6 Responses

  1. steph
    steph January 18, 2013 at 1:42 am |

    Very interesting read Amy.

    Like yourself, I also have doubts about these tests. If there are “big” names in Cycling, baseball, track&field…that get caught, why aren’t any “big” names caught in tennis? (gimme a break with Puerta or Korda as big names).

    My reasoning is that the ATP/WTA do not want to risk damaging the sport. A top 10 player will sell more seats and sponsors/advertising then David Savic, mariano Hood, Marcelo Melo, Bohdan Uhlirach….

    Seems like only the mid level players are “cheating” and it does not seem to help them.

    Remember when Rusedski was in a drug scandal a few years ago? He treathened to write a tell all book about drugs on tour…Charges against Mr.Rusedski were dropped…

  2. ccmack
    ccmack January 18, 2013 at 3:06 am |

    nice read. agreed. the armstrong legacy is such that sportsmen/women in many sports will be subject to all sorts of speculations, be they marathon tennis matches, unheralded breakthroughs or even the *secret drug ban masquerading as an injury timeout*. even with testing these stigmas may remain. just think of the athletics sprints post ben Johnson – apparently 7 of the 8 finalists that day faced some sort of drugs ban during their career. now i cannot watch a track sprint without the thought that some of the competitors will be on steroids. johnson tainted sprinting, and armstrong has tainted cycling, but he has also clouded other sports with his admissions and tennis is unfortunately one of them

  3. Aimee
    Aimee January 18, 2013 at 6:03 am |

    Hi Amy,

    I agree that it’s a terribly difficult topic to write about – you’re labelled a bit kooky the moment you start to speculate. But the fact of the matter is that you’d have to be ignorant to not think it exists.

    The Fuentes/Operation Puerta thing is particularly damning. Several Spanish tennis players apparently worked with him – as did several more Spanish athletes from other sports including soccer and athletics – and the names were simply covered up.

    To cycling’s credit – it is currently the sport with the most extensive anti-doping testing regimens. And they are still getting away with it.

    While I genuinely admire Djokovic speaking out against Armstrong’s actions, his assertion today that that the results are showing that the sport of tennis is clean seems incredibly naive. Clearly just because players aren’t testing positive doesn’t mean they’re clean.

    I agree with you entirely that the testing regimes need to be improved. Urgently.

    But what I would like to add is that if claims like Rochus’ are true – that silent bans are in effect, (So much speculation about the long absences from nadal, soderling, serena and henin over the past few years) I must admit I think it’s a good thing. The offending players are punished, but by keeping it quiet, the sport isn’t. All-in-all, if this is what’s going on (and I could make a good argument either way) I’d rather no one make too much noise about it…

  4. white abed
    white abed January 18, 2013 at 10:11 am |

    Thanks for broaching the problem of doping in tennis (and there is very likely a problem) in the proper way without accusations and speculation.

  5. harini
    harini January 18, 2013 at 3:30 pm |

    I totally agree that the possibility of doping is something that eclipses most matches I watch. It definitely would be such a stain on the sport if any of the players dope and I’m sure we all hope that it’s not something that happens.

    I hope tennis gets better at testing so that the fans can watch the sport without being subjected to the elephant in the room. And the players won’t have to deal with speculation and rumour-mongering.

  6. Paul Malone
    Paul Malone February 2, 2013 at 6:09 am |

    For me without any accusation of foul play, the top four’s indefatigable dominance in the ATP ranking is boring and too predictable. One match of 2012 that was not boring and was very unexpected was Nadal’s exit from Wimbledon by an anonymous tennis player called Rosol.

    For one moment Tennis seemed human again.

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