Peter Bodo's TennisWorld - Rokkon the Boat
Home       About Peter Bodo       Contact        RSS       Follow on Twitter Categories       Archive
Rokkon the Boat 11/03/2010 - 3:00 PM

95590393 by Pete Bodo

One of my articles of faith regarding tennis has recently been confirmed by Christophe Rochus. That conviction is that if you want to get a lot of attention in tennis, you must do one of three things: Beat Roger Federer. Beat Rafael Nadal. Or make accusations about doping.

Rochus, the 5-7 Belgian drop-shot artist also known as "Rokkon" (which I assume is a variant of "Rock on!" as in, "Rock on, dude!") is a lover of Jack Russell terriers. Somehow, that seems really fitting; like a Jack Russell, Rochus never seemed to understand that he's a small dog.

Still, Rochus was 0-2 for his career against Federer, and 0-2 versus Nadal. That leaves option three, which Rochus exploited to the max recently, when he made some disturbing allegations about doping in the Belgian newspaper La Derniere Heure. "Derniere" means "last," and this may be the last we hear of Rochus for a while, given that he's currently ranked No. 237 and headed further south. It appears that he's called it a career, and I'll miss him—even though his claims about doping seem ill-considered and irresponsible.

I say that because I've learned—or is it "decided"?—over the years that if you're going to shoot your mouth off about doping, you'd better have something to back it up—something beyond, "Don't you see how waxy so-and-so's skin looks?" If you don't have anything beyond the most flimsy circumstantial or connect-the-dots evidence, common decency demands that you either keep your mouth shut or couch your comments in the most broad, general terms. It just isn't fair to any of the players, especially those whose activities are in question, to do otherwise.

I learned this myself the hard way, after writing a few relatively careful but highly speculative posts on the subject a few years ago (at this blog). I don't want to dig them out or link to them because, frankly, I'm somewhat ashamed of them. Being familiar with firearms, I should have known enough to remember that you only aim a gun at something you intend to kill. And you'd better have a good reason to kill anything.

So let's start here. Doping exists in tennis. We've learned that it exists in pretty much all pro sports. If it didn't, nobody ever would have been suspended for it, right? This should not come as Stop the Presses! news to anyone. But when does doping (or substitute betting on matches) become so ubiquitous a problem that it damages the credibility of the sport? Not at any point at which we've arrived, although I like to think I'm ready to take the bad news if we ever do get there.

In the precis of the interview, Rochus is quoted as saying, "There's a lot of cheating. Simply, people don't like to talk about it. I simply would like to stop the pretending. This hypocrisy is exasperating."

I'm not sure what hypocrisy Rochus is talking about. Abusers are first and foremost cheaters; hypocrites would be those who know for certain that doping goes on, and on a significant scale, but choose to ignore it, or claim it doesn't. The implication here is that the guys on the tour know it goes on, but have engaged in a kind of conspiracy of silence. This is the first time I've heard anything like that claim. I also don't believe any of the players would knowingly let others unfairly take food off their plates without kicking up a fuss about it.

Secondly, Rochus said: "I've seen things like everyone else. For me, it's inconceivable to play for five hours in the sun and come back like a rabbit the next day. I remember a match against a guy whose name I will not say. I won the first set 6-1, very easily. He went to the bathroom and came back metamorphosized. He led 5-3 in the second set and when I came back to 5-5... his nose began bleeding. I told myself it was all very strange."

I'm not so sure what's so strange about a guy recovering from a bad 1-6 set to turn a match around. And we've seen players find a seemingly prenatural surge of energy on many occasions. It happens all the time, in all sports. I'm not sure what nosebleed suggests, other than a really bad cold or a whopping cocaine habit, but it's pretty bold to infer from that experience that the incident suggests doping on an institutional scale. Maybe Rochus just drew a guy with nasal passage issues. Or even a cokehead. Given how many pro tennis matches take place in a typical year, and how many players qualify for tournaments, I wouldn't find either option very strange at all.

The most specific and damaging of allegations Rochus made were about his countrywoman Justine Henin, and her abrupt withdrawal from the tour in 2008. Rochus apparently said: "I heard [the rumours] like you. All I can say is, I found it surprising, her sudden stop without apparent reason. Usually, champions like this announce several months in advance and do a sort of farewell tour."

Let's start with this: the original doping claims against Henin were made after the 2003 U.S. Open, and by Leo Clijsters, the father of Henin's Belgian rival, Kim. Filip de Wulf, a former French Open semifinalist turned journalist, appeared to back up Leo. These remain the most serious, resonant doping claims ever made against a high-ranked player. And while nobody knows the objective truth about them, wouldn't it be a horrible injustice to Henin if we took the words of Clijsters and DeWulf at face value, with no concrete evidence? Are you so confident in your judgment—or the word of some third party—that you would insist that Henin was doping?

Fast forward to 2008. I don't know where Rochus got this business about champions liking to announce their intent to retire months in advance in order to go on a "farewell tour." I'm still waiting for Elena Dementieva to post the dates of hers, and I don't really recall Kim Clijsters' victory lap of a few years ago. Nor that of Andre Agassi, or Pete Sampras. Were they doping, too? This is such poor reasoning on the part of Rochus that it makes me wince.

Rochus freely admitted that he'd been given 10-15 doping tests a year for a decade, and also received a warning letter from the ATP when he shot his mouth off on the same subject some time ago. I don't know if 15 tests is enough; and I don't know if the testing regimen is sufficiently rigorous to catch violators. To make an informed judgment about those things, I'd probably have to spend the better part of six months dedicating my life to penetrating the sinister and depressing world of doping, and doping police work. I have no desire to do that, so I keep my speculations to myself. The important thing is that I don't think Rochus put in those six months, either. Perhaps it could become his second career.

Doping is a subject that reminds me in some ways of the little I know about pornography. Some people seem inordinately attracted to it. Both subjects appear to have some sort of addictive power, and foster some sort of obesssion that can balloon out of control. Why would someone convince himself that this player or that is a doper, and then make it some kind of a mission to expose him or her? I can't imagine that obsessively wanting to discover some real or imagined secret harbored by someone else, or some group of people, is an entirely healthy enterprise. But I'm pretty sure it's one you can be sucked into, if you're susceptible to it. In some ways, speculating about doping also is a sporting equivalent of political conspiracy theories. Dots, after all, are there to be connected. I prefer that someone armed with data and expertise—someone in a position to actually know—does the connecting.

I don't think, from what I've read, that Rochus is in a postion to connect those dots. I would be more inclined to value his comments if he had some firsthand experience—being approached by someone who had PEDs to peddle; a fellow player confiding in him about the benefits of doping; encountering a colleague injecting himself with a dose of performance-enhancing drugs. But he offers none of those firsthand experiences, beyond playing some guy, somewhere, who came back from a set down to give Rochus a match despite also having a bloody nose.

Many years ago, Boris Becker confided (and I published the confession, with his blessing) that at the end of one particularly grueling year (the best of his career, if memory serves), he was a mental and physical wreck, and survived to end the year on a high note only because he received an injection of calf's blood. It was a creepy thing to think about and, as far as I could work out, not a violation of any of the rules that existed at the time. Players always seek an edge, there's no doubt about that. Just what they're willing to risk, both in terms of their health and their livelihood and reputation, is open the question.

I'm in no position to answer that question with anything like authority, so I'll leave it to the administrators of the game and the scientists to provide those answers—or charges. My job, as I see it, begins when a credible, fact-based claim is made. The glories, such as they are, rained down on someone who exposes a cheat or deception, hold no appeal for me.

I don't know what that original admonition from the ATP said, but if I were to write a letter to Rochus today, it would be a brief one: Shut your piehole, until you can make a specific charge against a specific person or persons—and back it up.

I have a feeling that Rochus is going to regret saying the things he did when he gets an earful from the ATP, or Henin, or maybe even that dude with the bloody nose. But given his comments, I can also see him interpreting censure of that kind as a warning that he take part in this alleged conspiracy of silence. 

After the noise he just made, a little silence might be a good thing.


481
Comments
Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.
1 2 3 4 5      >>

Posted by Master Ace 11/03/2010 at 03:10 PM

Thursday Order of Play:

WTA: Bali at 5:30 AM - Pavlyuchenkova vs Ivanovic
ATP: Valencia at 8 AM - Chela vs Davydenko followed by Gimeno-Traver vs Soderling ending with Gabashvili vs Ferrer
WTA: Bali at 8 AM - Li vs Date Krumm
ATP: Basel at 9 AM - Nalbandian vs Cilic, Stepanek vs Giraldo and Mathieu vs Troicki scheduled
ATP: Valencia at 10 AM - Cuevas vs Starace and Andujar vs Granollers scheduled
ATP: Basel at 11 AM - Gasquet vs Kamke or Berdych
ATP: Basel at 1 PM - Roddick vs Golubev
ATP: Valencia at 3 PM - Monfils vs Wawrinka
ATP: Basel at 3 PM - Nieminen vs Djokovic

Posted by Ruth 11/03/2010 at 03:15 PM

"I learned this myself the hard way, after writing a few relatively careful but highly speculative posts on the subject a few years ago (at this blog). I don't want to dig them our or link to them because, frankly, I'm somewhat ashamed of them. Being familiar with firearms, I should have known enough to remember that you only aim a gun at something you intend to kill. And you'd better have a good reason to kill anything."

Oh,Peter, I'm so proud of you! (trying for all the world to sound like your Mom, Pete) LOL

Now, dare I hope that certain players, including Rochus, who have made serious charges about the ethics/fairness etc of other players (more than once) -- with no proof -- will follow your lead at some time in their lives?

I won't hold my breath.

Posted by Jamaica Karen (dem a go tired fi see mi face - Bob Marley) 11/03/2010 at 03:18 PM

Pete said: "To make an informed judgment about those things, I'd probably have to spend the better part of six months dedicating my life to penetrating the sinister and depressing world of doping, and doping police work. I have no desire to do that, so I keep my speculations to myself".

As far as I am concerned Pete, therein lies the problem. No one wants to put in the hard yards to really look at the issue of doping. Forget Rochus. Forget Henin. Forget what Clijsters' dad said. How about as a respected tennis journalist for going on 40 years, you donate a couple of emails, letters and telephone calls to the powers that be and ask them the following questions:

1. Can you provide us with a list of how many players are tested in competition during the 2009 season on both Tours;
2. Can you provide us with a list of how many players were tested out of competition during the 2009 season on both Tours;
3. Can you provide us with a list (not naming names) of how many players missed out of competition tests during 2009;
4. Can you provide us with a list of all testing that is conducted by WADA. This list should include not only banned substances, but also any new and improved drugs, like "clear" which was used by track personnel who were never found guilty of a doping offence.

As a fan of the game I am not into the witch hunt, but when a Tour player comes out and alleges doping to the point that he was allegedly censured by his governing body, then I would think that rather than sending the messenger out into the boondocks, we look at it, especially as we have evidence that the ATP has engaged in cover ups in the past in relation to doping.

As a fan, all I am asking is that journalists and sports writers actually do their jobs.

In the world of politics journalists take the practice of their craft very seriously and I doubt that any journalist would say "I cannot be bothered to waste 6 months of my life to investigate something on which I have no proof". The fact that one or two players have been caught in recent times (Odesnik anyone) shows that at some level doping is occuring in tennis and the fans are not being made aware of what exactly the governing bodies are doing to stamp it out.

Finally, most people will recall that it was not the governing body of cycling that actually revealed the positive dope test for this year's Tour de France winner. It was actually a journalist who was upset that Germany had not actually won. In that case, I guess we should have shot the messenger.


Posted by @work 11/03/2010 at 03:19 PM

All I thought when I read Rochus comments is that the guy was desperately seeking attention. It's pretty bad that he made allegations with no kind of proof or even believable circumstantial evidence but to go as far as to mention Henin was irresponsible, imo.
I have no idea of the extent of drug use (of any kind) in tennis, but until I see some sort of proof I have no desire to start speculating about it.

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 11/03/2010 at 03:22 PM

Brilliant post, Pete ! There will always be suspicion in sport, perhaps that is a sign of the times. Anyone who makes or drops hints, should be asked by the powers that be to back them up. I was astonished at his comments on Justine and her retirement and he ought to either withdraw them or explain exactly where he heard them.

Posted by Jamaica Karen (dem a go tired fi see mi face - Bob Marley) 11/03/2010 at 03:23 PM

@work, Odesnik being caught with vials of HGH does not work for you as proof of doping in tennis?

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne has 2 more days in jail,Vamos Wayne! 11/03/2010 at 03:23 PM

Pete Thanks for bringing up this subject and the allegations that Rochus has recently brought up.

I think you nailed it when you said "I should have known enough to remember that you only aim a gun at something you intend to kill.And you'd better have a good reason to kill anything"

We have seen over the years in the game of tennis players that have had issues with drugs off the court or recreational drugs as they are referred to these days.Also sone people have a perception of a player with their "physcial apperence" and immediately think they are on steriods.

To me there has to be 100% proof that players take any form of drugs.Yes indeed we have seen sports people in other sports being found out and charged rightly so.Then it does leave that particular sport in suspecion.

In regards to Rochus and his current allegations do you think as tennis fans we just accept things in this sport as being rosy? it kind of makes me think though at the end of the day I still go back to my original though "Innocent until proved Guilty".


Posted by Master Ace 11/03/2010 at 03:25 PM

Jamaica Karen,
I would be interested to see those stats from 2009. As you know, the poster, TennisRoids(if I remember correctly) has on a consistent basis wants the tennis media to investigate whether or not players have been doping asking questions on certain ATP and WTA players. TennisRoids has a blog with this information. Hopefully, TennisRoids will make a guest appearance to explain his view on tennis players doping.

Posted by @work 11/03/2010 at 03:25 PM

Karen,
I wouldn't say forget what anyone said if they have some sort of base for their claims but I honestly couldn't find any in Rochus' statements.
I am sure you're not implying that every time someone (in any field) accuses a colleague (or group of colleagues) of some wrong doing without any kind of evidence, an investigation is merited.

Posted by @work 11/03/2010 at 03:30 PM

Karen,
That pertains to Odesnik and the reason I said I have no idea of the extent of the drug problem in tennis.
Unless there is proof against someone else, I'm not going to speculate whether player X and Y are guilty by association.
I would hope the respective agencies who deal with those matters are doing their work and that if Rochus or anyone else has some concrete evidence they are relaying to the authorities accordingly.

Posted by Jamaica Karen (dem a go tired fi see mi face - Bob Marley) 11/03/2010 at 03:34 PM

@work, no, but your post said "I have no idea of the extent of drug use (of any kind) in tennis, but until I see some sort of proof I have no desire to start speculating about it".

For me a player getting caught with 7 vials of HGH signals that there is a big problem with doping in the sport. The worst part of all this is not even that Odesnik got caught. It is the chilling fact that he has never (as far as we are aware) tested positive.

It therefore begs the question, if but for the folks at Customs in Australia, Odesnik would have perhaps played the part of spoiler at the Australian Open. Can you imagine if he had won? How about if he had taken down one of the main contenders at this year's AO.

I am not asking for a witch burning to take place. All I am asking is that perhaps some reports be published each year so that fans know that the governing bodies are doing their jobs. That is all

@MA, TennisRoids has people that he accuses based on their physique. I am not into that. I am more into what the governing bodies are doing to ensure that we have a clean sport. Track and field is just now recovering from the BALCO debacle and one doubts whether cycling will ever recover from this new clenbuterol stuff that seems to have seeped its way into the bodies of athletes by way of beef :(

Posted by Jamaica Karen (dem a go tired fi see mi face - Bob Marley) 11/03/2010 at 03:35 PM

@work, so noted

Posted by Master Ace 11/03/2010 at 03:43 PM

Jamaica Karen,
True that TennisRoids based it on their physique but you may have to wonder why some tennis media has not investigated these claims.

Posted by Jamaica Karen (dem a go tired fi see mi face - Bob Marley) 11/03/2010 at 03:46 PM

MA, for the same reason that Pete posted above. Who wants to waste their time digging around to find out the truth to the rumours. No one wants to know so they prefer to keep their heads buried in the sand and shoot the messengers. Oh well.

Posted by @work 11/03/2010 at 04:02 PM

Karen,
I hope you're never accused of something unfairly and without proof, because in certain instances even after proving how wrong the allegations were a person can still lose his/her reputation and livelihood.
Not all 'messengers' have a real message to convey, imo.

Posted by pogiako 11/03/2010 at 04:05 PM

There are players who look like body builders even though with the year round schedule, they really do not have time to develop such big muscles in a normal course. How they manage to evade being caught is still questionable.

Posted by Pete 11/03/2010 at 04:07 PM

Oh, Karen, cut it out. I am a journalist who covers tennis - the game - not a crusading investigative reporter, and you can't be both.

Please understand, I just don't want to spend my time smoking out or becoming an expert on doping. And unless the entire tour is doped up to the hilt, I don't believe its an issue central to either my interests or expertise, or even the rolling history of the game.

If you think that's some kind of dereliction of duty, that's okay. But I don't think I'm stealing money when I collect my paycheck, and simply would rather ponder Rafa Nadal's forehand or Serena's competitive character than discover "the truth" about doping - especially if that truth leads me nowhere beyond saying that guys cheat (which I already know to be true), and that some of them have been caught.

I applaud anyone who wants to take on that grim role of self-appointed cop; it just doesn't suit my character or temperament. Somebody who wants to get famous for it must be in the process of doing it, or something like it, as I write this.

Posted by CWATC 11/03/2010 at 04:12 PM

From what I remember there was a document leaked which gave info on how often players were tested, who missed tests etc.

Seemed like there are very very few out-of-competition tests.

That doesn't cast suspicion on any specific player but it is a policy question which is fair to discuss.

Posted by Jamaica Karen (dem a go tired fi see mi face - Bob Marley) 11/03/2010 at 04:15 PM

@work, I am not by any means asking for a witch hunt to take place. Far from it. I am not by any means condoning what Rochus has done. Accusing a fellow player without proof is just wrong. My issue is that I just want someone, anyone to do a piece so that people like me who have to read all the time that so and so is cheating etc can put these doubts to rest. End of story.

@Pete, I am not asking you to be a self-appointed cop or indeed to go on a witch hunt. All I am asking is that once and for all someone, anyone gets the governing bodies to erase any doubts in people's minds that they are not doing their jobs. For the life of me I cannot recall anyone doing any follow up on where the investigation lies in relation to the suspension that was subsequently overturned for Wickmayer and Malisse.

I am not asking for a witch hunt. Just someone to perhaps get some information for all of us fans

Posted by Alexis 11/03/2010 at 04:18 PM

In this day and age, it's hard to believe that any sport is completely clean. How often have we heard an athlete proclaim his/her innocence only to be proven a liar. Too many to count. It's no wonder the vast majority of fans don't believe them anymore.

I have no doubt that some tennis players are probably doping, but making accusations and global statements with nary a hint of proof does not help. Put up or shut up, Rochus!

Posted by Lump Of Kohlschreiber (21st Century Schizoid Man) 11/03/2010 at 04:18 PM

Yesterday I said, "please no puff pieces....." and so this missive was of course a total puff piece. It said nothing about anything other than the comfort to be had in denial. I can say just as little....in far fewer words. Jamaica Karen's initial answer to it was so superior maybe the entire site should be given over to her. I didn't expect much and I got even less. I did find the lack of you-know-who's name in it to be very humorous. I'm trying to look on the bright side of things now, just like Pete. Denial rocks!

Posted by Carrie - Thanks for the memories Elena! 11/03/2010 at 04:20 PM

*Hopefully, TennisRoids will make a guest appearance to explain his view on tennis players doping.*

*True that TennisRoids based it on their physique but you may have to wonder why some tennis media has not investigated these claims. *

My understanding is that he feels almost all of the WTA and most ATP players (except Federer) are doping.

You can feel that the media should investigate his claims- but he relies too much on pictures as "proof" for my taste- so I don't see why his claims regarding physiques should be investigated.

Talking about missed tests, etc. is one thing- which he has brought up. That is fine to look into imo. But cherry picking players and saying they are doping because of action shots is not imo strong evidence or is something that should be investigated.

Action shots of players (I guess in his opinion Korda never doped since he goes by appearance) to me does not constitute hard evidence. You may feel differently.

Posted by @work 11/03/2010 at 04:22 PM

Karen,
Ok. For a moment there I honestly thought you were defending Rochus!

I remember seeing the same report CWATC is talking about so the information is there somewhere (unfortunately I don't have it anymore)

Not sure if such reports are enough to satisfy everyone, though.
There are so many variables when it comes to drug testing in sports to do with amounts and types of drugs allowed and circumstances surrounding the actual testing that I wouldn't necessarily think that someone testing negative means that they are 100% clean or viceversa.

Posted by Samantha Elin, Caro 2010 YE #1 11/03/2010 at 04:26 PM

I'm just waiting for tennisroid to give his opinion because according to him all the players are on roids and if we believe everything he says we should check the umpire to if they have one ounce of muscle. I just think it was totally irresponsible of Rochus with what he said about Justine.

Posted by Nalby Fan 11/03/2010 at 04:34 PM

Are there ANY "investigative reporters" in Tennis like David Walsh in Cycling that would dare to look into the ITF/WADA? If so, we fans desperately need you.

Posted by Carrie - Thanks for the memories Elena! 11/03/2010 at 04:35 PM

For what it is worth- I would like to see an annual list of who was tested and what types of test they received. I think transparancey can only be a good thing. I would also like to see more blood testing.

I do not however, enjoy global or veiled accusations or claims made in unsigned articles. I also do not like the idea that beause a person has muscles - they must be doping. I have seen a number of these tennis players in person and while some of them do have nice physiques...none of them imo were egregiously huge by any means. And none have the Barry Bonds or Mark McGuire or Jose Conseco odd neck and face shape that you connect with muscle building steroids. And again- there is cherry picking- Rafa must dope because he has biceps while Monfils is even more cut but since he is not as highly ranked- nada a word. (I am not condemning Monfils here- just saying that the saying because a player has muscles it must mean they are doping is to me very subjective.) And as always- Korda was not exactly a muscle man.

If you are going to accuse someone or a group of doping- provide hard evidence, not conjecutre.

And that evidence to me requires transparency. I think it would only benefit the ATP and WTA if they made their testing policies as open as can be. Tennis does currently have more disclosure than some other sports (I still don't understand baseball's policies).

Transparncey would help prevent cheating- and it would also help prevent the continual dismissal of some players who may be innocent.

Posted by Legoboy 11/03/2010 at 04:35 PM

It's a shame, this is probably what Rochus will now be known for...if any of it is true or not....

A rat's a rat. I don't agree with doping....but either make a case, and go forward, or mind your business...stiring the pot is just a sad excuse for a mediocre career.

Posted by Chris 11/03/2010 at 04:40 PM

Just went to tennisroids site. He has written about this article there and quoted some things from 2006. Still not sure he makes his case in the least.

Posted by Kombo 11/03/2010 at 04:42 PM

let's just pretend it doesn't happen and 'nobody' will get hurt.

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 11/03/2010 at 04:43 PM

"... stirring the pot is just a sad axcuse for a mediocre career"

Exactly - and that is my view of Rochus and his accusations.

Posted by sf 11/03/2010 at 04:43 PM

where is "tennisroids" when one needs him (or her!)

juicers are a shame to any sport, and those involved always seem to be a step ahead of regulators.

i find jamaica karen's pointed questions about how the atp and wta handle doping, and generic info on results of these tests (and their frequencies) to be valid. these bodies should be pro-active in addressing these allegations and also being transparent.

and, pete, you really don't have to be a crusader (or dope cop) to ask those kinds of questions. your position (as a respected tennis writer/historian) and over-all tennis knowledge should stand you in good stead with the tennis powers-that-be. i don't even know if the "freedom of information" act comes into play here. if this were baseball (america's national pastime) then maybe we could get congress involved - haha.

but if it's not in your personality to pursue an issue that could clearly make you enemies of players, and rile your soul, then that's ok, too.

maybe el jon wertheim (sp?) could take it up? i doubt it, because his persona yells "no!" at me, but what do i know, he may surprise me!

any other respected tennis writers/investigative journalists to pursue this?

Posted by Samantha Elin, Caro 2010 YE #1 11/03/2010 at 04:43 PM

Oh well, I'm sure Justine doesn't care what Rochus who says. He was such a bad player that Juju could take him on a good day.

Posted by tennisten 11/03/2010 at 04:43 PM

Here are links to those articles. If you are ashamed now, what is the guarantee you won't be ashamed again in a few years if/when juicing in tennis reaches baseball like levels?

Cycling Toward Armageddon
http://tennisworld.typepad.com/tennisworld/2006/01/cycling_toward_.html

Scoping Doping
http://tennisworld.typepad.com/tennisworld/2006/01/scoping_doping.html

So long insoles
http://tennisworld.typepad.com/tennisworld/2006/01/so_long_insoles.html

Posted by Vincent 11/03/2010 at 04:46 PM

Pete,

I think you're exaggerating. No one asks you to spend six months of your life rummaging in the players's trash bins. Just asking some questions to the officials, and to the players, and putting pressure on the ITF so that they adopt a more transparent policy regarding anti-doping, would already be great. The detailed 2009 statistics showed that the present ITF policy is sorely lacking, and that their OOC tests are badly mishandled, if half of the top players have missed a test in 2009. A minimum would be for the ITF to explain why they were missed : without explanation, it creates unfair suspicion. Make sure that every positive test is revealed, without Agassi-like shenanigans behind closed doors. That could sully some player's reputation ? I have seen many proven cheaters, like Canas and Chela, come back on the Tour and play, without being hounded by the fans or the press.

You can adopt, as you say, a more "positive" approach. But that is not an excuse to put your head in the sand. This is precisely the kind of atmosphere that fosters suspicion among the fans. The best way to tackle rumors is to favour openness, and I'm thinking very hard about the ITF when I say this.

Posted by temes 11/03/2010 at 04:48 PM

Tennisroids site is good for nice shirtless pictures of tennis players. If you swing that way, that is.

Posted by Lump Of Kohlschreiber (21st Century Schizoid Man) 11/03/2010 at 04:50 PM

Pete

Your answer to Karen was better than the article. That's what you should've written. Still, wouldn't it be nice to be sure that all the top tenners are clean. It's do-able too but isn't vigorously persued. Why?

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 11/03/2010 at 04:51 PM

Pete, thank you for this post. I happen to agree with everything you said. I've got a question though. When I see the word "doping" I think steroids or PED's. WADA has a list a mile long of banned substances and the list includes recreational drugs. Do you think Rochus is talking about recreational drugs more than PED's? My first thought when I hear that a player has missed a couple of drug tests, or refused to take one, is that they've done some partying recently and don't want to get nailed for pot or coke.

The best point you made is that Rochus did not offer one first-hand report. He hasn't seen anyone using, or been offered PED's or heard chatter from other players about it. That's the clincher for me. If steroid abuse was a serious problem in tennis there would be chatter everywhere and at least one player would have come forward by now to blow the whistle. Because as you said clean players aren't going to tolerate playing against a known cheat since that guy is taking bread off their plate.

And the argument that a player can't play a five hour match and come back the next day and play another tough match is simply ridiculous. I've said this before but look at Mahut and Isner this year.

I'm curious why someone, like Pete or L.Jon or Steve doesn't contact Rochus and ask him if he would like to expand on his comments or possibly retract them.

Posted by Carrie - Thanks for the memories Elena! 11/03/2010 at 04:54 PM

*I have seen many proven cheaters, like Canas and Chela, come back on the Tour and play, without being hounded by the fans or the press*

Vincent- you must have missed the "Where's Willie" t-shirts that Australian fans wore during a 2005 Argentina- Australia Davis Cup tie. ;) Canas did get some guff for sure when he got back- and I remember Kristof Vliegen saying some rather nasty things.

Even here on this site Canas got a lot of negative remarks when he came back and was having a nice run. And almost every article mentioned his ban.

I am not sure if you wanted him to be pelted with eggs or something but there were a lot of negative and pointed remarks about him - even though the ITF said they did not find any ill intent.

I do agree about tranparency though. For both censure and to clear a name. I wish Coria was still playing when his court case was settled.

Posted by TripleF(FedFanForever): Lavender delight! 11/03/2010 at 04:54 PM

Pete

Mixed messages here. I agree it is not a tennis journalist and a blogger's (a beloved one at that) job or passion to pursue this sordid angle. And no particular self-anointed vigilante should. It is the governing council's (isn't it ATP?) very job to do it. IOC's (Olympics) drug enforcement arm is the strongest and the most rigorous around. And folks still dope. Like the flip side of 'you can drag a pony to the pond, but you can't make it drink'. You can't stop what an individual does at any point in time.

Say, ATP should sue this short-bugger off his jocks and that'll send a message. Does ATP (that which winked and nudged during Agassi's) have the loco standi? Well, I guess that's the question to be asked. Till then, more power to you if you could cheat and get away with it.

Cheats try to cheat. And theives try to steal. The rest (cops & law) needs to constantly up the ante. That's the 'game' we all agreed to play. In our lives under any society. Everybody else, yes, Shut Your Piehole or cry wolf at your own risk.

Posted by Vie 11/03/2010 at 04:57 PM

I remember those articles you wrote, Pete. You're more careful nowadays :)

Rochus creating a ruckus before he leaves is bad for him but not necessarily damaging for the ATP/WTA/Henin/sport. Why? Because his statements are stupid and the backup support nonsensical. But why be so agitated about a supposed nobody mouthing stupid accusations. Might it be because it is the ATP/WTA sort of the one being accused (coverup/hypocrisy)?

Posted by Chris 11/03/2010 at 04:57 PM

Can't believe there are any people who actually believe tennis is clean. It is virtually impossible to succeed in any professional sport without doping. I don't see why anybody gets worked up about it though. Sports are just games, games are just a bit of fun, and if people are stupid enough to risk their health for a game, well, that's their stupidity.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne has 2 more days in jail,Vamos Wayne! 11/03/2010 at 04:58 PM

temes LOL!

I agree Samantha Elin with your thoughts according to Him every player male and female is on Steriods.

Having been around people that have used steriod long and short term.fact is they are damaging their bodies.Anyone that stays on steriods for long term is doing major damage to their kidneys.

I have seen the first tell tales on people using steriods and to my eye most of his soo called allegations of players are false.

When next I talk to Samamtha Stosur and she talks back to me in a deep voice and has exccessive hair on her body I might think twice lol!

Posted by temes 11/03/2010 at 05:00 PM

I personally think this whole discussion is rather pointless. Rochus' comments were so unsubstantiated that they might as well not exist. So here we go with the drugs or no drugs back and forth without anything new to add.

Posted by Rafraf 11/03/2010 at 05:02 PM

@work, Carrie, and to the others looking for the stats, it's on the ITF site. Here's the link http://www.itftennis.com/antidoping/news/statistics.asp. There are pdf files with the list of players tested for all tourneys in a year.

Posted by Jamaica Karen (dem a go tired fi see mi face - Bob Marley) 11/03/2010 at 05:03 PM

@Annie, I will say this: Odesnik. I recall that after he was caught with HGH, several players took the opportunity to talk about it, but what if someone had come out and spoken about Odesnik prior to his being caught with HGH would we have maintained that that person was just employing sour grapes?

Odesnik had never failed a dope test and as a matter of fact I recall a few years ago the first time I saw him play was at Roland Garros against Canas. It was one of the most intense matches that I had ever seen. I think Odesnik lost that match that day but I recall commentators saying how the guy can move. Yeah, now we know why

Posted by wilson75 11/03/2010 at 05:04 PM

I would probably believe Rochus if he had called names instead of making innuendos. The article struck me as coming from a person who was disenchanted with the game and his career and who wanted to strike out against his fellow players and the ATP before he left the scene. Clearly he was only thinking of himself and not about damaging the reputations of his fellow players which includes his own brother. I can imagine Olly will be called upon by other players to answer for what his older brother has said. Wrt to the alleged letter he got from the ATP, it is more than likely the ATP was attempting to get Rochus to stop making allegations without any proof. Alas, he never specified exactly what the ATP told him.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne has 2 more days in jail,Vamos Wayne! 11/03/2010 at 05:05 PM

JK That was a instance with Wayne

May I then ask do we as fans then get suspicious with all players that can move and can come back in a match when being down and out?

Posted by Lump Of Kohlschreiber (21st Century Schizoid Man) 11/03/2010 at 05:09 PM

If only the drug issue were as fun as taking them is......sometimes. Let me get back to you on this. As a test I just swallowed 12 ludes and washed it down with a gallon of HGH......I don't feel so good.......time passing slowly.....breathing becoming labored.....my wife just turned into Satan.....a white light in the distance is turning black.....and......I'm dead! See I told you drugs are fun.

Posted by Jamaica Karen (dem a go tired fi see mi face - Bob Marley) 11/03/2010 at 05:09 PM

AM, of course not. The point I am making is that Annie stated that until there is evidence we should not go by the words of players who maybe disenchanted. That is a fair point. However, my thing is that what if a player makes these accusations, are we going to believe them? Of course not. That is why I am not on the out them. I am more on the transparency bandwagon. I want to see the governing body of tennis provide information in an annual report that is published.

If I am not mistaken, the IOC publishes a report. I am not sure whether it contains any relevant information in relation to doping (makes note to go check) but with so many instances of doping being made public, it would go a far way to quell the talk that there is significant doping in tennis and that the governing bodies are engaged in cover ups.

Posted by Carrie - Thanks for the memories Elena! 11/03/2010 at 05:10 PM

With all of the talk about how dirty tennis is today (I am sure that there is some doping but I am not ready to say it is one of the dirtiest sports out there as others do) are there any retroactive thoughts on the history of PEDs in tennis?

Folks are saying that long matches with running must mean that a player is doping. Does than mean Borg doped too? He was known as being fit as fiddle and it saddens me to say that if he were around today- I wonder of folks would say he must be doping.

I want this sport to be as clean as possible and do support efforts to make it as clean of possible in terms of PEDs. In part so that we can go back to appreciating atheletes who may just be skilled or fit for being what they are athletes instead of automatically assuming they must be doping.

Thanks RafRaf

Posted by Nalby Fan 11/03/2010 at 05:13 PM

Problem with doped and casually policed individual sports:

Cycling became predictable and boring with the same favorite utilizing the best "program" winning every year 7 years in a row at the TdF; 3 straight wins now. Tennis is likewise becoming predictable and boring. The rich get richer and win every time; the best "programs" always win out. Take out the doping and have a level playing field and the competition becomes much more interesting and one knows it is real.

I'm ambivalent about Rochus. I'm just glad when the issue gets raised and discussed.

Posted by Lump Of Rochus 11/03/2010 at 05:20 PM

Kohlschreiber
You rat fink! Leave me out of this!

Posted by roll over,bodo,good dog 11/03/2010 at 05:20 PM

"Given the amount of time he’s had off and the fact that Nadal’s own doctor said in an official ATP press release that his foot is healed, I find his withdrawal from an event that will be without the defending champ, Safin, or Agassi, baffling.__Whether or not there's anything more to this story, I can't say. But I'm going to make a point in Australia to pin down some folks on some of the more compelling issues—like whether or not it's possible to duck out-of-competition testing by simply not answering the door when the testers come around."

then Bodo's job was threatened, so he went back to being a lapdog.

Posted by BrooklynNY 11/03/2010 at 05:20 PM

Or maybe the guy is just shedding on something he knows a bit more than we know about...After all he does have about 2 more feet in this industry than Pete Bodo does.

I mean Agassi's career end fitness revival occured at the same time as Mark Macguire and Sammy Sosa breaking historic baseball records.... That is never questioned for some reason.

Wayne Odesnik was just busted with HGH last year.

To completely write off Rochus is Naive, but for him to make claims without naming names is irresponsible.

It is

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne has 2 more days in jail,Vamos Wayne! 11/03/2010 at 05:21 PM

JK I do take your points on board.

In fact I was watching the AO09 final yesterday Roger v Rafa a game that as we all know went 5 sets.Some commentators in the middle part of this game suggested that Roger to their way of thinking would win the match but as we all know Rafa won in 5 sets after having a gruelling 5 set match with Verdasco in his s/final.

I remember people talking then how could Rafa do that? he must be on something.I was angry at these so called allegations though it hasnt been the first time these allegations have been directed towwards Rafa.

Posted by Carrie - Thanks for the memories Elena! 11/03/2010 at 05:21 PM

Nalby Fan-

Are you saying that a period of dominant players must mean that the players are doping? I am a bit confused by that assertion.

Does that mean that Federer has doped? Rafa? Serena? Sampras? Graf? Seles? Borg? Navratilova? Rod Laver? Margaret Court? Little Mo? Don Budge? Bill Tilden?

Posted by @Nalby Fan 11/03/2010 at 05:21 PM

So true. They should all start eating doughnuts and look like Nalbandian. That way, we would have a level playing field.

Posted by tennis express 11/03/2010 at 05:21 PM

I agree with JK, none of the tennis cogniscenti want to touch this sordid topic with a bargepole. Too afraid of what they might find and who may be outed as cheats. I think there is a doping problem in tennis but do I think it is as pervasive as say in cycling, no. However the way to deal with it is not to pretend it doesn't exist and to pillory anybody who dares to raise their head above the parapet and talk about it.

As for the folks who say if you are not prepared to name names and provide concrete proof then you should shut up, I say it is naive to think that any individual tennis player would take it upon themselves to out fellow players as cheaters and risk all the fallout legally and otherwise. If people want to dig further such as the powers that be in tennis or the tennis writers, then perhaps Mr. Rochus may be a good place to start. He clearly has information that he wants to share, someone should get with him and incentivise him to share that information. After all we do want to get to the truth don't we??

Posted by Lump Of Kohlschreiber (21st Century Schizoid Man) 11/03/2010 at 05:25 PM

After roll over bodo good dog's post if I ever get banned from here again it's criminal and someone's getting sued. Vicious stuff!

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne has 2 more days in jail,Vamos Wayne! 11/03/2010 at 05:26 PM

Carrie I have never seen a fitter player than Borg even present.

Though as you just said in your recent post do we then question all the past greats and say present greats in our game?

Maybe we should all just pack up and follow the Marbles Compeition

Surely those players arent on any preformance enhancing drugs? or are they? lol!

Posted by Carrie - Thanks for the memories Elena! 11/03/2010 at 05:28 PM

*I agree with JK, none of the tennis cogniscenti want to touch this sordid topic with a bargepole.*

Then perhaps the best type of journalist to investigate would be a more general sports journalist.

*I mean Agassi's career end fitness revival occured at the same time as Mark Macguire and Sammy Sosa breaking historic baseball records.... That is never questioned for some reason.*

There was some buzz at the time- but it was also a different era in terms of the internet and also- if I recall correctly before tennis was under the jurisdiction of WADA.

Posted by Lump Of Kohlschreiber (21st Century Schizoid Man) 11/03/2010 at 05:30 PM

Got a feeling espnalanalda is in the room. Be very afraid.

Posted by temes 11/03/2010 at 05:34 PM

I believe Henin retired herself from the sport to avoid a doping ban.

Posted by Carrie - Thanks for the memories Elena! 11/03/2010 at 05:34 PM

For what it is worth - in my 5:28 I was not accusing Agassi- I just remember there was some chat about it- at least per my folks at the time who were active in league tennis. :)

AM- I agree- it can be a slippery slope. And that is one thing that makes me sad- great achievments for some are seen as evidence that they must be cheating.

I would love it if there were defentive tests that could make everyone happy and weed out any PEDs. But until that time- I do prefer not to say that players are doping because they are fit or have good results. Because then- that implies that acheivement should be looked at as evidence of cheating. And even then- accussers can cherry pick whose acheivements they want to dismiss.

Posted by Sherlock 11/03/2010 at 05:34 PM

Before I go research every match where Rochus won the first set 6-1, I think Annie raised an interesting point. Rochus talked about the guy having a bloody nose. Does that mean anything to anybody, because I am lost how that pertains to PED use. Did the guy snort HGH up his nose or what?

Testing in any sport is useless unless they are testing blood, since that's the only way to test for HGH anyway, right? So you can test till the cows come home and still not catch anyone unless they are using steroids rather than HGH.

Posted by Ruth 11/03/2010 at 05:35 PM

I am boringly consistent in my position about what should happen whenever charges or accusations -- no matter the source -- are made about cheating or doping or gambling or match fixing or passing of insider information by tennis players: the tennis governing bodies should not let more than 24 hours pass before they contact the source of the charge (whether it's a jealous retiring player or a disgruntled bet maker) and ask him/her to give them any proof he/she has to back up the charges. They should also speak as soon as possible with the player against whom the charges have been made.

I would assume that tennis writers would also be interested enough to track down the player or whoever made the charge with the same request even if those writers did not plan to do an in-depth investigation of the charges or make a career out of asking about the issue.

At the very least, though, those who cover the sport should be demanding that the governing bodies do their work of investigating all charges and giving the public the results of their investigations, not to menmtion their procedures and policies aimed at preventing violations of their rules from occurring.

Posted by temes 11/03/2010 at 05:37 PM

I think Rochus meant the guy injected so much calf's blood in him that it came out of his nose.

Posted by Colette 11/03/2010 at 05:38 PM

"Before I go research every match where Rochus won the first set 6-1.."

I wondered who would do that :)

Posted by Carrie - Thanks for the memories Elena! 11/03/2010 at 05:38 PM

Sherlock- I am also wondering what type of PED would make someone suddenly play better after a trip to the bathroom unless it is good old fashioned meth. :)

Posted by Lump Of Kohlschreiber (21st Century Schizoid Man) 11/03/2010 at 05:39 PM

Absolutely correct about blood vs urine tests Sherlock

I've snorted HGH up the nose, injected it between my toes whilst smelling unlike a rose and let me tell you it's no picnic. I'm an idiot and I blame every last one of you people.

Posted by Sherlock 11/03/2010 at 05:39 PM

Lol, Temes. Excellent as always. :)

Posted by Jay 11/03/2010 at 05:40 PM

If the ITF, ATP and WTA would release a simple report stating all of the positive results (recreational and/or performance enhancing) in their dope testing, there would not be so much speculation. The problem is, as Agassi demonstrated in his book, is that there have been cover-ups. It might take some inside tester or tour official to reveal the absolute truth.

In such a report, if a player's test proved to be a false-positive, that should be noted, too.

Is there a tour official with access to this information who would be willing to state that all positive results respective of their tour have already been made public?

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne has 2 more days in jail,Vamos Wayne! 11/03/2010 at 05:41 PM

For the life of me I cannot understand any player who at this elite level can take drugs of any nature being recreational,Steriods,Meth etc

Posted by Sherlock 11/03/2010 at 05:43 PM

Colette, he he. I wish I had the time. :)

Carrie, no kidding. :) Wish someone had asked a follow up to the nosebleed comment.

Well, Lump, you may be an idiot, but it sounds like you're primed to win the Tour de France. :)

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne has 2 more days in jail,Vamos Wayne! 11/03/2010 at 05:44 PM

Well even in steriod use today it has been very well disguised.When it was rampant here in the 80's it wasnt.I suppose living in the 21st centuary has a lot do with it.

Posted by Carrie - Thanks for the memories Elena! 11/03/2010 at 05:44 PM

Jay- don't forget there is a third type of reason for a violation- higher dose of an allowed medicinal drug. For example- when Volandri was banned for taking too many puffs of his inhaler during an allergy attack.

With all of this talk about Agassi- wasn't his cover up before the current ATP testing that is done in accordance with WADA?

Posted by Jamaica Karen (dem a go tired fi see mi face - Bob Marley) 11/03/2010 at 05:46 PM

Does anyone recall when Odesnik was first caught what was one of the first things a player was alleged to have mentioned. The player said that Odesnik had gotten bigger and that he had acne scars on his back. Apparently those were sure signs that he was taking steroids.

I will go even further because someone here mentioned that long term steroid use results in hair growth all over the body and a fan of a certain player pointed out that whenever her favourite player took off his clothes on court there are no acne scars neither is there hair growing all over his body. So, there can be proof positive like a nose bleed.

Anyway, if the governing bodies gave up information when requested in a timely manner all of this discussion would be moot.

Posted by Carrie - Thanks for the memories Elena! 11/03/2010 at 05:46 PM

Oops I meant asthma attack for Volandri.

*Colette, he he. I wish I had the time. :)*

Tosh- that's lazy talk. Surely Rouchus hasn't won that many sets 6-1. Has to be less than five. ;p

Posted by temes 11/03/2010 at 05:47 PM

"hair growing all over his body"

That's it, Feds on roids!

Posted by Sherlock 11/03/2010 at 05:48 PM

Lol, Carrie. Great point! :)

Posted by Carrie - Thanks for the memories Elena! 11/03/2010 at 05:48 PM

Lol temes- and so is Robin Williams!

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne has 2 more days in jail,Vamos Wayne! 11/03/2010 at 05:50 PM

JK Indeed

Acne is a first sign and excessive hair is another

Well those waxing joints could be kept busy

Posted by Pete 11/03/2010 at 05:50 PM

Just couse you can think it does not mean you should say it. Dont put Henin name if you don't have proof! she is a champion and we want her back

Posted by Lump Of Kohlschreiber (21st Century Schizoid Man) 11/03/2010 at 05:50 PM

Note to Moderator

I've decided we're all correct. Problem solved. It was that easy. We can now leave this issue feeling we have been heard and understood. Being appreciated's another story but who has time for such candyass crap?
Someone had to be a leader here and who better than I? Confidently I will step up under pressure and make the tough decisions as I have here today. I feel good about this decision and know you will support me.

Posted by Colette 11/03/2010 at 05:52 PM

Seems to me tennis players have more scrutiny/less protection than, say, baseball or footfall which have the players' unions. (Altho' that doesn't necessarily mean that players can't get away with things and/or that the testing agencies don't prefer "not to know.")

Posted by Jay 11/03/2010 at 05:54 PM

@Carrie--as long as there is an explanation of the violation, it does no harm to mention it. Volandri has no cause to put his head in the sand.

I would not go into such an inquiry with any particular players in mind. Just don't cover things up because of the player's ranking or popularity. If tour officials are willing to state that there are no instances of positive testing for banned substances that the public is not aware of, I'd say put the matter to rest. Perhaps thats too much to ask.

Posted by No Clue 11/03/2010 at 05:56 PM

What "ousiders" like Peter and all tennis journo's profess to know and what the "insiders" know are worlds apart....Pete, you got no idea.

Posted by tennis muse 11/03/2010 at 05:56 PM

Pete,

Some years ago, you asked a legitimate question (in a post you are supposedly now "ashamed of") which was why Rafael Nadal would skip a major when perfectly healthy. Back then you were a journalist. Now, with the mountains of circumstantial evidence for doping in tennis in general and doping by Nadal in particular grown to Himalayan heights, you are nothing but a cheerleader who lives off the crumbs of the dopers you shill for.

Here's why Nadal is almost certainly doping:

People like to point out that Nadal's best surface is clay. But that masks the fact that his success correlates MUCH better with TIME OF THE YEAR than with surface. By my count, since 2006, he as won:

20 titles on clay
12 titles on other surfaces

BUT, broken down by time of year, he has won:

28 titles from March-July
4 titles from August-February

That's just stunning.

Over the same period, Roger Federer has won

12 titles from March-July
20 titles from August-February

What makes it really absurd is that even if you look at pure clay-court specialists, the numbers are nowhere near as skewed. Take David Ferrer, for instance. In the same period, he has won

4 titles from March-July
3 titles from August-February

Nadal clearly goes through doping cycles in the spring. His best hard-court tournaments are Indian Wells and Miami (a fast hardcourt!) and that is why. That is, until the USO this year when his body and game metamorphosed "just in time" to collect the career Grand Slam, then reverted to his usual less-than awe inspiring hardcourt form.

The punchline is that his ONLY FOUR titles won from August-February were the Olympics (which he probably did a special doping cycle for since it only comes around once every 4 years), Toronto (right afterwards), the probably PED-fueled Verdasco-Federer 5-set back-to-back Australian Open semi/final, then the Sampras-like dominating USO. In between, he won nothing on hardcourts, and went long stretches without any titles at all, including the 2009 WTF debacle in which he looked utterly impotent despite having no injuries.

Anyhow, you know the truth, and I can't wait to see what you say when some of these dopers are finally busted.


Posted by Carrie - Thanks for the memories Elena! 11/03/2010 at 05:56 PM

*Acne is a first sign and excessive hair is another*

Let the rumors for poor Dolgopolov begin. Poor Dolgo. :p And since he looks like Hingis must be a cokehead as well.

Posted by Jackie 11/03/2010 at 05:57 PM

Poking around on the internet. Found this from someone who's a fabulous detective:

Rochus went 6-1 3-5 then 6-1 5-5:
L Marsel Ilhan 28/04/2010 1-6 7-5 6-2

Rochus went 6-1 5-5, but unable to check 2nd set order:
W Roko Karanusic 05/04/2008 6-1 7-5
W Frank Dancevic 14/06/2004 6-1 7-5

Rochus went 6-1 5-5, but not 6-1 3-5:
L Lukas Dlouhy 07/03/2010 1-6 7-6(3) 7-5
L Donald Young 19/01/2010 1-6 7-5 6-2 6-4
W Albert Ramos-Vinolas 01/11/2009 6-1 7-5
W Stefan Koubek 29/09/2008 6-1 7-5
L Jaroslav Pospisil 26/09/2008 1-6 7-6(4) 6-3
W Arnaud Clement 28/05/2009 6-1 7-5 4-6 6-3
W Richard Gasquet 22/04/2009 6-1 6-7(2) 6-3

Not sure what this tells us but it's interesting anyway?

Posted by dagreengod 11/03/2010 at 06:00 PM

keep burying your head in the sand people. it is no big deal to beat a test. ever hear of marion jones

Posted by Carrie - Thanks for the memories Elena! 11/03/2010 at 06:01 PM

Jay- no I agree. I think it is good to mention the violation. I mean some folks may violate because they want to unfairly cheat. Others may be banned for a weird turn of events (Volandri's asthma attack) that have nothing to do with an intent to cheat. That way perhaps not everyone who has a ban will automatically be seen as a roided up cheater.

Posted by Jay 11/03/2010 at 06:01 PM

Jackie, Oh!

Posted by Jay 11/03/2010 at 06:03 PM

Carrie--Great points! I think that divulging can help to show how absurd some of the violations are, too.

Posted by Jackie 11/03/2010 at 06:03 PM

Jay: :)

Posted by Carrie - Thanks for the memories Elena! 11/03/2010 at 06:04 PM

*W Richard Gasquet 22/04/2009 6-1 6-7(2) 6-3*

Sigh....sometimes the jokes just write themselves.

Thanks for looking Jackie.

Posted by Sherlock 11/03/2010 at 06:05 PM

"Nadal clearly goes through doping cycles in the spring."

He he. Clearly!! :)

Oh, well. We made it longer than I thought we would. :)

Posted by Jackie 11/03/2010 at 06:06 PM

Carrie, it made me feel very Master Ace-ish for just a few minutes. :)

Posted by Carrie - Thanks for the memories Elena! 11/03/2010 at 06:07 PM

Jay- yeah. I mean I would rather have them focus more on conducting more blood tests, etc. than enforcing two year bans for folks like Hingis who had a miniscule trace of cocaine that would not even show up on a test for the military or banning players because they were trying to breath during an attack (Volandri) or were trying to not go bald (Mariano Hood).

Posted by Jay 11/03/2010 at 06:07 PM

Off to happy hour (my dope of choice). Nice chatting, as usual.

1 2 3 4 5      >>

We are no longer accepting comments for this entry.

<<  Hall of Mirrors - And Failing Forehands (Mostly Bad) News of the Day  >>




Wild Women of the U.S. Open
Wild Men of the U.S. Open
Roddick's Imperfect World
"It's Kind of a Dance"
Nadal's Kneeds
The Racquet Scientist: Canadian Tennis
The Long and Short of It
This blog has 3693 entries and 1646147 comments.
More
More Video
Daily Spin