has managed, administered and enforced the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme on behalf of the ATP, and on behalf of the WTA since 2007"

      Source: http://www.itftennis.com/antidoping/about-the-programme/introduction.aspx

      There isn't any rule by ITF that clearly forbids a tennis player to double check his old blood samples by a third independent anti doping laboratory, on the contray in that case the problem would be the break of the omerta chain among top tennis players!!

      2)Here is the smoking gun:

      Andy Murray already suggested players give up some of their prize money to help fund more and tougher testing, although there was mixed support among his peers Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic for going that far.

      Source: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2015/nov/14/andy-murray-tennis-drugs

      Hence, if they have already problems for a small issue like this, imagine what bigger problems they could have for a far bigger issue like that we have just discussed!!

      Best regards.

      Fabrice

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    12. @Fab Farm

      I don't see you calling anybody else "dear". In fact if I didn't know better I'd think you were being condescending.

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  12. Nadal has apparently pulled out of Wimbledon.

    "No surprise, but Rafael Nadal has pulled out of Wimbledon because of his wrist injury."
    https://twitter.com/TomPerrotta/status/740935136728977409

    Olympics next?

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    1. Rafael Nadal to miss Wimbledon
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/tennis/36493725

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    2. Oh that is such a shock. I saw this coming even before he pulled out of Roland Garros. Next is Rio. Bye bye.

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    3. On reflection, I can now see why his team felt it was necessary to sacrifice the FO in hope people believed the injury was genuine this time. It would have been way too brazen even for Uncle Toni if Nadal had gone deep at Roland Garros and then pulled out of Wimbledon/Olympics again. And it probably gave a small veneer of credibility to some, no matter how far fetched.

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  13. The Spaniard is very fragile. No?

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    1. Did you not see his cast?

      Is hopefully gone by Olympics, no?

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    2. He was seen jumping from his boat into the sea with the cast on, landing at a weird angle no less. Nadal's case tends to baffle me at times. Why does he have to carry on with this charade - which is exactly what I think it is - when he can simply do what someone like Djokovic is? I know pro athletes don't share secrets but surely it isnt so hard to figure out?

      The only conlcusion I can come to is that he's abused his system for so long that only one form of juicing works now.

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    3. Or maybe the GF is pressuring him to have some baby Nadals. Don't all those PEDs affect one's fertility?

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  14. At Wimbledon, hopefully the media will ask all the players how many pills they are taking. Lets see if anybody can beat 30.

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  15. My big hope here is that Maria will say, via her lawyers: If I am going down, everyone else is too.

    And so would begin the witch hunt inside the ITF for documents, test results, etc. on EVERYBODY, which all would become public, etc.

    Not sure how farfetched my dream is but it would make for a good "suspense" movie. Hehe...

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  16. Has anyone noticed that no one in the sport is even mentioning the other positive tests in tennis for the same drug; of which I gather there were at least 19? It's all about Maria and let's pretend that's the end of the story.

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    1. Yep, they're only talking about Meldonium and Russia. "Nothing to see here, move along folks."

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  17. 30 pills!? Was any part of her natural?

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  18. I love how the media is already deflecting by using Sharapova as "proof" that doping doesn't work. Can they be even more cynical?

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    1. As per the Worldwide Leader in Sports:

      "Holes in doping, anti-doping efforts"

      "If Maria Sharapova did use meldonium as a performance enhancer, the greatest irony is that we have no idea whether the drug made any difference whatsoever."

      With that kind of writing, there is no way they want to uncover the drug cheats--they're probably just glad it's not their darling Serena.

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    2. So rather than ask the difficult question about why Sharapova is continually trounced by a more muscular, more powerful and more aggressive Serena - the media instead want to pretend that Maria's regimen is 'ineffective'.

      I really don't know what to say anymore. The world has it's head so far in the sand regarding tennis doping, that if Nadal himself held a press conference confirming 11 years playing under a complex EPO and blood spinning regimen, the media would likely play it down as another injury; a mental breakdown suffered by the stressed out humble bull.

      Jesus wept.

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    3. That's exactly it (and L-O-L at the second part; the press/media has become the marketing arm of (certain) athlètes, it's pathetic--look at Jon Wertheim, he is paid to report about tennis yet it took him YEARS to notice what us people have been shouting about for something like 7-8 years).

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    4. I am pretty sure that Nadal did have a press conference and talk about his extensive blood spinning. (https://huntsvilleprp.wordpress.com/2010/08/05/platelet-rich-plasma-and-rafael-nadals-knee-tendinitis/) (Note, it says he told the NY Times about it, so, some type of "press conference.")

      Shortly after the above mentioned press conference, the WADA confirmed that blood spinning is "not doping."

      If Nadal did get popped for EPO (which there would be absolutely no reason for him to take), I am sure they could rig up a TUE -- it is used for Sjogren's syndrome -- but it is not like a tennis player could pull off faking an auto-immune disease.

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    5. that's about the only excuse Nadal hasn't used yet. Wait for it. It's coming.

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    6. I don't know why Nadal doesn't just say "I'm skipping the grass season because I never do well on grass (since 2010) and I want to be ready for the US HC season and the Olympics." Why make up some lame injury? I think people would respect him more if he said that. But I'm pretty sure he's going to skip the Olympics as well. He could say he's afraid of the Zika Virus because he and his Maria want to start a family. No?

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    7. @ Lopi

      It's easy for one to get carried away and paint someone's complete personality based on one aspect that is seen as negative; but I genuinely think that Nadal is rotten to the core.

      He doesn't need to do any more than offer these 'lame excuses' because I think by now he knows how easily led the tennis fanbase is at large. The media and fan reaction is an outpouring of grief; Marion Bartoli all but got out a little shrine and conducted a group prayer session at this year's FO; such was here emotion at Raffer exiting the tournament.

      Being afraid of the Zika virus is neither 'humble', nor 'brave'. Like someone said earlier in this entry, much of it is ego with this guys. Not only is it winning at all costs, it's also about feeding their legend - in Nadal's case, it seems to be all about cultivating his myriad tour absences into some sort of heroic, lifelong fight against his own physical misfortune.

      Is character build, no?

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    8. Yes I know you're right. 100%. I think he will retire sooner than later for two reasons:

      1) If he thinks he won't win another slam he will think there is no point in continuing since his goal has always been to beat Federer's records.

      2) If he thinks they are cracking down too much on doping then he may believe it's better to get out while he's still observed as "clean" (i.e.: no public failed tests, no suspensions). Get out while he's ahead. There will always be that seed of doubt, as with Borg who retired early, that he could have maybe won more and this will also help his legacy.

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    9. Her bank account says that doping works very very well.

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  19. Ha ha, I notice Richard Ings, who used to comment here frequently, did his best to help out Sharapova. Seems to have reversed his position of player privacy to meet the needs of the Sharapova defense team. Richard, if you are still lurking about, perhaps you can tell us what you were paid for your testimony for Ms. Sharapova.

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    1. I was surprised that he apparently assumed the ITF would know about meldonium positives from the period when the drug was on the "watch" list, but prior to the ban. My assumption has been that these positives would not be reported to international federations, as there was no technical AAF or possibility of an ADRV.

      Also surprised that he referenced situations that pre-date tennis' adoption of the WADA code. He's normally very much a stickler for the prevailing 'rules and regs'

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  20. Tennis had to look 'firm but fair' in this case, even if they'd prefer to see her back filling stadiums. I expected the ITF to adopt a 'tough' public stance on this case, given the athlete's profile and current climate in terms of doping and issues relating to sport's governance. I was expecting an 18-24 month ban from IFT (unless Sharapova could produce compelling evidence in her favour, which she couldn't), but I wouldn't be at all surprised if CAS mitigate the sentence to a year.

    Several things struck me.
    1] Lindsay Davenport met with Sharapova after the press conference and announced that she had included meldonium on her doping control forms. We know now that this was not the case.

    2] Sharapova was working with the Russian Olympic team doctor for what appear to be minor medical ailments (!).

    3] Commentators, including Pam Shriver, continue to assert that Sharapova would have been better to say nothing and plead the "I stopped the drug in 2015", but this would not have have been effective, as he levels would have been far too high.

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    1. I understood that Lindsay Davenport was relatively scathing yesterday after the sentence was passed - perhaps I read her response wrong?

      So Davenport lied, if I am reading you correctly?

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    3. No, I was questioning if she (Davenport) was misled in the private interview with Sharapova and her lawyer.

      Davenport said this yesterday
      "As a former player, who has filled out those forms many times, it clearly asks for everything that you put in your body, from Advil to vitamins to birth control to you name it. The fact that she never once wrote it down even though she tested positive multiple times in 2015 and twice in 2016 is very incriminating to me"

      This doesn't resolve the issue of Davenport having stated publicly (after Sharapovs's press conference)that her understanding was that Sharapova had listed it on her doping-control forms..
      Davenport should address his

      Delete
    4. I would speculate that originally Davenport was misled by the Sharapova team, who came up with this little lie for the sake of their PR. Davenport thought she had some hot inside info and told us, and Sharapova got some positive PR spin.

      How that Davenport realises she was lied to for the sake of Sharapova's highly paid PR, she is letting us know by her notable comments!

      That's just a theory but it makes sense.

      Delete
  21. Here is a very good interesting article:

    "Sharapova vs. Steph Curry: Why We’re Dopes"

    http://smartup.life/sharapova-vs-steph-curry-why-were-dopes/

    Enjoy the reading!

    All the best!

    Fabrice

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am sorry, I miss the point of the article. People who are caught doping are rich but evil and people who are born with the right genes are rich and good?

      So, if you have to chose between being born with the right genes or doping, the author would chose being born with the right genes.

      Delete
    2. @MTracy

      For what I read and I understood, as far as professional sports, the article wants to point out the fact that giving too much emphasis to the physical part of the game to get physical overperformances to win often leads to doping, instead giving much more importance to the technical and strategic part of the game often leads to smart ways of training in which creativity can play an important role!!

      That's it!

      Best regards.

      Fabrice

      Delete
    3. As a follow up... Curry goes on a roid rage and get fined $25k... So much for the "nice guy..."

      https://www.yahoo.com/news/curry-gets-ejected-warriors-lose-game-6-nba-040739489--spt.html?ref=gs

      Delete
    4. @MTracy

      do you think by chance that it is the side effect of his abuse of steroids or some other PED?

      I don't think so!!

      Anyway, Sharapova has always been a very unfair tennis player, she was always shouting every time she hit the ball, etc..!! And she didn't get any fine just because her agent works for IMG, the most powerful sport agency in the world!!

      In fact, as a logical consequence, she was very disliked by almost all WTA players!!

      Curry just comes from another completely different planet!!

      Best regards.

      Fabrice



      Delete
  22. This just in; Johan Eliasch Head CEO called the Sharapova suspension a "flawed decision". These sponsors know that everybody is doping. They won't let their darling go down without a fight. The scapegoat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For those people who see Novak and Andy as suspicious, it's worth remembering that they are also Head athletes. In fact, Head created a special gold frame for Novack in honor of his French Open win.

      Delete
    2. Hmmm? Mary you're onto something. There is a link? It wouldn't surprise me if sponsors 'support' player drug habits. Like some underground mafia type thing. Doing things behind the scenes to protect their 'star' player.

      Delete
    3. I have to admit that I play with a Head racquet (actually a version of the Sharapova model) that I love. Best backhand ever.

      Delete
    4. You're discovering that sponsors defend and fund doping athletes? What is this? 2000? Please, did you forget... Nike?

      Delete
    5. @ Unknown I didn't know about that case.

      Delete
    6. Nike, Adidas et. al have been covering up negative doping tests for their athletes since the 1980s.

      Delete
    7. @untitlek9 --- I honestly had no idea about this. Please share more info, as I think we'd all love to know.

      Delete
  23. Coming out of left field but what percentage of tennis fans do we think are awake to the completely fraudulent era of this beautiful game ( though unwatchable on any given Sunday of a major these sad days). One percent? It seems to me a critical mass must be reached ( say ten percent) , unless it is already that high. Can independent exit polls be taken at slams with a simple question - "Do you think Nadal, Djokovic, or Serena are using or have used performance enhancement in their professional tennis careers?"' It's a study I'd love to see. Question them all out of the gates. As a former competitive player who is convinced and just can't stand the majors anymore, and the completely complicit, silent commentators, I am asking constantly, "What could blow this entire charade wide open!?"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "What could blow this entire charade wide open!?"

      -- A very courageous person who adores the game of tennis in its pure form. Or, as I stated elsewhere, an expert spy.

      Delete
  24. Has anyone seen the Lance Armstrong documentary of 1,5 hours long? Watching it last night just confirmed my thoughts about pro tennis and soccer. Soccer here in Europe is just about to be discovered through Dr Fuentes. Hell will brake loose and it might even overshadow Novak, Serena and Nadal being dopers. Because when we talk about Barcelona, Real Madrid etc. all of those top ranked tennis players don't mean shit to Europe, in comparison.
    And I mean to see Novak win, without those familiar breathing problems ever since 2011 is just f funny. But it's nothing like watching certain soccer players run like rabbits 90 minutes for a whole season. I was a pro soccer player... Impossible

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I own it. Also read read David Walsh's book on Armstrong, Tyler Hamilton's book on road cycling doping, read Charlie Francis' book (former coach of Ben Johnson) on Johnson's doping regime, read Dwayne Chambers' book on his own decision to dope, read Richard Moore's book on the 1988 Olympics men's 100m final... almost any documentary or book on athlete specific doping, I've read it.

      And all I see in tennis are the same indicators of drug-taking as described within the above documentaries and publications.

      Delete
  25. Will eyes turn towards Sharapova's protege?

    https://ca.sports.yahoo.com/blogs/eh-game/long-history-eugenie-bouchard-maria-sharapova-215342993.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If a part-time celebrity bottler like Bouchard is doping, then I think we can safely say that absolutely EVERYONE in the women's top 50 is also doping.

      When I saw EB get utterly mullered by Kvitova in the 2014 Wimbledon final, it sure as hell wasn't EB that looked like the suspicious one.

      Delete
    2. By now Eugenie Bouchard has been a loser tennis player for a long time, furthermore, as a logical consequence she can't be a frequent user of PEDs!!


      Anyway, here is what E.Bouchard said about the case:


      "I was very shocked and disappointed. As I said before, she was an idol of mine growing up. To think of your childhood idol and wonder if it was a lie, it really affected me a lot.
      We all don't know enough yet. But, you know, to question those things is very disappointing"

      Source: http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2016/03/mladenovic-calls-out-sharapova-other-players-express-disappointment/57884/#.V1u0hBLt1dg

      Best regards.

      Fabrice

      Delete
    3. @The Umpire Strikes Back!

      "When I saw EB get utterly mullered by Kvitova in the 2014 Wimbledon final, it sure as hell wasn't EB that looked like the suspicious one"

      Actually, anyone who knows something about WTA tour can say that Petra Kvitova is able to beat any tennis player when ( rarely!! ) really inspired because she is a very talented tennis player and she proved her natural tennis talent with oustanding results on tennis courts even before that final with Bouchard at Wimbledon, at those times, Petra Kivitova had already reached N 2 WTA as her best ranking, she had already won Wimbledon ( she beat Sharapova in two straight set at that final ) and she had won the WTA Finals ( she beat Victoria Azarenka who was N 1 WTA ) + several other tournaments. In other words, in 2014, Petra Kivtova wasn't an ordinary tennis player like E. Bouchard who hadn't won anything but she was already a tennis champion who had already won something very important!!

      Quite different!!

      Anyway, the only two facts that can raise some doubts about Petra Kivtova are the following:

      1) She suffered from mononucleosis.

      ( too much cases in professional tennis..!! )

      2) She said that Sharapova has been just an absent-minded person who forgot to have a look at the official updates of banned substances!!

      Anyway, I wouldn't bet my money on the fact that she is totally clean, the same is true for many other players!!

      Best regards.

      Fabrice

      Delete
    4. Agreed about mononucleosis, what is this anyway? Never heard off outside the tennis world, where it seems all too common. And while many things might make Federer less suspect than others, his mononucleosis case is very fishy

      Delete
    5. What I don't get is how some players can continue playing pretty much all year with mono, yet others disappear of the face of the planet for years and then retire *cough* Soderling *cough*.

      Regarding Kvitova, her movement is pretty awful but her shotmaking is legendary, which leads me away from PED suspicion.

      Delete
    6. If Federer is doping, he needs a new doctor. Pronto.

      Delete
    7. Doping aside Kviotas nonchalance in matches (some commentators have praised her positive body language when she is loosing horribly) have led me to believe maybe she has another way at making revenue than through winning tournaments.

      Delete
    8. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    9. Regarding mono; I always wonder if it's all about getting a TUE for a steroid, which is often prescribed as part of the cure. Kvitova won New Haven while she was supposedly still suffering from Mono, but I assume on some medication. Speaking of TUEs, I was watching the Dauphine this morning and heard the announcers mention that Chris Froome lives in Monaco...maybe he and Djokovic are "coffee" buddies? The commentary is similar with talk about Froome's extraordinary will to win.

      Delete
    10. Lopi's hilarious. Any Federer defeat is, in his eyes, the incontrovertible evidence Federer has always been clean. I wonder if he would control his instincts if he would ever have the chance to speak with him.

      Delete
    11. So what is your "incontrovertible evidence" that Federer is doping?

      Delete
    12. ... I think you misread. I said: "Any Federer defeat is, in his eyes, the incontrovertible evidence Federer has always been clean."

      When did I say whatever you said?

      Delete
    13. You merely play with words. Where did Lopi say exactly what you claim he said?

      Delete
  26. Sharapova wrote on her Facebook after receiving two year suspension:
    Today with their decision of a two year suspension, the ITF tribunal unanimously concluded that what I did was not intentional. The tribunal found that I did not seek treatment from my doctor for the purpose of obtaining a performance enhancing substance. The ITF spent tremendous amounts of time and resources trying to prove I intentionally violated the anti-doping rules and the tribunal concluded I did not. You need to know that the ITF asked the tribunal to suspend me for four years – the required suspension for an intentional violation -- and the tribunal rejected the ITF’s position.
    While the tribunal concluded correctly that I did not intentionally violate the anti-doping rules, I cannot accept an unfairly harsh two-year suspension. The tribunal, whose members were selected by the ITF, agreed that I did not do anything intentionally wrong, yet they seek to keep me from playing tennis for two years. I will immediately appeal the suspension portion of this ruling to CAS, the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
    I have missed playing tennis and I have missed my amazing fans, who are the best and most loyal fans in the world. I have read your letters. I have read your social media posts and your love and support has gotten me through these tough days. I intend to stand for what I believe is right and that’s why I will fight to be back on the tennis court as soon as possible.
    Love, Maria
    P.S. My lawyer prepared a short summary of how the ITF process works so I thought I would pass it along to my fans so you too can be aware of what the ITF rules call for

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wonder, does she believe it herself that these pills were not for intentional performance enhancement?

      Delete
    2. She and her marketing team want her fans still believe in her not intentional behaviour when she took all those PED pills!!

      Quite differente!!

      And you know why?

      They know very well that even nowadays:

      "There is a sucker born every minute" by P.T. Barnum

      In doing so, she'll keep on selling her fans her stuff like sweeties with her own brand and other stuff that her marketing team will invent for her naive fans!!

      All the best!

      Fabrice

      Delete
    3. She wants to fight for what's right? Laugh. Out. Loud.

      Delete
    4. No, she knows exactly why she was taking Meldonium (mildrate) along with the other substances. Maria "the queen of the small details" Sharapova is arrogant not stupid.
      The press conference, various Facebook rants (aimed at "you my fans"), wearing the "back in five minutes" shirt (at the launch of her recent Sugarpova product) are all to bring public opinion into her favor. i believe she's arrogant enough in her importance to the game that "her fans" will protest the ITF (or perhaps even Tennis events) if she spins her tale of woe correctly.
      In the meantime sit back and see how the psychology of fight or flight affects Maria. She will no doubt be watching her rankings and relevance to Tennis plummet with a year and a half let on the clock.

      Delete
    5. @Adam

      As far as "Regarding Kvitova, her movement is pretty awful but her shotmaking is legendary, which leads me away from PED suspicion"

      1)Petra Kvitova has just sent a tweet that starts in this way:

      "Life is short, break the RULES, etc..."

      https://twitter.com/Petra_Kvitova

      Considering that the official version says she is a shy girl, it's a bit strange to say the least..!!

      2) Any tennis player can't win Wimbledon for two times, the WTA Finals for one time and being the runner up of WTA Finals another time, if her movement is always pretty awful!!

      Best regards.

      Fabrice

      Delete
  27. Scathing article about drugs in sport including tennis: http://www.theroar.com.au/2016/06/12/meldonium-icing-sporting-worlds-drug-fuelled-cake/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Dania

      Meldonium isn't just the icing on the sporting world’s drug-fuelled cake; here is the explanation:

      Peter Larkins said the benefits of meldonium had similarities to EPO, which athletes including Lance Armstrong used to boost endurance, and stated it was significant that of those who had tested positive to the drug since January 1, “the majority were endurance athletes”.

      While some leading tennis officials have previously dismissed performance-enhancing drugs such as EPO as being beneficial to tennis players, Larkins disagreed.

      He said tennis at the elite level required endurance, frequent training and the ability to recover quickly to enable peak performance on a regular basis throughout the year.

      “The usage and abuse of (meldonium) is clearly in the endurance group,” he said.

      “That is why it has come up as a red flag and that is the situation in terms that it can assist in repetitive training and help aerobically … or in backing up day after day where you can see an advantage in recovering.”

      Source: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/sport/tennis/sharapovas-explanation-of-meldonium-use-doesnt-tally-with-medical-facts/news-story/a6c5dc5256b2a96deb7d37978b9ef41f

      Who is Peter Larkins:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Larkins

      http://www.drpeterlarkins.com/about/

      Best regards.

      Fabrice



      Delete
  28. http://www.tennisnow.com/News/2016/Murray-and-Lendl-Reunite-Ahead-of-Wimbledon.aspx

    Will we see the 10kph increase in his forehand speed too?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Perhaps he'll change his grip. I hear that works wonders for Tennis players.

      Delete
    2. It certainly works for Spanish players (but only for one tournament and then they have to revert back to the grip they were losing with).

      Delete
    3. If it does I'm sure it will be attributed to...new training methods.

      Delete
    4. Surely, tennis players defy expectations and science itself.
      Murray becomes stronger by the ego-boosting speeches of Ivan Lendl.
      Federer becomes healthier and beats his back problems by resting less, advised by our classy Edberg.
      Nadal cures his chronic injuries by applying medical therapies that have no evidence of working better than any placebo (mesotheraphy, PRP, stem cell).
      We can't forget Djokovic, who improved his stamina, his health, his allergies and maybe even his mental problems by changing... His diet?

      All inspiring stories.

      Delete
    5. Grip change theory isn't as outlandish as it seems. In spite of everything that Nadal has done, increasing his serve speed at the USO is highly unlikely to be due to doping.

      Delete
    6. http://www.tennistalk.com/en/news/20100928/Toni_Nadal_says_Nicklaus_golf_advice_helped_shape_Rafa

      "I saw a video by Jack Nicklaus that changed my vision," Toni Nadal told Spanish newspaper ABC. "In it Nicklaus said: 'First strike far, then we will think about getting the ball inside. I said to myself: 'This man must be right'." That is what I applied with Rafael. First strike hard, then we will get the ball inside."

      That kind of thinking produced the go-for-broke style of the powerful Nadal, winner of three of the season's four Grand Slams.
      -
      As for Murray, we'll all be watching closely.

      Delete
    7. "Grip change theory isn't as outlandish as it seems."

      Then, why didn't he stick with a winning grip? What happened after that USO? Oh I guess gluten-free trumps new grip.

      Delete
    8. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    9. Yeah, Beacon Tripper's take makes no sense--he drinks the Nadal Kool-Aid on that one. "I no use the new grip again because my knee it hurts, no?"

      Delete
    10. Makes no sense? I'm guessing you have never played tennis yourself. Its called feel.

      Watch videos of players from the start of their careers through to the end, and see how much swing patterns can change. Not everything is down to drugs, technique and timing can make a huge difference. Now whether there are drugs that influence that part of the game I do not know, but where the serve is concerned, I really doubt that is the case.

      Or do you really believe that Federer's serve is much bigger than Nadal's because he has significantly greater body strength? Of course not, he's just used a far better technique throughout his career. In the case of Nadal, I think unfortunately for him, old habits die hard.

      Delete
    11. We could also use the example of Djokovic's serve in this case. In Monte Carlo 2010, his serve was all over the place, struggling to hit a first serve, double faulting half the time etc. Since 2011, his serve has mostly been a stellar shot, with notable improvements since Becker joined his team. Given that Djokovic had a very good serve when he won his maiden slam in 2008, how was it possible that he lost this shot in 2010? Lack of drugs? And did gluten free enhance the shot in 2011?

      Delete
    12. Let's face it, Djokovic's 2008 AO title was a fluke. He had a pretty good draw, playing Federer in the SF who was suffering from mono allegedly (and I say allegedly because some here don't believe that he actually had mono). If it weren't for the lack of gluten he may never have won another slam. But confidence goes a long way, no? In 2011 he was on a roll and the more he won the more confident he got. I don't think you can compare him to Nadal's miraculous serve of the 2010 USO. I don't know what to attribute it to but I certainly don't think it was a grip change.

      Delete
    13. What I'm saying is that the drugs are merely a part of both the players' success. It is the sum of the parts that made them the monsters they turned out to be. If Djokovic didn't make technical changes to his serve and forehand, no amount of drugs would have helped him beat Federer.

      As for Nadal's serve, you can compare the trophy motions and relative positions of the elbows on his serve during the tournament, and before and after it. The serve grip is traditionally continental, although many players usually tend to have their knuckle placed either slightly clockwise or anticlockwise with respect to this base position. If Nadal was originally leaning towards a more anti-clockwise placement (which I suspect he was because of his usual leftie sidespin serves), the temporary change he might have made was to shift his knuckle clockwise, thereby making it easier to flatten his serve out.

      I assume that inability to retain this feel, or the fact that this change might have messed up with switching to his grips for other shots during a rally is the reason he was unable to replicate it afterwards.

      Another reason I believe the serve was down to a technical correction is because of his 2013 season. Equally a beast physically, but not producing the same serves.

      Delete
    14. For the record, I think Djokovic would have won 2 or 3 more hardcourt slams and maybe 1 Wimbledon without going "gluten-free". He was only worse than Federer and Nadal, and his technique and form in early 2008 wasn't a fluke, he won a lot more than just the AO 2008, and his serve and forehand were very much weapons, both of which went missing in the two years he struggled.

      What is of course astonishing and unnatural is the endurance he suddenly gained at the start of 2011, and the fact that he went on to win 12 slams - including 4 in a row. That, to me, is impossible unless he got routinely good draws on plexicushion
      across all slams.

      Delete
    15. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    16. He was hitting bombs at the 2010 USO, it was not just a slight increase in speed. Even John McEnroe--ever the superstar apologist--made a remark to the effect that he was highly skeptical that a simple grip change could lead to such an increase in velocity.

      Nowadays, he serves harder than he did back in 07 or 08, but it's nowhere near the ridiculous levels he reached in September of 2010. Is curious, no?

      Delete
    17. "He was only worse than Federer and Nadal"

      Well he may have been ranked #3 but he was certainly losing to many players, not just Federer and Nadal: Davydenko, Simon, Roddick, Anderson, Federer, Wawrinka, Nadal, Safin, Murray, Blake, Tsonga, Karlovic (and some of these multiple times). In 2009, and 2010 similar stats. But in 2011 he lost only 6 matches, his first loss being at RG to Federer. All players should give up gluten.

      Delete
    18. @Beacon Tripper
      Actually, it's well known that the reason Djokovic's serve was so crappy after 2008 is because he hired Todd Martin who then proceeded to make changes to his serve motion. Martin's changes made Djoko's serve worse and Djoko fired him in 2010. I guess that's when the 'resurgence' started, though getting his serve back doesn't explain the dominance in 2011 (and later seasons).

      Delete
    19. The serve and forehand are part of the reason he became a better player, that's all I'm saying - which is also why I think he would have won slams in spite of going "gluten-free". The drugs are probably the main reason he became as good as he did, but I disagree with the notion that Djokovic would not have won more slams without them.

      Yes, the Martin saga had everything to do with technique and was a temporary problem, which is precisely why I don't see why Rafa's ascendance couldn't be technical. If someone can lose their technique for a short period of time, why can't someone sustain an improved technique for a short period of time?

      Like I said, people like Federer, Sampras etc prove that a bigger serve is not all about physical strength.

      Delete
  29. http://www.tennisnow.com/News/2016/Murray-and-Lendl-Reunite-Ahead-of-Wimbledon.aspx

    Will we see the 10kph increase in his forehand speed too?

    ReplyDelete
  30. 1) A "Curious" Use of the Human Growth Hormone

    New elixir of youth
    It's said to boost memory and libido - and reverse ageing, but as women AND men inject Human Growth Hormone, we reveal the troubling truth...

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2012012/Human-Growth-Hormone-We-reveal-toxic-truth-elixir-youth.html

    2)Here is another case of HGH use ( among others.. ) in the show biz:

    "Doping in the fashion world regarding female and male models"

    http://www.my-personaltrainer.it/sport/doping-fotomodelli.html

    ( The article is too long and I can't translate it from Italian into English, hence, in the case you're interested in, go on https://translate.google.it/?hl=it - it's free!! )

    In conclusion, if Human Growth Hormone is even used in the show biz, imagine what can be used in the professional sports where there are tons of money at stake!!

    The sky's the limit!!

    Best regards.

    Fabrice

    ReplyDelete
  31. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  32. ITF has banned a doctor for 4 years

    13 June 2016 – London, ENGLAND - An Independent Tribunal appointed under Article 8.1 of the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme (the "Programme") has found that Elena Dorofeyeva committed an Anti-Doping Rule Violation under Article 2.8 of the 2014 Programme and as a consequence has imposed a period of ineligibility of four years, commencing on 1 May 2016.

    Ms. Dorofeyeva, a doctor from Ukraine, was alleged to have administered a stimulant (DMBA) that is prohibited under the 2014 WADA Prohibited List, to Kateryna Kozlova in November 2014. Ms. Dorofeyeva submitted motions that the charge against her be dismissed on the grounds that (a) she did not fall within the definition of Player Support Personnel and so was not bound by the Programme, (b) the deadline under the Programme for a preliminary hearing lapsed, and (c) her right to a fair trial had been compromised.

    http://www.itftennis.com/news/231260.aspx

    ReplyDelete
  33. Operation Puerto: Blood bags in doping case to be handed over - Spanish court

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/36527895

    Pls let this be as good as I hoped it to be.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Not really....

    "Statute of limitations on doping offences

    Even where the bags are saved and the blood examined any positive findings will almost certainly go unpunished: in Spain the statute of limitations in Spain in 2006 was three years. The World Antidoping rules allowed for a period of eight years back then. Time limits that have passed to bring a case against the athletes in question."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wouldn't matter, any athlete who is revealed to have a blood bag with Fuentes would have a great deal of trouble convincing people they weren't doping. Reputations would be ruined, achievements tainted, and there would be widespread vindication for those who claimed doping to be as widespread and entrenched as hopefully the bags will demonstrate.

      Delete
    2. In the first instance, I'm looking forward with glee to see how various tennis stars react when asked about this. So wish Nadal was playing at Queens today.

      Delete
    3. ‘Operation Puerto case is beyond a joke… biggest cover up in sports history?’

      Andy Murray, at the time the bags were ordered to be destroyed.

      Delete
    4. I would be happy just to see the names and have the dopers exposed. Let them keep their false titles and ill-gotten riches. As Northwestcircus says, their reputations would be tarnished and great big asterisks would be placed beside their achievements. Oh how I pray for this to happen.

      Delete
    5. Agree with NWC and Lopi. Don't care about a sanction at this point, I just want the truth to be made public. Anyone named will have their reputation ruined. The cynic in me is not holding out hope that leading soccer and tennis players will not be somehow protected, though.


      Interested to learn what the Italian angle is.
      "They must now be given to the World Anti-Doping Agency, cycling bosses and ***the Italian Olympic Committee***."

      Delete
    6. Is it meaningless now. In 10 years, those bags could easily be tampered. I doubt any important name will come up.

      Remember that not all athletes were in Operation Puerto. I mean, some athletes may seem particularly upset about failure to reveal any important names, but I don't think it's because they're ethical athletes, but because their field isn't going to get any weaker.

      Speaking of such athletes...
      http://www.tennisworldusa.org/Andy-Murray-Im-getting-closer-to-Djokovic-Lendl-will-help-me-to-beat-Djokovic-articolo33606.html

      Because Ivan is magic. Or perhaps has magic pills with him?

      Delete
    7. Fingers crossed they reveal some important names and not just a few unimportant scapegoats.

      @Unknown
      Lendl and magic pills? Probably not. Lendl was good for Murray's game; made him play a more aggressive game. After Lendl he defaulted to his defensive game. We saw some of that aggressive game again in his SF match against Wawrinka at Roland Garros and in his 1st set against Djokovic. Unfortunately, he couldn't keep it up and now we have to endure hearing about Djoko's 'extraordinary achievements'.

      Delete
    8. Yup, having a faster and stronger forehand was all due to his aggressive mental approach, got great results and decided to drop it after Lend left, because... Fuck Lendl?

      Sure.

      Delete
    9. I think you're forgetting that he had had back surgery and was not a 100% fit around the time Lendl left.

      Delete
    10. Any athlete who had Fuentes as a doctor will be tainted even if they don't get officially punished for it. There will always be a doping cloud over their head(s) if their name(s) are on the list.

      Delete
  35. I'm a long time reader and I must say I don't always see eye to eye with the author. However, he hit the nail on the head with this simple phrase:

    "What I mean is that it shatters the myth that elite athletes are superhuman heroes who just train hard and eat well."

    As a sport psychology myself, I always tell my students and clients not to believe everything they see in the professional world. After all, 10.000 hours of hard work and training isn't enough, right?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As far as your final question:

      "After all, 10.000 hours of hard work and training isn't enough, right?"

      Here is an interesting consideration:

      Scientists Debunk The Myth That 10,000 Hours Of Practice Makes You An Expert

      http://www.fastcodesign.com/3027564/asides/scientists-debunk-the-myth-that-10000-hours-of-practice-makes-you-an-expert

      Obviuosly, a huge natural talent for a sport but without passion for the game is like a Ferrari without fuel!!

      Unfortunately, nowadays, it insn't just natural talent and passion that determine a huge success in professional sports because they tweak their engines and it depends on the fact that in professional sports they ( managers, coaches, players) have put too much emphasis on the physical part of the game to win and in so doing they search for physical overperformances through doping to win at any cost!!

      That's it!!

      Best regards.

      Fabrice






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    3. We often compartmentalize and avoid addressing the fact that the 10,000 hours of practice resulting in the perfect backhand down the line over and over again in the 5th set is only possible with pharmaceutical help. Skill and doping are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

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    4. @Mary

      They play too many tournaments, there are too much money at stake for the best players and anti doping controls are just a Big Joke because there isn't any independent third agency who make and manage all the things!!

      Apart from that, tennis at the elite level requires endurance, frequent training and the ability to recover quickly to enable peak performance on a regular basis throughout the year and frequent trainings also involve intense off the court trainings, in other words, when we talk about tennis players at the elite level, it isn't just two hours a day of intense tennis training, that's just the training for the technical base!!

      Hence, as a logical consequence, they make use of chemical helps, legal and illegal!!

      Question:

      have you read the latest very interesting tweet by THASP?

      Here it is:

      https://twitter.com/SportCorruption/status/741405891937832960

      As far as "Chemical Helps", here is a new kind of chemical help, not from laboratory, but from "nature", here it is:

      Pycnogenol Boosts Athletic Performance – Who Needs Doping?

      http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/pycnogenol-boosts-athletic-performance-who-needs-doping-article

      As you see ( I hope! ), in doping practices, the sky's the limit!!

      All the best!

      Fabrice

      1PS someone in Montecarlo have bought several acres of French maritime pine trees, who knows....!!

      2PS I'm kidding!!

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  36. I thought today when watching the queen mary stakes at royal ascot when Lady Aurelia absolutely destroyed her field. About how the media don't put any doubt on the performance, just a lot of fawning and talking about what an awesome performance it was, why it's such an effort to get drugs out of sports.

    The public just laps this stuff up, and until the minority become the majority and say "No, these extraordinary performances won't be tolerated, because we want a clean sport" It will just continue to happen.

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  37. Is no one here surprised by Dominic Thiem's meteoric rise this year? He's #4 in the Race and #7 in the rankings. He started the year ranked #20. Now he has just leap-frogged over everyone. Not that I mind. It's about time someone of the new generation stepped up and did something but I'm just a little suspicious. Although I must admit, other than Djokovic, the field is pretty weak so that might explain it.

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    1. he's quite young so you can improve a lot. going from 20 to number 4 is not like going from 200 to number 4.

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    2. I'm fairly convinced Thiem is doping, considering his ridiculous week-to-week stamina, his statements about doping in tennis, and his association to other guys I suspect.

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    3. Thiem in deciding sets:

      2016 alone (up to Stuttgart):
      19-1.

      Before 2016:
      20-21

      Make of that what you will.

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    4. A good streak isn't indicative of doping to my mind. Such a roll can happen if you're a young mid-tier player and improva a lot in a short amount of time, so you happen to play many torunaments which were planned back when your level of play was lower. Think back of Del Potro in 2008 when he dominated numerous tournaments in a row in the HC season. To be sure, if Thiem continues to steamroll through his competition for the remainder of the season, a higher degree of suspicion would be warranted.

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    5. "A good streak isn't indicative of doping to my mind."

      I do agree and as someone has mentioned he's still young. I would expect all the Tennis he's playing to catch up with him, sooner or later as he's played Tennis constantly this season.

      Still, it's not proof that he's either 100% clean or 100% dirty.

      Also what's with all these tall and young up and comers

      Thiem - 1.85m (6'1")
      Coric - 1.85m (6'1")
      Kyrgios - 1.93m (6'4")
      Fritz - 1.93m (6'4")
      A. Zverev - 1.98m (6'6")

      Is it suspicious, not sure. But gone are the days of 6' - 6'3" players (Sampras/Federer/Nadal/Djokovic/Murray e.t.c) This is the future, it seems.

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    6. @ UntitledK9

      Shades of Mr Ferrer in terms of pulling out deciding sets...

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    7. @ cdcd
      I would have used the Del Potro reference the other way around, Argentina was one of the biggest doping offenders in the 2000s.

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    8. @arcus

      Yes, very Ferrer like numbers. A few years ago Ferrer played as many tournaments as he could week in-week out, and it seems Thiem is now doing the same. Perhaps Thiem will be the energizer bunny of his generation.

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    9. "I would have used the Del Potro reference the other way around, Argentina was one of the biggest doping offenders in the 2000s."

      Exactly. Saying that the best argentinian players are an example of playing clean, considering the likes of Coria, Gaudio and even Nalbandian is just hilarious.

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    10. I don't know what to think about Thiem. On one hand I suspect everyone and to say for sure he isn't doping is ludicrous given how secretive this sport is. On the other hand he is still very young and he has probably been told to play every tournament to increase his ranking. A lot of young players start strong when they first come on the scene then crash and burn their sophomore year because they played too much.

      When he played Djokovic in the French semis, he seemed pretty beat and had to play a four-setter the day before. If he starts making monster runs to all the Slams and Masters finals then for sure he should be in the doping conversation.

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  38. I highly doubt that those blood bags belong to 200 different different athletes. If anything they probably belong to just a couple of dozen sportsmen/women. When they're tested I won't be surprised if only cyclists are implicated and not the footballers and Tennis players that were also his clients.

    What needed to happen was for the judge to order that Fuentes hand over his full client list and a full confession. After all not all his clients came to him for blood transfusions. Also, let's not forget that during the raid in 2006 his home was never checked, meaning some documents where never recovered by the authorities.

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  40. Thiem had better stop winning everything in site or he might draw unwanted attention o himself. Confidence goes a long way though. No?

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    Replies
    1. Nice of him to let Gabashvili win a game in the second set.

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  41. Where the heck did Florian Mayer come from? The dead? These guys are too predictable. It can't just be such a sudden rise from nowhere.

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  42. I was never equate muscles with doping because it is quite possible that some people can easily build muscles while for some it is very much more difficult. Some people may lift weights for their entire lives and not put on any muscles while it only takes a couples of days for some to see results.

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    1. @Unknown

      If you think like that, you are in the wrong blog!!

      This blog is called:

      Tennis Has A Steroid Problem!!

      By now, even ants know that professional athletes also use steroids to increase their muscles and to reduce their body fat!!

      Apart from that, I take for granted the most common reason that is improving their performances in professional sports and/or increases their recovery rate from training!!

      Anyway, have a look at:

      What Athletes Looked Like Before And After They Used Steroids

      http://www.businessinsider.com/what-athletes-looked-like-before-and-after-they-used-steroids-2013-6?IR=T

      No further comment is necessary!!

      Best regards.

      Fabrice

      PS Performance Enhancing Drugs in Sports Fast Facts

      http://edition.cnn.com/2013/06/06/us/performance-enhancing-drugs-in-sports-fast-facts/

      Just the tips of gigantic doping icebergs!!

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