Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Open Thread: Blame it on Rio


184 comments:

  1. Yay. You're back. And a new thread to boot. :D

    (love the title by the way).

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  2. Stan Wawrinka pulls out of Rio Olympics due to back injury

    https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2016/aug/02/stan-wawrinka-pulls-out-rio-2016-olympics

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  3. Rafael Nadal will compete in all 3 tennis events at the Rio Olympic Games:

    https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2016/aug/03/rafael-nadal-compete-all-olympic-rio-tennis-doubles-mixed-singles

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    1. Well I guess I'm going to have to eat my hat!

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    2. Not necessarily. First let's see how deep Nadal / Djok go. I for one will be pretty amazed if either pick up a medal. That said, I can't imagine $100 million + careers being risked for an Olympic medal, so it could be they are all playing pretty clean for this one. Might be a glimpse into how Tennis would have looked in a drugs free parallel universe.

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    3. which is why Nadal is saying his wrist still isn't 100% and he's not fit but he will play.

      Translation: I'm playing clean so I probably will suck. But if I tell everyone I'm injured they will excuse my poor showing.

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  4. This article is a further eye-opener about the level of corruption in sports: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/sports/2015/08/11/more-sports/conte-says-coverup-protected-big-stars-seoul-games/#.V6Hl29SLTGg

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  5. Meanwhile Lizzie Armitstead the only athlete who seems to want to go to Rio gets her third missed test wiped off record by CAS due to a technically.

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    1. Chris Froome comments and ridicules the whereabouts process then admits he also missed two tests.

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  6. Here's a good article about how shoddy the McLaren report was; it provided the basis for the Russian Olympic bans:
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/08/03/the-biased-report-that-led-to-banning-russian-athletes/

    Combined with another article saying that the Zika threat is exaggerated (http://www.rawstory.com/2016/08/brazil-now-has-doubts-that-zika-alone-causes-birth-defects/), maybe there really is a move by Western corporate and political powers to damage the BRICS alliance (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South africa) by undermining the Olympics. Doping accusations are a tool in a global political struggle.

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    1. https://www.propublica.org/article/olympics-top-investigator-secret-efforts-undermine-russian-doping-probe

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  7. Olympics clean? Are you guys kidding?

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    1. No one said that. The tennis event however might be clean compared to any given ATP tour event simply because there is a greater chance of being caught, but yet winning it carries neither the prize money or prestige of being a Grandslam champion.

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    2. Or to put it another way, If Djokovic were to win the Olympics, I would be willing to concede he probably did it while not being as pumped full of epo and other shit as he was at the French Open.

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    3. He probably won't win. But he will win the USO.

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  8. I miss Federer already. A little too much, a little too often, and a litlle more everyday. RIP magic of tennis.

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  9. I wish you and so many others would not try to bury Roger Federer. He LOVES tennis and plays with effortless grace. Visualize him returning to play at an even higher level of magic!

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  10. Don't be offended but perhaps you two would rather be at a Federer forum or one of those Tennis fan forums? Google might help you guys find one.

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  11. Players skipping Rio either due to injury, zika fears, not being bothered to play, time off tour or excessive consumption of Meldonium.

    Also no Tennis points are awarded this year for Rio, another influencing factor?

    (Ranking, Player)

    3 Federer
    4 Wawrinka
    7 Raonic
    8 Berdych
    10 Thiem
    15 Gasquet
    17 Isner
    18 Kyrgios
    19 F. Lopez
    20 Tomic
    24 A. Zverev
    28 K. Anderson
    30 Klizan
    38 Dolgopolov
    48 Verdasco
    50 J. Vesely
    63 Gulbis
    80 Stakhovsky

    4 B. Bryan
    5 M. Bryan

    3 Halep
    7 Azarenka
    11 Cibulkova
    16 Bencic
    96 Sharapova

    I might have missed some.

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    1. Uh Sharapova is serving a doping ban. I don't know why you would even include her. But whatever.

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    2. Tongue in cheek

      "excessive consumption of Meldonium"

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    3. That men's roster is stark. And so many young up and comers too: Thiem, Kyrgios, Zverev etc. You'd think these guys would be chomping at the bit to take advantage of a weak field and win an Olympic medal. May not be as prestigious as a grand slam but a medal of any colour would certainly be a major mile stone at this stage of their careers.

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    4. 17 Pliskova
      70 Parmentier
      42 Putintseva
      85 Allertova
      89 Gasparyan
      104 Schiavone

      -

      I think that Olympic Tennis is about to fade into obscurity once again - just as it was before Agassi won Gold and it became over hyped. For him it was something he used to try and elevate himself over Pete Sampras.

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    5. Yep, shame. I guess it looses its allure for some players if they feel like they might have to compete clean.

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    6. I've always suspected not competing in Rio is the timing of the games and Financial and Ranking point impact in the year. They are going into the heart of the hard court season after all. Since usual suspects are braving zika to compete we can safely assume its not fear of getting caught by superior anti doping measures.
      I find it ironic that many on that list live in Florida/Miami were Zika has now spread, but do not want to travel to Rio over health risks. It annoys me how they actually expect people to swallow the BS.

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    7. "I've always suspected not competing in Rio is the timing of the games and Financial and Ranking point impact in the year."

      I agree. If the Olympics gave out a prize money of $1 million with some 1000+ ranking points the majority of players who are not legeitmately injured won't be skipping it.

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    9. "Since usual suspects are braving zika to compete we can safely assume its not fear of getting caught by superior anti doping measures."

      Of course fear of being caught doping weighs big. Unlike on the ATP tour they will actually be tested, it will be by an independent testing body over which they have no influence and, because samples are kept 10 years, they have a lot of sleepless nights ahead.

      And there are a number of reasons to compete other than prize money or ranking points. Pressure from sponsors, ATP, their own home support and of course it looks suspicious if you don't show up. But showing up is one thing, lets see if the usual suspects go deep or look like a pale imitation of their usual selves.

      I would say Djokovic won't step on court unless he knows for sure he is 100% absolutely clean. Too much to loose.

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    10. Dopers still compete at the Olympics in all disciplines.

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    11. Djokovic sweating like a pig out there vs. Del Potro and he looks like he's having trouble breathing, I haven't seen him looking like this since 2010. Maybe he's got the Z Virus! LOL.

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    12. well I knew Djokovic was going home early. Bye bye, don't let the door hit you on the way out.

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    13. Did you guys hear the commentators after the match? One of them said "This reminds me of the Djokovic of 2009/2010".

      I would have scoffed.

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    14. Djokovic loses to Del porto? Will Djokovic be wildcarded into Cincy i wonder?
      If so its all a freaking joke.

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  12. Replies
    1. are you been sarcastic? I'm not surprised at all.

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  13. Venus and Serena are also out. Does that surprise anyone?

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    1. Not a surprise at all if they were playing clean. They seemed to be blaming the loss on Venus not feeling good. Have to say though if Delpo's playing clean I feel bad for him for so many matches he could've won if the rest of the field were playing clean too. Wanna see how far Nadal gets. Seems to be doing well so far in singles & doubles.

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    2. Their loss doesn't come as a shock to me - but not because they were "playing clean". I'm sure Serena is as doped up as ever, but she and Venus are not as dominant of a doubles force as they once were. They have only won 1 tournament in the last 3,5 years.

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  14. Djokovic went out to Federer in Wimbledon 2012 semi, Murray in London 2012 semi, Querry early in Wimbledon 2016 and now, in Rio 16, the man who beat him for the bronze in London 2012. Olympic years seem to do for Djokovic - I can't think why?

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    1. He had a fantastic year until Wimbledon, and probably would have done the same in 2012 if not for a certain Nadal. There are red flags everywhere with Djokovic. I'm not saying he isn't injured but if you have been following what he has been doing since the RG win, you'd say he was almost not trying to win.

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  15. So we are discussing the Olympics yet no one has pointed out Mr Federer's exploits at his peak. So let me remind you! In 2004 he lost to an 18 year old kid named Tomas Berdych and in 2008 he lost to his favorite whipping boy James Blake (Federer is 10-0 otherwise). Both times, he went on to win the US open a few weeks later. Anyone else find that "strange"? That is more suspicious than Djokovic losing to Nadal, Murray and Del Potro in my opinion.

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    1. On the face of it this looks suspicious too. But worth pointing out he won a gold doubles in 2008 so can't have been trying to avoid enhanced testing at all cost.

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    2. Doubles does not require even 50% of the physical effort of singles. Anyone who has played the game at any level knows that. Otherwise we won't have so many players winning doubles majors in their late 30s or even 40s (Nestor, Paes, Navratilova etc). So no, Federer winning the doubles gold in 2008 does not prove anything, it is not even worth mentioning.

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    3. It proves he wasn't worried about the prospect Olympic testing, no?

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    4. Not sure what you are on about. I have already explained why he could have gotten completely clean for the Olympics (unlike the rest of the year) and still won the doubles gold considering he had another top 15 singles player as his doubles partner. But Federer's singles performances in 2004 and 2008 Olympics are highly suspicious. It appears to me that he was doping the rest of the year but cleaned up for the Olympics in the fear of getting caught.

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    5. So you are implying that Nadal won the 2008 Olympics while playing clean? The 2008 Nadal was clean? Fascinating.

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    6. I am no fan of Federer and think probably in the last couple of years he has been having a bit of chemical assistance. However in 2012 I think he was clean. Had he beaten Murray in The Olympic final after the marathon match against Del Potro in the semis it would have been highly suspicious. As it was he was completely knackered, he was missing shots he would normally have made with his eyes closed. I think his current absence is simply due to Old Father Time finally catching up with him.

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    7. The general consensus here is that tennis players don't dope during the Olympics, which makes perfect sense to me. The Olympics is not a major event for a tennis player. I mean it is great to win the gold but if I was a successful tennis player I would not risk millions of dollars that I have earned by doping in the Olympics where the chance of getting caught is much higher. Therefore anyone who has a strikingly poor performance in the Olympics compared to the rest of the year draws a big red flag. For example Federer's performances in 2004 and 2008 were highly suspicious. In 2012 too it is entirely possible that he stopped his doping regime immediately after Wimbledon and cleaned up for the Olympics in the 3 weeks gap period. That might also explain his collapse in the final against Murray. Sure the semi final against Del Potro was physical and long but you would expect Federer to perform better than that in the final. He won the Wimbledon on the same court a few weeks earlier beating the same opponent. Something was clearly missing.

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    8. You have no idea of what you are talking about son.

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    9. This is a more valid point than the majority of things people in these comments will point to as being suspicious, but that's not saying much with the bar set so low here.

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  16. I think Djokovic was doped to the gills right up to the French Open final, and has spent the summer weening himself off (which would account for his sickly look and lacklustre performances.)

    If indeed the case, I wonder for how long the real Novak will remain with us? There must be health implications going cold turkey and then right back on the sh1t before the US Open. And is there enough time between now and the US Open for performance enhancing qualities of a new regime to take hold?

    Perhaps that's bionic Djokovic done for the rest of the season although, I concede, that might be wishful thinking.

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  17. It just shows that without help Djokovic is just another tennis player, nothing special. He looked like the 2010 Djokovic we all knew and loved before he became Djoker 2.0 But in all fairness, he needed to join 'em because he couldn't bet 'em without it. Then in 2011 he went on to beat Nadal in every match they played. An incredible transformation.

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  18. The russia bashing prior to Rio gave me the rest, too much hypocrisy in this ridiculous world of chemical sports. Its just completely hopeless. Then you come to this blog and read the utter nonesense by posters like Clarke, whose is ridiculous without even trying to be funny, and you just give up. The ten or somewhat people behind this blog really caring about clean tennis are just dust in the wind. Tennis is lost.

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    1. Clarke's rhetoric is no different than what you find on Tennis discussion boards. This is what happens when fanboy-ism for one or more players and intense dislike for another clouds one judgement. Notice the issue of Djokovic's lack of form (yet again) at the Olympics hasn't been addressed, instead he/she just deflected.

      As I said earlier, even the commentators mentioned that Djokovic's labored form was similar to his gluten full days of 2009/2010.

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    2. Exactly, he's still focusing on something that happened 8 years ago rather than what's happening today at the Olympics. And he's wondering why no one is talking about it. LOL.

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  19. A little off topic but apparently Wayne Odesnik has his own blog on wordpress.
    https://waynexpposed.wordpress.com/2016/07/31/a-new-beginning/

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  20. Ignorance is bliss! I get really tired of people using this spot as a gossip center. Many of you act as if you know little or nothing about the difference between the classic game and the hard-core two-fisted baseline-bashing slugfest that the modern game has become.
    What happened to all the photographs that people use to post up on here to show the obvious musculature of a cheater? What's with all this surmising? The classic game is effortless, period. Two-fisted backhand basher is working at least twice as hard as someone is light on their feet, artistically elegant, ballet dancer-like all-court player. Every single backhand of such a player is a work of art, similar to a master archer releasing an arrow from his bow on every shot. This type of backhand coupled with open stance footwork on both sides the majority of the time produces ballistic shots with little or no effort other than being in the right place at the right time. Please whoever is capable of doing it let's see some photos of some of these people who are obviously cheating, and Federer is not one of them, period. If he hadn't been forced to play these roid-heads so often over the last several years, he would've had many more grand slams. Sheesh!

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    1. If it's so obvious that Fed is clean and the other's so obviously cheating, then why does he not do more to call them out on it? Fed is held with such high regard within the game and the wider public consciousness and could easily do a hell of a lot more to root the problem out with a high degree of impunity.

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    2. I really don't understand how anyone can say with 100% certainty that an elite world class athlete (Tennis players, Footballers, Swimmers e.t.c) is clean. Granted some stand out more than others as candidates for doping, but stil...

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    3. I don't think the evidence of Fed cheating is as strong as it is with some other players but as UntitledK9 says, history is such that no one should be above suspicion. Which is sad because it takes a lot of fun out of watching. Someone should do a chart of what makes someone suspcious. To me, it's extraordinary dominance, unrealistic endurance, a combination of endurance and accuracy that defies time on the court, a substantial change in ability and endurance and illogical explanations for any of the above. The reason people don't show those photos is because modern doping doesn't show itself necessarily in enlarged musculature. Lance Armstrong was a small guy. And for me, the age thing is not that determinative because I think the nature of the game and training advances have expanded the optimal age for success at the top of the game.

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    4. We all obviously have our favorite players who we choose to believe are clean. But the entire sport & professional sports in general is about money making before anything else; therefore, corruption & lack of integrity exists @ several levels. Federer really is such a huge figure in the tennis world, but other than saying things here or there about the need for greater testing, etc. what has he or any of the top players actually done to move in the direction of a clean sport? I'm watching the Olympics now & just b/c they are testing, I am still not convinced every tennis player is playing clean------masking agents are so many to cover up doping even if tested.
      Also think the Olympics should be about amateur athletes who never get a chance to shine in the professional sports world, so let them shine on a great stage like the Olympics. These top Professional tennis players already have so much prestige & Murray/Nadal already have golds. Why not let amateurs have their chance to shine?

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    6. "I really don't understand how anyone can say with 100% certainty that an elite world class athlete (Tennis players, Footballers, Swimmers e.t.c) is clean. Granted some stand out more than others as candidates for doping, but stil..."

      I don't get it either - especially in this day and age. For example, I just watched a 40-year-old guy get the upper hand over his 13-year younger opponent in the quarterfinals of the olympic table tennis tournament! Said opponent was also a convicted doper! People have to stop kidding themselves. Doping is truly everywhere these days and nobody should be excempt from suspicion.

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  21. "Novak Djokovic crashes out again as Serbia are beaten by Bruno Soares and Marcelo Melo of Brazil"

    "After Olympic Failure, Novak Djokovic to Skip Cincinnati Masters"

    Yay... now the Olympic problem is out the way Novak's found himself a three week gap in his diary to get back onto his regime in time for a tilt at the US Open.

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  22. Djokovic doesn't seem to be having much luck in events that do their own testing: Wimbledon this year, Roland Garros 2009 when he crashed out in R3 to Kohlschreiber, and now this Olympics. Strangely enough, he was fine in winning Toronto and Roland Garros, where the ITF does the testing.

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    1. And the field in Toronto was so weak. I'm sure he could have won it clean.

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    2. Good points. Djoker off the juice is just a tomato can, as they say in boxing.

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  23. Rumour has it that a certain top40 has failed a dopetest. Dunno if anything behind it.

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    1. But still playing in the Olympics? if its true cant wait for the media fallout.

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    2. Where did you hear that? I checked Twitter but didn't find anything.

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    3. Was a wrong rumour - French media heard that Paire had been "banned", and they just assumed it was doping. Turns out he'd just been kicked out of the Olympic village for drinking or whatever.

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  24. Gene doping: Specialized doctors using a technique meant for treating very sick children, are reprogramming athletes genes so they'd produce natural and undetectable EPO. Testing is inadequate and is now sports biggest worry? Seriously could the world of sport really sink this low?
    http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-25687002

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    1. Could the world of sport sink that low? Unequivocally yes.

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  25. Holy shit! Serena Williams just crashed out in straight sets against Svitolina - and what a bizarre match that was. Serena was lacking her usual power from the ground. Svitolina was able to stay with her in the rallies like it was nothing and then at 3all in the second set, Williams hit 5(!) double faults in one game to gift her opponent the break and never recovered.

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    1. Let's not forget Svitolina was highly tested on previous years for EPO. More than other players around her level, which made us think probably there was something suspicious. Anyway, every time Serena loses I celebrate.

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    2. 5 df's, 37 UE's please. Words fail me at the attitude of Professional Tennis players at this years Olympics. Another commentator already said this but maybe its time to leave the professionals to their tourney's and let amateurs compete in the next Olympics.

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  26. Doping is like espionage in the Cold War: everyone is doing it - but in secret.

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    1. Yeah and it only becomes illegal when their caught.

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  27. Djokovic claims he has a wrist injury

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/tennis/37038154

    diddums

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  29. "Police investigate 'poisoning' of Britain's Gabriella Taylor at Wimbledon as player's mother says she almost died

    Scotland Yard is investigating allegations that a female tennis player was deliberately poisoned while competing at last month’s Wimbledon Championships.

    Gabriella Taylor, 18, was forced to withdraw from the girl’s tournament midway through her quarter final match, after being struck down with a mystery illness.

    It was initially thought that she had contracted a virus while playing overseas, but after spending four days in intensive care, doctors eventually diagnosed a rare strain of Leptospirosis, a disease caused by a bacterium that can be transmitted through rat urine.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/08/10/police-investigate-player-poisoning-at-wimbledon-championships/

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    1. "Tennis player Gabriella Taylor 'highly unlikely' to have been poisoned:

      Medical experts say allegation that 18-year-old player was intentionally infected with leptospirosis is ‘far-fetched’

      https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2016/aug/11/gabriella-taylor-tennis-player-highly-unlikely-to-have-been-poisoned?CMP=twt_gu

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      So where does the truth lie?

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  31. Nadal has already reached the men's doubles finals and he's also through to the quarterfinals in singles. Not bad for a guy who supposedly couldn't train properly in leadup to this event.

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    1. Well, not bad at all, may I remind you that he left RG to be able to prepare for this? The tournament that all haters said he would not play?

      Come on Nadal haters and Murray haters. No ATP points in the Olympics, having to skip Toronto and possibly Cinci too, both are playing singles, doubles and mixed doubles.

      Come on haters, conspiracy theories anyone?

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    2. well it's quite amazing that a guy who said he wasn't able to train properly because of his wrist is now already in the final of the doubles and the QF of the singles. I guess it's the weakened field.

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    3. I guess that as you were so sure he would not play, anything you say could be a bit irrelevant?

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    4. He has had the whole summer off so plenty of time to "dry" out.

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    5. It was already pointed out that both Nadal and Murray went to train in Spain prior the Olympics, some here thought it was strange.

      Also wasn't it just last week where there were reports that Nadal was considering not playing Singles? He apparently also had some "discomfort" with his wrists during practice.

      It hasn't seemed to deter him so far - just like the majority of Nadal's various injuries over the years.

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    6. And of course it is normal plan everything perfectly, to leave RG, Wimbledon, Toronto, and who knows maybe Cinci and US Open... I am with you man!

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    7. Not even Lance Armstrong raced in every Grand Tour whilst he was competing.

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    8. good comparison! you are in a roll, maybe you can explain why is he doing that?

      UntitledK9August 6, 2016 at 5:17 AM
      Players skipping Rio either due to injury, zika fears, not being bothered to play, time off tour or excessive consumption of Meldonium.
      Also no Tennis points are awarded this year for Rio, another influencing factor?

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    10. Yes, those were the reasons that some Tennis players that choose to skip Rio. As for those that chose to play, they have their reasons one of which could be national glory. The Olympics is not a top priority for every single player, some place more value on it than others.

      It's all about the athletes gunning for what they believe to be the bigger prize/trophy and sacrificing lesser tournaments they deem unimportant in other to achieve it. Yes this includes skipping tournaments in order to cycle up for what they think is their biggest goal e.g Lance Armstrong and the Tour de France.

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    11. sacrificing RG, Wimbledon, and all those lesser tournaments? I am with you

      it could also be (I know it is crazy) that he also wanted to prove a point after missing 2012 with another real injury?

      Yes I know,

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    12. "it could also be (I know it is crazy) that he also wanted to prove a point after missing 2012 with another real injury? "

      Roselyne Bachelot has some thoughts about that.

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    13. And so do have so many more here, precisely

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  32. NorthwestcircusAugust 3, 2016 at 8:44 AM

    Not necessarily. First let's see how deep Nadal / Djok go. I for one will be pretty amazed if either pick up a medal. That said, I can't imagine $100 million + careers being risked for an Olympic medal, so it could be they are all playing pretty clean for this one. Might be a glimpse into how Tennis would have looked in a drugs free parallel universe.

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    1. Right, and remind me how Djok did in both singles and doubles? How about the whole raft of other big names across the men and women's draws?

      I confess, however, I am surprised by Nadal. As I said above, he's not payed much this summer. Maybe he's pretty confident he's clean for this one. It's not like the field is strong anyhow.

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    2. what about the drugs free parallel universe? is that still a "might:?

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    3. Yes, for the Olympics, I think there's a good chance tennis players who go the distance are as clean as we're ever going to see because, to my mind, in this particular Olympic discipline (like Golf?) the risk/reward ratio doesn't make sense to dope. I think the results thus far have confirmed this. By way of disclosure I've always felt Murray to be clean, or at least less suspicious than many of his peers. As stated, i'm surprised Nadal is confident enough to pick up medals and go through the testing that ensues. But then he's had no reason to doped all summer because he's not been competing.

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    4. so it is possible to come back from an injury and win clean? I warn you, that is sacrilege on this site

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    5. Two things. He's not won anything yet. And he's certainly not clean. Even if he's confident there's no trace in his system, the guy's benefited from all the accumulated advantages of doping over the years and the enhanced training etc it enables.

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    6. Well, he has won 3 singles and 4 double matches... that is quite a lot coming back from an injury...

      and if you were wrong once, you know you could be wrong again

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    7. You, of course, are never wrong. Welcome back from your Nadal fan-site. It is, however, hard to see life on planet Earth from the dark side of the moon.

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  33. @apanchuful wow I'm glad you're paying so much attention to what I say. You must be my biggest fan. You must also now that I said Djokovic wouldn't win and would lose early. Obviously you think Nadal is clean. Well you are a minority on this site.

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    1. not a lot of attention, you just repeat yourself a lot, but that's fine, consistency is a good quality in my book

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    2. Even if consistency is wilfully blind? As you are, to the likelihood that - all current speculation aside - Nadal is the biggest drug cheat this sport has seen.

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  34. richard May 27, 2016 at 5:11 PM
    For Nadal to pull out of the FO with the kind of form he is presently in he has either incurred an actual injury - despite showing no signs of any problems in his matches - or he's returned a positive test result (explaining his recent resurgence in form). Take your pick.

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    1. Okay, Richard poses two scenarios, this time it seems the former turned out to be the case. So what?

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    2. well, there are a few issues if that is the case..

      I don't know, I am quite partial because I am a Nadal fan, but these could be some conclusions:

      his priority was really the Olympics?

      he is giving it all to get as many medals a s possible even if this might compromise his tennis career?

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    3. in addition to: No, it was not a positive (and not explaining his resurgence)

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    4. by the way, walkover in mixed doubles... anyone for a good theory?

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    6. I'm willing to concede that Nadal had a genuine injury (this time) and as a consequence the Olympics has became a goal for the summer. I'll even grant he could be playing relatively clean for him (although the benefits of drug use remain long after any trace remains in your system.) But Nadal wining a doubles medal does not abrogate all the blatantly obvious signs of rampant doping throughout his entire career.

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    7. "his priority was really the Olympics?"

      Nadal: "If there was not Olympic Games here I would not be competing,” Nadal said. “The wrist need a little more time to be 100% recovered. It’s only one chance every four years and is something unforgettable. I missed London so I didn’t want to miss this one.”

      http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2016-08-08/23769.php

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    8. I take that as a yes, and therefore he is risking Masters and Grand Slams for the Olympics, the cleanest of them all?

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    9. Just cause an athlete chooses to compete in the Olympics doesn't mean that they're a clean athlete. Yes testing is a bit more rigorous but as we've seen it doesn't mean anything and it sure doesn't deter dopers from competing.

      Dopers still compete across all disciplines (Track, Field, Tennis, Swimming, e.t.c) and win medals. And let's not forget that there are those who are on PEDs that cannot be tested for.

      Though I'm sure that there are those who skip it to avoid being tested.

      Still, there are those that take some time off before a major competition, cycle up on PEDs, go in clean to that championship/tournament and reap the rewards. It happens and it's not difficult.

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    10. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/23/sports/research-finds-wide-doping-study-withheld.html

      Doping experts have long known that drug tests catch only a tiny fraction of the athletes who use banned substances because athletes are constantly finding new drugs and techniques to evade detection. So in 2011, the World Anti-Doping Agency convened a team of researchers to try to determine more accurately how many athletes use performance-enhancing drugs.

      More than 2,000 track and field athletes participated in the study, and according to the findings, which were reviewed by The New York Times, an estimated 29 percent of the athletes at the 2011 world championships and 45 percent of the athletes at the 2011 Pan-Arab Games said in anonymous surveys that they had doped in the past year.

      By contrast, less than 2 percent of drug tests examined by WADA laboratories in 2010 were positive.

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    11. I know there is a possibility, I know doping exists, but also that the Olympics are supposed to be more strict, now samples are kept for many years etc... why risk it then? why when you have won everything, even a Gold medal?

      of course for a swimmer or a marathon runner this is important and you will risk it, but a tennis player? you said it in your post yourself

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    12. Why did Ben Johnson risk getting caught again in 1992 when he had already been caught and banned 4 years prior for testing positive for Stanozolol at the 1988 Olympics? At the end of the day, only these athletes know what's important to them. These guys are world class athletes, their desire to achieve greatness and win on the grandest of stages is unparalleled. It's why they dope.

      In the case of Nadal it's quite possible he fancied his chances in a best of 3 format (looking at his recent results in slams e.g Wimbledon), and since we already know what the Olympics are clearly very important to him, it's not that difficult to see why he would take some time off in other to "maximize" his chances.

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    13. I know, and his chances in RG this year were minimal, and he would not have enjoyed depriving Djokovic of the only Slam he did not have, it all makes sense...

      Sorry no, I disagree, the truth is, I do not think he fancied his chances at all, that is why he signed up for the doubles and the mixed doubles.

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    14. anyway, enough said, lets see what happens tomorrow, quarterfinal and final await :-)

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    15. How long was Del Potro out with a wrist injury? Two years? And Nadal? Yeah, nothing surprises.

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    16. @ UntitledK9----Exactly. Very Well said.
      Spain may be an expert at PEDs that can't be detected by testing & expert with masking agents that put the players on PEDs @ ease that they won't get caught. Will never believe that Nadal has won soooo much playing clean. Djoker may actually have had to wean off during the summer b/c of health risks. U can't be on PEDs for the entire year for several years without scary health issues occurring---look @ how many times Nadal had to disappear to take his breaks.. And now with Djoker claiming a wrist injury, can get a TUE, get back on PEDs & aim to win US Open.

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    17. @Hola I agree and the only reason Djokovic won Toronto is because of the thinned out field. He's probably as clean as he has been in about 5 years. But now he's skipping Cincy so he can cycle up again just in time for the USO, which he will no doubt win.

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    18. Another scenario that could account for Nadal suddenly dropping out the FO, skipping Wimbledon etc would be a suspension following some kind of doping violation, which he then successfully appealed in time for the Olympics by exploiting a technicality. Similar to cyclist Lizzie Armistead, where we would have been none the wiser had it not been for a leak to the Daily Mail.

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    19. @Northwestcircus I can see that happening as well.

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    20. @richard and now Djokovic apparently has a wrist injury. But my guess is, his will heal even faster than Nadal's. Just in time for the US Open.

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  36. @apanchuful "the truth is, I do not think he fancied his chances at all, that is why he signed up for the doubles and the mixed doubles."

    That suggests you agree: If Nadal gets past home favourite Bellucci and goes on to beat battle-hardened Del Potro and peak Murray to win gold off the back of his apparent prolonged injury time out, then that would be very suspicious indeed.

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    1. And it's worked, even if he loses in singles, a doubles medal is already guaranteed meaning he has been successful in his Olympic campaign.

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    2. Nadal wins the doubles, fine. Effort is shared so its not demanding on the body. But if leaves Rio with singles and doubles gold, there's no chance his wrist injury was genuine. Can you at least concede that?

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    4. Whilst this is true, it in no way deters them from doping. I mean that would suggest doubles players don't need to dope or feel the need to and I don't believe that.

      In the past 10 years, we've seen those occasions where Nadal has returned from his prolonged absences to immediately start playing at a relatively high level. So it's nothing new, just another chapter in the curious case of Rafael Nadal.

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    5. well it all depends. If doubles players are clean and are playing clean players, then someone has to win so it doesn't necessarily always means the players who win are doping. There is some skill and talent involved. Even doped players will lose to clean players if the clean players are more talented and just better players.

      As to Nadal, yes in 2013 he came back after extended apparent injury/sickness absence (6 months off the tour) and had arguably his second best year ever, winning 10 tournaments including 2 slams. I think he even did something no other player has done, winning Canada, Cincinnati and the US Open. Who does that?

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    6. @UntitledK9

      Agree with all that. But if Nadal was to loose to Bellucci this afternoon and still pick up a doubles gold, to my mind that would not be a strong enough indicator that his injury was fake. The more matches he wins of course, the more suspicious it looks.

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    7. "Even doped players will lose to clean players if the clean players are more talented and just better players."

      Yes, doped players can lose to clean players and clean players can lose to doped players. You're also right about the gulf in skill with these players, Odesnik was on everything and it didn't seem to help him much, Ha.

      @Northwestcircus I agree, too. The more he wins, the stranger it will become.

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    8. "I think he even did something no other player has done, winning Canada, Cincinnati and the US Open."

      Andy Roddick did that in 2003.

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    9. Oh ok. But it was still pretty incredible considering his absence from the tour in 2012. Makes me think they don't even test these players or else he got some cutting edge PEDs that aren't detectible.

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    10. ...and it wasn't even his best surface. In fact he had never even been past the semifinals at the US Open until 2010 when he had a pretty cushy draw.

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  37. Another ridiculous world record in the women's 10000m on the first day of the track at Rio. From an East African athlete - of course. The first four runners came in under 30 minutes, which has never been achieved in seven years. Tennis players don't need to skip the Olympics to avoid being caught as dopers. There are Ben Johnson's to be found everywhere, the dopers are so far ahead of the testers.

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    1. And she broke it by a huge margin, ridiculous yet again. Just because you're at the Olympic games doesn't mean you've been doing it clean.

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    2. Two athletes have already failed doping tests in Rio....

      "The Chinese swimmer Chen Xinyi and the Bulgarian steeplechaser Silvia Danekova have tested positive for banned substances at the Rio Olympics."

      https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2016/aug/12/chinese-swimmer-bulgarian-athlete-fail-drug-tests-rio-2016-olympics

      So there is hope.

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    3. I think there was also an Irish boxer who tested positive as well.

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  38. Nadal through to the semis after a win over Bellucci in 3 sets. The match was quite surreal to watch at times because both players were carbon-copies of each other, but Nadal was the more consistent of the two.

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    1. Nice to see Nadal take his trademark strategic MTO in that third set. He broke Bellucci to love immediately after it.

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    2. LOL. Nadal is so predictable. And Bellucci is mentally weak. He was up a set and a break and still managed to lose. I'm sure he would lose even if he was up a set and two breaks.

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    3. Bellucci wasn't up a break in the second Lopi. But you're right about Bellucci. In the past he's played Djokovic, Federer and other top players tough, even managing to win sets but he's still so mentally week.

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    4. Are you sure? I thought he was. But I was watching three matches at once so no wonder I got confused. Anyway, it doesn't matter. Like I said it could be 5-0 for Bellucci and he could be serving for the match and still lose the whole thing. Mentally weak.

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  39. Nadal/Lopez win doubles Gold...watch out Delpo he'& his semi injured wrist are coming for you with super stamina & speed even though he should be tired out from playing a tough doubles final with little recovery time. Prediction: Nadal vs. Murray in final---both already have Singles Gold, both trained in Spain prior to Olympics, both have incredible power, stamina, speed----so what a surprise---NOT 😔

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    1. What happened to the independent doping control in Rio forcing dubious performers to find excuses and withraw from the tournament? Weren't you predicting that Nadal would not show up at all? Finally it is the top players from Switzerland that are MIA.

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    2. Nadal in fact trained in South America. He did not want to train on the same Island as Murray because "having Andy Murray training on the same island may have made him a feel a little bit more pressured in his regimen."

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    3. @ Manas, the fact that Nadal showed up doesn't mean he's playing clean---advanced PEDs with no testing for them yet plus masking agents. Didn't really have a clue which Nadal would show up, but now it's becoming much clearer which one did. And I feel most of the top players dope, so Fed is not exempt from suspicion either IMO.
      @ Northwetcircus, didn't know Nadal doped oops pardon me trained elsewhere from Murray. But that doesn't exempt Murray either---why would he specifically train in Mallorca? Spain is very suspicious when it comes to docs with the dope. But I agree with u that Nadal possibly has an extra magic potion that he didn't want Murray to know about

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    4. @ Hola - Murray picked Mallorca because of similar conditions to Rio and close enough to home so his young family could come out for holiday.

      The idea it was a training block with Nadal was never the case and something the press invented just because Murray was in Mallorca. Fact is when Murray showed up and there was suddenly all the extra press scrutiny Nadal, who normally enjoys privacy doing his special training regime, disappeared to some secret location in South America. The Murray/Nadal training block nonsense just obscures the ridiculous and suspicious behaviour from Nadal that for some reason no one is talking about.

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  40. Murray sacrificed 1000 points to go train with Nadal in Mallorca. I asked at the time, what's in Mallorca? Well apparently something magical went on there. Nadal is a new man and the sacrifice must have been worth it for Murray.

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    1. On the surface it does raise an eyebrow that Murray went to train in Mallorca. What is more interesting though, is that when Nadal learnt Murray was in town he immediately upped sticks and went to South America for "Preparations.". See this interesting article:

      http://www.inquisitr.com/3371220/rafael-nadal-moves-to-rio-after-andy-murray-began-training-in-mallorca-for-olympics/

      The real question is, what did Nadal not want Murray to see!!!

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    2. But Murray trained with Nadal in Mallorca before Madrid as well. I think Nadal just left for Rio when he had planned to leave. It was only 4 days before the games.

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  41. The women's 10000m track final, in which the winner shattered a likely doped previous wr from 1993, and incredibly ran the last 5000m faster than a championship time at the shorter distance, tells me these games are as doped as any we have seen. Doping is not a Russian - or Spanish or Kenyan - problem but is a sporting problem. No sport is immune. We have just seen yet another classic Ben Johnson performance on the track. Is it the same in tennis? Absolutely.

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    1. Of course, the winner showed absolutely no fatigue at the end. Classic EPO performance. Remind you of anyone?

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    2. Remind us of anyone? I'm not sure whether you mean Novak, Rafa, or Paula Radcliffe!

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    3. Agreed on this, but we haven't heard a thing from the "press". When the German TV last year broke all these allegations / facts, Ethiopia as well as Kenya were both implicated as being as bad as the Ruskies, but of course, nothing has been done on them. Here's a fascinating link, that no one is talking about on the Bronze medallist in the 10k farce http://www.letsrun.com/news/2016/06/everything-need-know-jama-aden-doping-raid-took-place-three-dibaba-sisters-present/ Anon

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    4. The distance-women are now running damn near as fast as the men did in the pre-doping era. This is farce. Like Serena serving bigger than Djokovic at Wimbledon this year.

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    5. I hope eyes stay on Kerber. She's always 'ready' for the big ones but nobody's crashed out of 1st rounds of lesser tournaments than her this year. Suspicious.

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    6. "I hope eyes stay on Kerber. She's always 'ready' for the big ones but nobody's crashed out of 1st rounds of lesser tournaments than her this year. Suspicious."

      Kerber has been suspicious to me for a long time. I admit I didn't see her play much in 2015, but when I saw her at this year's Australian Open, I noticed immediately how lean she had become compared to previous years.

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    7. Richard, you're seeing Phelps??? Why would Ethiopians and Kenyans stay clean when their counterparts have historically doped their ways to sports achievements? People are talking about the Russians and Chinese? What about the others? The Europeans have been doping since the 1800. recently Europeans have been running long distance faster than ever and challenging kenyans and Ethiopians. If they are all clean the latter would be winning easily anyway so I hope all Africans dope to level the playing field.

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    8. So Kenyans and Ethiopians need to dope more...hilarious, thanks Eric Ed we'll pass on the suggestion to the IAAF.

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    9. yeah yeah yeah... not just them but all Africans. Europeans performance has always been medicine based.

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  42. Nadal wins the first set against Del Potro. Watching him, you would never think that he was on court for over 4 hours yesterday.

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    1. Or that he was away for two months with a wrist injury. 0_0

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    2. Those independent testing bodies were doing a great job psyching dopers out so far. They should try another method now, like maybe drug testing?

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  43. Was watching Bolt's heat today then I started thinking about an article I read about designer drugs in track and how it's undetectable. That guy was jogging in his heat. He's so supped up he may run sub 9.5.

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  44. What a win for JMDP! He was in prime position for the win at 5*-4 and 5-5* (0-40) in the decider, but Nadal always came back. Luckily, he was able to hold on for the win in the tiebreak.

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    1. Glad my prediction was wrong for the finals! At least the finals now won't be never ending backboard points! Go Delpo!

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  45. In his first tournament in 2 months Nadal has played 10 matches in 7 days on an injured/recovering/healed wrist. He even managed to win a gold medal in doubles. Total match time on court in those 7 days? 20 Hours 8 Minutes…

    And he still has his Bronze medal match in singles to play. Perhaps he should skip it and head over to Cincinnati right away or maybe skip Cincinnati, isn’t he worried? He should be.

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    1. Yeah. Was very surprised after all that match play that he & Murray are both in the cincy draw! But then again they are the energizer bunnies...

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    2. Murray can't skip Cincy unless he's injured and we know he isn't. He already skipped Toronto and Masters 1000's are mandatory for him. He can only skip one this year.

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    3. They can always skip as long as they cite a reason and pay the fine.

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  46. I just took a look at the title of this thread and I thought this would be a great title for Ryan Lochte's biography. LOL.

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