Saturday, August 13, 2016

Open Thread: Go for the Gold


148 comments:

  1. WTA player Sofia Shapatava (#231) commented on the women's final. She posted a picture of the 3 medalists and wrote:

    "Take a close look how tennis looks like without doping and steroids....Monica Puig made history today thanks to her great game and clean week! This is how fair competition looks like, when they fight fair and clean...when woman play against woman and not against machine...Great week, nice to watch take a note"

    http://bolamarela.pt/jogos-olimpicos/shapatava-podio-olimpico-vejam-so-tenis-fica-sem-doping-esteroides/
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    I wonder if she'll be silenced just like Vania King was when she dared to speak out.

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    2. Not just silenced. i can just imagine the deranged fans who'll descend on the poor girls twitter account if they get wind of this.
      Sloane Stevens had to block them on mass when she had that spat with Serena a couple of years ago.

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    3. It looks like she has now deleted the Facebook post. That was quick.

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    4. She appears deranged to me

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    5. She appears deranged to me

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    6. so someone strong-armed (excuse the pun) her into removing the post? Not surprised.

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    7. Good for her, no doubt she'll be silenced by the ITF for daring to speak up.

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  2. Its great to see a young player winning a title. The Murray - Del Potro match reminds me of how the game was in the 80s. You had real swings in big matches. One player would play well and then there would be a dip and the other player would have a good few games. I'm talking about Lendls, Chang, Becker and Edberg. Tennis was unpredictable. The big guns would often get knocked out in the early rounds. Quite unlike today ofcourse. All leads me to think that the best players have an unfair advantage. Just pure speculation obviously but I wonder if the best earners can afford the designer drugs where as the rest of the tour has to make do with EPO and HGH and whatever else is affordable.

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  3. Over here in the UK, the swimming commentators have been very scathing towards Efimova, Sun Yang and Park Tae Won (and rightly so), but at the same time they've given Armitstead a free pass and were gutted that she didn't medal. I hate the double standards in this country, Gatlin will also be given a completely different reaction to Ohuruogo as well. We only care about doping when it's the evil Russians or Chinese.

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    1. And lets not forget that there are plenty of question marks around Mo Farah's coach Alberto Salazar who has been accused of systematic doping at his Nike-sponsored camp. Alberto has a number of athletes in his stable including US ones.

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  4. Please, no one tell me that Del Potro is doping. He is exhausted in the third set against Murray. Admittedly Del Potro had a much tougher draw but if he were doping he'd be completely recovered from the semi. And I'm convinced more than ever that Nadal cleared his system of any PEDs in order to compete because he too must have been exhausted or no way would he have lost to the always-injured Nishikori. I didn't see their match but I'm guessing Nadal wasn't the same Nadal who played that marathon at the Australian Open in 2012 against Djokovic.

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    1. So how does Del Potro play at the level he does after nearly two years away from the game through injury, overpowering on the way the biggest doping suspects in the sport? Only a top-form Murray is good enough to beat him. Athletes are calling-out suspected doping in other sports. These are in no way the "clean games". No one in tennis is entitled to a pass. It is naive to believe, that at the top level in any sport, a clean athlete will beat a doper of near equivalent ability.

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    2. If I recall in 2009 Del Potro missed a drugs test right before the start of the US Open, which then went on to win. Also, remember when bunch of Argentinian Tennis players kept testing positive? Chela, Coria, Canas, Puerta, Hood? Yeah.

      However in this match Del Potro really did look like he was on his last legs vs. Murray (even though he seems to lumber around on most occasion)

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    3. I don't know. Does the majority here think Murray is doping? Isn't it possible that Del Potro beat Djokovic and Nadal because for once they were clean? Del Potro did the same thing in 2012. He played a marathon semi against Federer and then he beat Djokovic for the bronze. Djokovic! The guy who was unbeatable pretty much in 2011 after, ahem, giving up gluten. I would like to believe there are a few clean athletes out there. It's kind of weird that Djokovic can't win an Olympic medal but on the tour he's damn near invincible.

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    4. There may be clean athletes out there but they won't be those who have already doped. Why compete clean when there is little chance of being caught?

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    5. Murray has gone through an incredible physical transformation since he came on the tour. He was really skinny when he was in his early 20s and late teens. Its worth looking at his first wimbledon match to see how much he lacked in endurance. He's come a long way since then. He seems to have grown muscles everywhere and his game is built around running and chasing down everything. If I had to hazard a guess, then I'd say yes, he's not clean.

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    6. Really think that the money u pay buys u the better dope, better masking agents. So, the top players are way more loaded than down the ranks, which allows them to get the best stuff. Delpo could very well be doping but just isn't as rich as a Murray, Fed, Nadal, Djoker to get the best stuff for most of the year. So, the less rich athletes are selective when they dope, @ what tournaments. It's just not natural in a sport for one player to be so dominant (Fed) only to be replaced by another dominant player (Nadal) only to be replaced by a 3rd dominant player (Djoker)now Murray's time to dominate if Djoker takes a long hiatus. The big four should not exist in a clean sports world IMO. Wanted Delpo to win b/c it seems more natural for different players to win on a big stage rather than just always the same 1 or 2 or 3 or 4 players in a field of players sooo huge. Naturally, many different players would be winning many different tournaments. So, other than doping how can anyone explain what's currently happening in tennis?

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    7. It would be naive to think that was a clean tournament but, put it this way, it was as close to a clean event as we'll likely see in tennis for at least another 4 years. Six medalists, no Serena, Nadal or Djokovic amongst them and some nice surprises thrown in.

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    8. But there is Murray, who looked fresh as a daisy towards the end of the 4th set today when the clock was near the 4 hour mark. How can you be so sure?

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    9. Was he looking as fresh as a daisy though? Besides, I didn't say it was clean, just that it seems cleaner compared to what we normally have to put up with. Both on the men's side and the women's.

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  6. When it comes to cleaning up for the Olympics no one comes close to Federer. If Nadal losing to Nishikori who is ranked just behind him is suspicious then Federer losing to teenager Berdych and James Blake at his prime on Deco Turf (US open surface) is a clear confirmation of PED clean up.

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    1. "no one comes close to Federer"

      Oh yeah, not even Djokovic who can't win a medal to save his life but on the ATP tour he has 6000 more points than the #2 player. Right.

      It's always back to Federer with you. How about we talk about what's happening today and not 12 years ago! And by the way in 2008 James Blake was #7 and Federer beat Berdych. So, what are you saying? Because he lost to Berdych in 2004 it's suspicious but then he beat him in 2008 and it's ok? Whatever.

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    2. Clarke sees Federer breaking wind as proof of doping.

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    3. As usual when it comes to Federer you lose your mind. How do you explain Federer losing to 18 years old Berdych in 2004 or to James Blake in 2008? He is 10-0 against Blake outside Olympics. Just because it's not recent it does not get a free pass. IMO Federer is the first sophisticated PED cheat in tennis. And Djokovic does have an Olympic medal, he won Bronze in 2008, just one below Federer's silver in 2012 when he suspiciously collapsed in the final. I have never seen him collapse like that before, certainly not against Murray. Federer is as suspicious as anyone else. In fact Federer's losses at the Olympics are more suspicious than Djokovic. Djokovic has lost to Nadal in 2008, Murray in 2012 and Del Potro twice (2012,2016)-- all slam winners. Federer has lost to Berdych (when he was 18) and James Blake. But hey I don't expect a Federer fanatic like you to see any anomaly in that.

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    4. well you said it yourself, Djokovic won a medal in 2008 BEFORE his amazing transformation from losing to every journeyman out there to beating every player he meets. Which tells me that in 2008 he wasn't yet on his "gluten-free" regimen but in 2012 and 2016 he had to clean up for the Olympics and went away empty-handed.

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    5. Not trying to defend Djokovic, just stating that Federer's performance at the Olympics is equally suspicious. There are good reasons to believe that he used to clean up for the Olympic games.

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    7. Fed suddenly pulling out of the rest of the season following his strong Wimbledon showing is something that should probably be discussed more on this forum.

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    8. strong showing? He lost in the semis and had a dream draw. Maybe he's 35 and injured. He's had a crap year but I guess you think he's serving a silent ban? He needs better dope I think.

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    9. BTW I just took a look at Federer's profile on the ATP site and he hasn't won a major since 2012 and he's only won 4 Masters 1000's in the past four years. Those are the toughest tournaments to win in many ways because there are no off days between matches. I think his record in his 30's is pretty much what one would expect from a top player and I don't see that as suspicious. 500's and 250's are not that difficult to win for someone like Federer because you don't get the strong field like at Masters tournaments.

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    10. By that logic except Djokovic, and Murray to some extent everyone needs better dope.

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    11. Federer would have won 3-4 majors and would have been world #1 in the last 2 years if there was no Djokovic. He was better than everyone except one. It is highly suspicious.

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    12. A service game away from the final I think qualifies as a strong showing. He was certainly peaking at the right time wasn't he? And why take the decision to withdraw from the rest of the season and not say away a month and see how he's heeling? That said, it is also true that given his age and that it was unlikely he was going to challenge at the Olympics or US Open carrying an injury, there probably wasn't much incentive for him to rush to be back. I think it merits discussion.

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    13. "He was better than everyone except one."

      So not true. In his 30's at grand slams Federer has lost to Raonic, Wawrinka, Seppi, Cilic, Gulbis, Nadal, Robredo, Stakhovsky, Tsonga, Murray and Berdych (as well as Djokovic). He's totally hot and cold. He can play a bunch of good matches in a row and then lose to anybody, which is par for the course at his age.

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    14. "A service game away from the final I think qualifies as a strong showing."

      True but did you see who else he played in that tournament? It wasn't exactly his strongest competition (other than Cilic). And he still lost. To Raonic, not one of the big 4 and he fought pretty hard in that match. But he still lost.

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    15. Yeah and many of those losses were in 2013 when he looked dead and buried. He probably changed his regime in the off season of 2013 and came back strong in 2014. In 2014-2015 he was stopped from winning 3-4 majors and other big titles such as the WTF by only Djokovic. He was the #2 player in the world for many weeks in these two years, so don't tell me it's not true. Of course he would have more surprising losses at this age, even doping can't beat age absolutely. But his overall performance was highly suspicious. Now he is probably trying a new regime again. Let's see what happens next year.

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    16. Clarke. Everything you say about Federer begins with the assumption he is doping. Consequently everything you say after that is confirmation of what you already and obsessively believe.

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    17. @John Clarke

      The amusing thing is that you're pointing your finger at Federer who isn't winning anything but you don't seem bothered by the players who are winning all the tournaments and are probably doping (i.e.: Murray and Djokovic). Are you that pissed off that Federer didn't retire five years ago? I don't get the constant barrage of "Federer is a doper" posts. Why not focus on the players who are actually taking the titles? I'm surprised you're not going after Agassi or Sampras. After all, they won a lot too.

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    18. John Clarke, you are absolutely right. At least Serena won the olympics already and can lose to anyone in any competition. Federer who broke all records in the book always seemed to play like an amateur whenever he was playing in the Olympics. The an will probably have 40 slams by now if not for Nadal and Djokovic and his fans hink he can't dope because they like him and if they don't like you, you must be doping

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    19. The fact that John Clarke is focused on only one player rather than looking at the big picture of tennis makes this seem like a personal anti-Federer campaign, not an exploration of doping in tennis. Sure, there are indicaters with regard to Federer but it takes a level of blindness to see him as more likely than others.

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    20. For me he is the pionner of sophisticated doping in tennis. Nadal and Djokovic and to a certain extent Murray took it to another level. We can't say someone doesn't dope because he has less stamina than another doper. If he didn't have a lot of stamina like federer who was tired playing 5 sets at 19 years old, it is normal that if doped, he will have less stamina than another doper who naturally has more stamina than him. It may not always be the case, but it is more likely to be the case. So those claiming that Federer doesn't dope because he has less stamina than only Nadal and Djokovic don't have a point. Many players were caught doping but didn't have a stamina close to Federer's.

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    21. I mean, the guy broke all tennis records and never cramped or got injured while playing against dopers. Other players take bananas, vitamin drinks, etc to avoid fatigue and cramps amd he only drinks water and never gets any physical ailments going to semi finals and finals of most of the competions.

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    22. "never gets any physical ailments going to semi finals and finals of most of the competions."

      "never" and "most" are mutually exclusive.

      And that is one of the biggest media-perpetuated misconceptions about Federer: that he "never" got injured or sick or tired. Whereas Nadal has always gotten a pass for his losses because he's such a whiner. One of the few times Federer dared mention an injury at 2010 Wimbledon I think, he was vilified for it. I think he knew better than to mention any injuries after that. But it's ridiculous to think that an elite athlete never gets injured. Maybe it's just that he never took off huge blocks of time due to injury like Nadal or Serena has. Does that make him a doper? Maybe he played through the pain because he wanted to play (especially the slams). It used to be that we suspected players who took off months at a time from the tour. Now we're accusing the players who didn't take off time of doping. Which is it?

      "Many players were caught doping but didn't have a stamina close to Federer's."

      names please.

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    23. Never and most are mutually exclusive. Richard can help you on that one. What I wrote perfectly makes sense.
      If a player is really injured, he has no other choice than to take time out for fear of making it worse.
      Players: Canas, puerta, Coria, Troiky (almost), etc

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  7. http://www.nbcolympics.com/news/meet-17-year-old-volleyball-phenom-taking-world-storm

    For those who are interested, they can read the above article. It is in the blood....

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  8. Just read Murray booked a private jet & sharing it with Nadal to go to Cincy open. Obviously, Djoker not there so Murray's on a quest to claim number 1. Can we just get a single break from the energizer bunnies...

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    1. Interesting marker. I don't expect Murray to last more than a couple of rounds, but if he goes deep it would certainly raise an eyebrow. Let's see what happens.

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  9. Personally I didn't see anything happen with tennis in Rio that didn't completely solidify what I already suspect.

    Serena out early. This is the same Serena Williams who has made all three slam finals this year, winning one and going close with both others. Then suddenly at Rio, crashes out? Not a good look for those almost sure she is doping!

    Djokovic out early against a decent Del Potro. Djokovic this year plays the tennis of his life, winning his sixth(!) AO and his first ever FO (where the rain delays forced him to play day after day after day). Then Wimbledon comes with the promise of heightened testing, and he loses to... Sam Querry!? Then Rio - he can hardly not play given his professed (and real) love for his country. And, out in first round. Not a good look for those almost sure he is doping!

    Nadal - not on his regimen nearly as much as his heyday, but still getting enough benefit to win a few easy matches early. Quickly faded towards the end of the tournament (very predictable) and loses to Delpo and Nishikori, neither of whom he would ever lose to in any serious tournament just a couple of years ago. Manages to win the (much less competitive) doubles, thanks to past regimen benefits and his much better doubles player partner. Not a good look for those almost sure he is doping!

    Murray - some here think he dopes, others not, at least a not as much as the previously mentioned players. I fall into the latter group. He played consistently thought the tournament as did during Wimbledon. I see little to suggest he must be a major doper!

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    1. What about Serena in 2012? Does it only count when she loses? Everyone who follows Serena closely knows that even though she went to many slams semis or finals, she was close to losing in the early rounds of all these competions. Unless you guys believe the lunatics who usually say she manages to be close to losing on purpose, you guys can see that unlike Federer, Serena can be beaten. The issue is that many of the girls think that instead of lifting weight and imcreasing their chances of beating Serena, they would rather use their long unlimited mouth to win and it hasn't been particularly successful

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    3. @Mystery - some nice detailed thoughts.

      It's true that both Wimbledon and Olympics panned out as I believe was predicted by many posters on this forum months before hand.

      Serena winning Wimbledon was perhaps the exception (I thought she would be deterred enhanced doping controls.) But she called their bluff and guessed correctly that they had no intention of carrying out enhanced testing.

      Then again Serena could literally turn up to an event with a needle sticking out her bicep and she'd still get away with it. She's untouchable because of her value to the WTA and for various other cultural reasons.

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    4. Yeah right...since we all know Sharapova or Henin have no values right!!!

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    5. Not even remotely in the same stratosphere. Serena's perceived importance to Tennis stretches far beyond monetary concerns.

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    6. Well Serena isn't in Cincy. She lost early at the Olympics. Let's see what happens at the US Open. Maybe she's due for another piece of glass in her foot.

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    7. @North??? and why would that be the case??? Is that why her endorsement is not on par with her achievement??? Is it the creation of your imagination to believe that Serena is more important than Sharapova who might be the only reason why white males watch women tennis. Serena is there based on pure will. No white audience wants to see her. The reason why they watch her play is the same reason pacquiao's fans watch Maywheather's fights... to see her lose.

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    8. @North??? and why would that be the case???

      Well for one, she is considered by many to be the GOAT. In the unlikely event that she is ever caught, that alone would be a knock out blow to public perception of tennis. Then try and unpick all her titles and re-allocate them. Talk about a headache of seismic proportion. If you think Tour de France had a problem, this would be on another scale.

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    9. have they reallocated Sharapova's trophies yet. So the beloved Sharapova being caught doesn't make fans less interested in tennis but catching the one everyone wants caught would have such an impact??? People will be celebrating as if there was another declaration of independence. You're not making any sense.

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    10. May be that is why Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic have not been caught yet.

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    11. @Eric

      Sharapova hadn't won any trophies. Just one quarter final where, despite being doped to the eyeballs, she was destroyed by Serena.

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    12. I am not following you. You mean Serena only doped this year? You tend to be focusing only on this year. What about the past years?

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    13. Meldonium wasn't illegal before the start of this year.

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    14. Based on that logic, why don't they catch Serena in years she doesn't win slams like the beginning of this year for example.

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  10. Eric ed. Serena win London 2012 because she was four years younger and didn't need quite the massive amounts of dope to win a tournament like she does these days. She would still have been juicing then, no doubt. But using less dope and at the right times means avoiding positive tests. This fact might as well be a universal law. Besides she played doped-to-the-eyeballs Sharapova in the final and beat her something like 6 1 6 0 so if serena beat her whilst clean by that scoreline well, it's literally, unbelievable...

    Eric I think you are one of the ones who could see Serena turn up to Flushing Meadow with a 'Steroid'-labelled needle hanging out of her right heavyweight bicep and you'd still call her the cleanest athlete since Flo-Jo!!

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    1. Lol. It seems to be the case for Federer as well. Having a major injury(just after falling) at such a late time during his career. That deserves to be added to his record breaking as well.
      So in your opinion, she didn't need more doping to get the slams???
      Once again, Serena unlike Federer might have lost to any player in each of the recent slams she won. The Olympics are an exception only for those who only check final scores

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    2. Sharapova serena one sided head to head has to do with match up issues for Sharapova. no amount of doping can change that.

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    3. "She didn't need more doping to get the slams?"

      I don't get you logic behind this question (not that this surprises me). She is so doped up today she can't play without it. Four years ago she would have needed less dope than the astonishing amount she probably needs these days. Don't get me wrong, she was doped up to high heaven four years ago too. The effects of dope last a lot longer than the immediately following days.

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    4. My bad. I was under the impression that she won a slam a short time ago?

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    5. Of course she needed dope to win Wimbledon! That's the whole point. As soon as she gets to the olympics, more of an unknown re doping controls compared to the usual tour, she bombs out. Sure, you would say 'in slams she could have lost early in each one this year' - but she always manages to get by, doesn't she. She takes it to a third set which she wins easily. So predictable.

      And then suddenly, the Olympics come along, with a different type of testing, though still really inadequate. But most tennis players aren't taking any chances with this new testing regime - they suspect it will be inadequate but don't know for sure.

      And guess what, she loses the exact type of match she usually wins time and time again. Not a good look for those who suspect she may be doping!!

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    6. Is it because she won all the similar types of contest before these Olympics that she only has 22 majors?

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    7. In the last couple of years she's won all or most of those similar type contests apart from a choke in they USO semi and not being quite up to scratch in the AO and FO finals. And this is supposedly in her career's Twilight! You'd think she was at her absolute career peak (and a 26 year old) with results like she's had the last two seasons.

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    8. I am glad to know that she has been doping only for the past couple of years.

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  11. The THASP blog used to be a brilliant forum to read up on circumstantial evidence,drug tests,media reports and known evidence surrounding athletes who have or might be doping
    It's now turned into a forum where almost everyone who comments here thinks they are an expert on doping
    Most if not all of the comments made here of late are based on nothing but pure bias speculation for or against a tennis player they either love,or love to hate
    Very little is subjectively based on fact or knowledge about performance enhancing drugs
    It's sad to see the direction this blog has headed in...

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    1. After discussing known evidence for so many years, and after seeing exactly nothing happen, I guess that most have lost their hope that the crucial whistleblower will finally show up. It has become redundant to further discuss this issue, the world does not want to know

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    2. Not as redundant as making comments with zero credibility based on nothing but pure bias speculation for or against a player that's either loved or loved to be hated
      At least the discussion on here before used to have far more credibility
      Imagine the impression or impact this blog now makes on newcomers who potentially may actually know a thing or two about doping

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    3. hmmmmm, the people who comment here are not experts. What are you expecting? It's a blog where people comment on the original post or what's happening in tennis (or sport) at the moment. I think you have unrealistic expectations.

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    5. So I guess expecting intelligent and well informed comments rather then ignorant baseless comment is expecting too much??
      No wonder this blog has gone down the toilet
      You probably won't understand my point until I make an ignorant ill formed comment about Federer while praising Serena in process Lopi

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    6. Actually, I think you are ignorant because you want everyone else to do the research, thinking for you. Why don't you post something intelligent instead of criticizing everyone else? Moron.

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    7. Resorting to childish name calling...I rest my case

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    8. and calling everyone here ignorant isn't name calling? I rest my case. And by the way if thus place has gone down the toilet why are you here?

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    9. @Magicalgrasshopper - Go on then, raise the bar.

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    10. @Northwestcircus I think all you'll hear is crickets where the grasshopper is concerned.

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    11. If I recall correctly, I think mgh was the commenter who some time ago mentioned they had a source who said Nadal failed a test before the WTF 2011. It sparked a good debate on here that was interesting.
      It's good to see you back on here.

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    12. Thanks UntitledK9
      I think that it's very easy to make blanket statements and accuse an athlete of cheating just because you hate them,so it would be nice to see some of the accusations here backed up with some circumstantial evidence or knowledge of PEDs rather then just bias speculation to give this forum more credibility
      At the moment most of what I'm reading here = "someone just farted!! It smells REALLY suspicious!! They must be doping!!"

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    13. Why are you being so aggressive Lopi?
      You're behaving the way "roid-rage Serena Williams" did against that lines woman who called a foot fault
      In fact reading up on some of your comments makes me suspicious that you might be doping too! You certainly sound like you're on Nandrolone

      ( I hope that the irony is not lost on you)

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    14. @magicalgrasshopper

      You don't think Djokovic's early exit from Wimbledon is suspicious given the suggestion of increased drugs testing? How about losing both his first rounds at the Olympics? Given he's been invincible over the last year of so, it seems this coincidence is something more than just him "farting."

      http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2016/04/reports-wimbledon-participants-will-be-subjected-increased-drug-testing/58265/#.V3_3E1dEyCQ

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    15. @Northwestcircus
      Of course it seems completely out of character for a player who has been posting such incredibly consistent results throughout the last few years
      But does that automatically mean that he must be cycling down to avoid the rigorous drug testing regime of the Olympics while at the same time hearing how others are claiming that these athletes are passing drug tests cause of masking agents
      Well the two don't add up for me,especially if we look at John Clarks ridiculous comments of using Federers loses at the olympics as proof that he is doping and was cycling down to avoid getting caught
      Everyone knows how much Federer wanted to win gold,and if these athletes are passing drug tests with their masking agents who is to say how far ahead of the game they are
      If you're risking the career that gives you millions,why suddenly stop taking risks if we use the logic that dopers think that they'll never be caught or can get away with it
      I'm following the track and field and the amount of athletes who have served a 2 year
      and have been allowed to come back and compete is simply astounding
      Look we all come here because we have 1 thing in common,we all believe that there's a lot of cheating going on,but let's be honest the finger pointing here of late has be far more bias then factual

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    16. Of course it's suspicious as is his use of the cvac pod, which, if the company's claims are correct, will "improve circulation, boost oxygen-rich red-blood cells, remove lactic acid and possibly even stimulate mitochondrial biogenesis and stem-cell production…” How is this any different than blood doping which is banned? It's almost as if WADA is saying as long as it doesn't go in the body it's ok. But is it ok? It's certainly not ethically ok I don't think. It's been about 10 years since WADA stated that the use of such devices was against the spirit of the sport and further investigation was needed. But where are we now? I think one day they will be banned but it will be too late by then. Kind of like with meldonium.

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    17. my comment was in reply to Northwestcircus.

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    18. @magicalgrasshopper "But does that automatically mean that he must be cycling down"

      No, of course not. But it's another suspicious signal to be added to his already thick casebook. It's true some here think doping controls aren't a deterrent for tennis players at the Olympics, and I guess that's a point of view. But then why so many withdrawals and early exits? Maybe players really don't care about the Olympics, which I find heard to swallow given most athletes are very patriotic. To my mind the long list of withdrawals and early exits strongly signals that there's something amiss, it should be a black mark against everyone of them regardless of what excuse they have, and we should keep talking about it.

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    19. Obviously like most on here I have my suspicions about gluten free Djokovic 2.0 His almost overnight improvement especially his endurance having previously been known as someone who retires easily has certainly raised my eyebrows
      But unfortunately unlike Nadal where so much circumstantial evidence links him to various doping scandals there is very little factaul information for anyone to go on

      Of course there's a possibility that his loses could have been down to him cycling down just as easily as I think that they could have been down to fatigue or a lack of confidence
      I am certainly one of those who think that the drug testing at the olympics isn't any more advanced or better then how the players are tested throughout the year,and therefore wouldn't be much of a deterrent especially when taking into consideration that drugs cheats from Beijing were only recently caught,almost 10 years later
      As I said before many athletes in track and field have served 2 year bans and were allowed to come back and compete so I seriously doubt that any tennis player who happens to fail a drugs test at the Olympics would be career ending,at the rate we are going they probably won't be exposed as one not for another 10 years!
      But maybe you're right,there could be much more to all these withdrawals then meets the eye,who knows?
      This forum has always had credibility for backing up most of what is writen here and I'm not really one that likes to trumpet my speculation as fact so my opinion on this subject just remains that- suspicion or speculation

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  12. "Rio: IOC warns drug cheats they will be caught within the next 10 years

    The International Olympic Committee has warned cheats who might be using designer drugs or gene doping at the Rio Olympics that they will eventually be found out. The IOC's medical director says about 6,000 samples of urine and blood from Rio athletes will be stored for a decade, to ensure that any new technology will be able to test for anomalies currently not being detected."

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-16/rio:-ioc-warns-drug-cheats-they-will-be-caught/7748118

    Is this for real? So they're threatening to catch dirty athletes within the next ten years? Why aren't they catching them now? Why are the dopers so far ahead of the testers?

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  15. I think that he biggest misconception on this forum at the moment seem to be that doping somehow guarantees winning
    Doping only enhances an athletes performance and to a certain degree may help increase the chances of winning but even having said that,if hypothetically 95% of the draw is doping then the chances remain slim and factors such as mental strength,natural talent and how good a player is will determine the outcome of matches
    Which is why even this era of extreme endurance the better more talented players are generally ranked higher
    It's entirely plausible for an athlete who is doping to still loose so any lose by a suspicious player doesn't automatically mean that they must be cycling down
    However if there is pattern like we see from an athlete like Rafael Nadal where he goes through a 3-4 month period of dominating the game to then suddenly being unable to take a set off a top 10 player for the next 5-6 months,that would most likely be the case
    A lot of the cycles would also depend on the type of drug the athlete is using

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  16. Doping certainly doesn't guarantee success every time. Look at Nadal's or Djokovic's career on the juice (or S Williams as another obvious example). Or David Ferrer - he goes far deeper in big tournaments and never gets tired- but never wins one. But he and Sarah Errani do a lot better than they would if they weren't a part of Del Moral's, er, 'cardiac tests'.

    But Djokovic at this year's Wimbledon is something I simply can't look past. In January or May his year he would have beaten Sam Querry in straight sets playing left handed! And then he loses to him like that? No offence to Sam but he's not exactly a young up and comer like Thiem or someone who can knock off a big name on his day like Kyrgios. The guy turned up to that match to see how he went and because, well, he had to. And then he ended up winning it. It might only be one result but it's suspicious as hell in my personal opinion.

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    1. I think winning 4 straight majors finally took its toll,it had not been done up to that point since Laver and I believe that there's a reason why
      To go on such a winning streak had to come to and end at some point which is why I expected an early exit for him at either Wimbledon or the U.S Open
      Let's not forget that Querry was playing lights out tennis,I certainly have never seen him serve that well before and back it up with such impressive precise ground strokes
      I did however think that he would not be able to maintain that level the next day so I expected a shift in momentum in Djokovics favour
      I think that Djokovic was stunned that Querry simply just wouldn't go away
      Totally agree with your first paragraph

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  17. Federer trips falls and is out for the year. The same man is going down the stairs and tears his ACL??? Is that how fragile he is without doping?

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    1. I guess this is what magicalgrasshopper was talking about re speculation on this blog. That is if you are implying that all of a sudden at 34 Federer decided to stop doping and then suddenly injured himself (like because he had never been injured before although we know that's not true). I guess it couldn't have anything to do with his age could it? Or the fact that he played a ton of tennis at the Australian Open and then the next day wrecked his knee? And Federer never said he was out for the season because of that fall at Wimbledon. In fact, I think he said the fall didn't hurt him. He said he probably went back after the knee surgery too early because he wanted to play Wimbledon and he wasn't ready. Isn't this what we expect of a player in his mid-thirties? To maybe be able to play well for a bit but then fade? To be inconsistent? And probably get injured more easily? If Federer was winning everything in sight I might actually agree that he's doping but of course that isn't the case.

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    3. “Federer trips falls and is out for the year.”
      - Federer didn’t trip, according to him (official story), he made a simple turning motion and felt a click in his knee

      “The same man is going down the stairs”
      - No stairs were involved

      “Tears his ACL”
      - He didn’t tear his ACL, he tore his meniscus. They aren’t quite the same thing.

      Do you just choose to provide wrong information on purpose? It immediately negates your arguments.

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    4. I think Eric Ed was referring to Federer falling during his match against Raonic at Wimbledon. But yes, the rest was completely fabricated.

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    5. "I think Eric Ed was referring to Federer falling during his match against Raonic"

      That's even worse because that was evidence of an issue.

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    6. Ok, my bad! i am a liar. It is actually worse. He tore his meniscus while walking and not carrying any load. For Tennis which is one if not the most physically demanding individual sport, having a surgery for the first time in your career after getting injured while walking. Simply woao. And on top of that, he stumbles and fall on grass like a rack doll in free fall.
      Even the crow showed its appreciation. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LpStjGZEoA
      Even the commentator said he doesn't recall eveer seeing Federer in that position. The iron man who almost never gets injured playing against dopers drops down like a likkle baby.

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    7. Looked like Charlie Chaplin in top form and top of his art.

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    8. @eric ed what the heck are you smoking?

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  18. Women's draw for Cincy Open looks more exciting than men's. It's wide open---anyone can win. Predict that Murray's gonna take the Cincy Open title this year despite having just won Olympic gold this past Sunday. Even Nadal & Nishikori looked exhausted & spent after playing until last day of Olympics. Just saying....
    It's gonna take someone deep on the inside of it all to expose doping in tennis. Until that happens, it's gonna be very difficult for fans like me on the outside to get hard core facts. Most of what we post here is also second hand info. From what journalists write. Wish someone who really has evidence can bring it to light & join our cause, but until then we can only write our opinions & speculate.

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  19. "It's gonna take someone deep on the inside of it all to expose doping in tennis"

    Sadly, this is might just be the case as journalists in Tennis can't be bothered to rock that boat. Just look at the way Ben Rothenberg kept defending Sharapova on social media.

    But now that there is Sportsleak, we can cross our fingers that perhaps we'll have a whistle blower in Tennis.

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    1. My guess is Sharapova will be cleared to play in the new Year. Anti-doping in tennis is a farce.

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    2. It would have been nice if Sharapova leaked a lot of tricks of the trade as to what's really happening behind the scenes. But u r prob right that they'll let her back on tour to shut her up.

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    3. The funny thing is that Maria probably could have gotten away with it if she had only kept her mouth shut. She probably would have gotten a six month ban which she could have explained away with some feigned injury. But I guess that's the only thing I respect her for: for coming forward and admitting she tested positive. No doubt her handlers/sponsors wish she had waited a bit to see how things played out.

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    4. It looks like her ban will be cut short to one year :(. What a joke. Then we'll have to hear what a 'victim' she has been when she comes back. I hope some players kick up a stand, Cibulkova and Mladenovic were the only ones with any balls.

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  20. How many matches in a row has Murray won now? 22? One would think he would be tired after the Olympics (especially after that 4-hour final against Delpo), but that doesn't seem to be the case. He's crushing everyone in his path. If he keeps this up, he might be able to wrestle away the #1 ranking from Djokovic this year.

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    1. Murray is looking unstoppable. The final is just a formality. He'll crush whomever he faces, be it Cilic or Dimitrov.

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    2. Murray's 46-6 this year with most of those losses to Djoker. Without Djoker, he would have won Aussie Open & French Open, He won Wimbledon, won Olympic Gold, Suspect if Djoker 2.0 is MIA for US Open & WTF, those are most probably Murray's.

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    3. Murray is playing in a weird tennis vacuum at the moment, which I'm finding stranger by the day. It used to be to win a tournament of note, he would need to beat at least one of the big 3, if not two of them. And also another top tenner from the 2nd tier (Tsonga, Ferrer, Berdych, or Wawrinka.) So far on this summer stretch (Queens, Wimbledon, Rio & now Cincinnati) he's had to play only 5 matches against top-ten opposition, the highest being ranked 7. Raonic x 3, an out of sorts Berdych and Nishikori who seemed flat. I don't know where everyone else is right now, but the last two Masters tournaments have felt really lacklustre.

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  21. Caught the end of Semenya earlier and her voice was deeper than Barry White's! If she isn't a man than she's clearly on roids, that is not natural for a woman. Listen to how deep Flo Jo's voice was in 88 and it was even deeper than that!

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    1. Is it a coincidence that her name is basically Semen-YA!!!! I don't think so. She's thumbing her nose at everyone.

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    2. It's widely known that Semenya is a hermaphrodite. Apparently, the second and third-placed runners in the Women's 800m event are hermaphrodite, too.

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    3. The top 3 looked like men. The 4th place finisher from Canada was lauded by the comms for her performance, for being able to come in 4th. Too funny (but not really).

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    4. Oh and they also said there were two races run: the Africans and the rest of the field.

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    5. Lopi Lopi, did you see how many blacks medaled in these olympics just with the relatively small portion that has access to proper infrastructures??? it is astonishing. Don't you agree?

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  22. What's happening to Murray? Is the previously banned Cilic getting the better of him? I didn't think it was possible. Let's see what happens in the 2nd set.

    Looks like Cilic is peaking just in time for the US Open. I guess he's tired of being called a one slam wonder.

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  23. Federer confirms allegations....

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=23Uyxwtuf6Q

    (Worth looking at if you haven't seen his Mercedes commercial).

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    1. I must admit that this is what he would look like if he wasn't wealthy to provide himself with the best products a man can get

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    2. LOL. I knew it! He's immortal. Well, that explains a few things. Maybe he's from another planet.

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    3. I am surprised he didn't break his arm while laughing during this commercial

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  24. So who of all people stops Murray's huge streak?

    Marin Fucking Cilic.

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  25. Wow, Cilic seems to be back in US Open 2014 form. After his match against Dimitrov, I thought he wouldn't be able to recover quickly enough for the final because the turnaround was so fucking short (his semi went past 1.30 AM), but instead, it looked like he could play 3 or 5 more sets today.

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  26. Neil Harman on twitter: "Hearing there may be a fascinating pre-tournament twist in the story of the men's singles at this year's US Open. I'm saying no more."

    https://twitter.com/Neil_Harman57/status/767734917618888704

    Fed playing after all? / Novak pulling out?

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    1. I guess if Federer ended up playing after all that would lead to speculation that he was serving a silent ban that he got overturned and approved to play. Wouldn't it? Neil Harman is a tease. I am actually surprised to see him back.

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    2. I would say the Fed scenario is a stretch.

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    3. I agree. Although he has been posting practice photos and videos today. And he's in New York.

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    4. If Fed actually pitched up to the US Open and played, it would be one of the most suspicious turn of events we've seen since Nadal returned from injury in 2013. I just really can't see it happening. Even in the scenario that he had failed a test and was subsequently cleared, even then, I still think he would want to skip the US Open so as not to raise suspicions.

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  27. From 1 September 2016 if a case arising from the tennis anti doping program results in a provisional suspension,then that provisional suspension will be made public

    http://www.itftennis.com/news/237425.aspx

    Thoughts?

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    1. It was announced back in May. The change was probably due in part to Roselyne Bachelot's comments about Nadal having served a silent ban in 2012 and also the rumors that earlier this year Lepchenko tested positive for Meldonium but it wasn't announced. The ITF chose to rectify that quickly.

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/tennis/2016/05/25/international-tennis-federation-to-change-anti-doping-procedures/

      On the surface it looks like a step in the right direction but in my opinion, the ITF really should be testing the players more.

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    2. Sorry,I wasn't aware of that.I was also not aware of the change being made until today.Obviously the ITF want to be seen to be doing more in the war against banned substances and doping,but I have a feeling the whole Sharapova scandal had something to do with it too
      I'm in agreement with Lopi on this one,I believe that Sharapova would most likely have gotten away with just a slap on the wrist ban,but seeing that she decided to go public they didn't want to be seen as going soft on doping
      I think most people were wondering why it was Sharapova who announced her failing a drugs test rather then the ITF

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    4. Yeah. I agree with you and Lopi above that Sharapova is about to be let back on tour, or at least have her original sentence reduced.

      Also you might be right about her having something to do with it. Remember when she wrote something along the lines of "I will not pretend to be injured to hide my positive test"...it raised a lot of eye brows.

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    5. I wonder who she could possibly be referring to?? Lol it's so obvious that most if not all of these athletes know far more then what they are willing to let on,it's a shame that so few are willing to tackle the epidemic
      I guess as long as they are winning and earning millions on and off the court,why bother to risk the backlash

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    6. Gee I wonder. Well if she is referring to her archnemesis Serena then she certainly wouldn't ever be able to say anything because it would come across as sour grapes since she is unable to beat the woman. But maybe when she comes back from her ban she'll be better than ever (like Cilic was) and she might actually win a match against SW and maybe even win a slam ;)

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    7. But She didn't bother to pay back after the "man with the dark heart" comment if after Serena apologized.

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  29. This 40 min podcast goes into history of cold war olympics doping, state sponsored programs, WADA and that doping happens in all sports and countries. http://pca.st/REk4

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