I was hesitant at first to make a post about this, because there is no concrete proof that anyone in tennis is doping at the moment. But after I did some research I felt that this post is very necessary. The last player who was busted for doping was Wayne Odesnik, who was busted for importing human growth hormone(HGH) to Australia. HGH is a hormone that athletes take to increase muscle mass among other things. It also makes fat loss easier, speeds up recovery time, and makes a player look more cut and ripped. HGH can not be found in a player through urine testing. Only a blood test will pick it up. For maximum effect athletes use growth hormone together with other short-acting steroids. I found the below at RF.com:
“Players can use short-acting steroids in combination with human growth hormone which will produce muscle mass and enormous power, and while they c…an stop just before a competition and test clean, they still get the performance benefit of the drugs,” Mendoza said.”
I am the same guy who suspected that Nadal was using a two-tiered doping regime. He is administered his grown hormone weeks in advance of a slam event (Dr Sanchez’s “knee” treatments). Then takes something to “boost” the effectivesness shortly before (and maybe during) the slam event. The above quote indicates it may be some fast-acting (and fast cleansing) steroid.
You will notice that even though Queens, Cincinnati, and Toronto were all after “knee” treatments, Nadal performed poorly (much like most of 2009) at those tournaments. Yet, immediately after those poor performances, Nadal crushed the opposition at the slams.
If Nadal is taking the growth hormone well before competition (and we know there is virtually no out of competition testing in tennis), he will not test positive for it (I believe growth hormone is not detectable after three days of administration anyways).
The fast-acting “booster”, if it clears the system quickly, can be used much closer to competition. In fact, at grand slams, with a day off in between competition, may be administered on off days, without getting caught.
There was no link to the above quote, but it looks pretty legit nonetheless. Now look at the 2009 testing statistics HERE. Incredibly, the out-of-competition testing was only done for urine. In other words, players could freely use HGH with no fear of getting caught as long as they stopped using three days before competition! As far as the out-of-competition testing goes, it doesn’t seem very comprehensive at all according to this article. It seems the out-of-competition testing is done close to tournaments anyway, making it even easier for players to get away with doping. I’ve heard of HGH before and the possibility that tennis players are using it, but I am somewhat dumbfounded by how easy it is to use it. I don’t know if the ITF have changed their testing methods in 2010. I know they do the whereabouts thing where a player must report where they are every day for one hour.
And Nadal was one who complained about this new rule. Hmmm. But clearly it is not that hard for players to dope. With HGH I think you have to use it for at least 3 months to see any real changes, but when you take it with another steroid that isn’t necessary. I also find it quite incredible that a short-acting steroid clears the system so quickly that it can even be used during a grand slam event. I don’t know about you, but this is all pretty shocking to me. I never gave these steroid rumors much attention simply because there is no concrete proof until a player is caught. But since I did my research I can’t help but think it is inevitable that players use steroids. There just isn’t strict enough testing outside of competition as far as I can make out. Here is a comment from the blog post that I linked to earlier:
The top 10 men were almost all tested when they were NOT home training:
-Federer, 5 days before French Open & missed one a few days before the Basel tournament.
-Nadal, 6 days before French Open & missed one while playing exhibition in London.
-Djokovic: NOT TESTED AT ALL
-Murray, a week before US Open and again right before World Tour finals
-Del Potro: NOT TESTED AT ALL
-Roddick: missed test the day before Cincinnati and was not approached again
-Davydenko: tested 10 days before Kuala Lumpur and again a few days before World Tour finals. Does the first count as out of competition?
-Verdasco: NOT TESTED AT ALL
-Soderling: tested once during Barcelona and once out of competition during offseason
-Tsonga: tested OOC in July and once in the fall right before a tournament
only 2 or 3 of those can really count as OOC. And many weren’t even tested at all!
Really?! If the testing is this lax then almost everyone has to be doping. Lets say Nadal wants to dope for instance. What is to stop him? I always thought they were so strict with testing that it was almost impossible to cheat! Check out the below video:
I can’t help but think this guy has a point. You may remember that for a long time I’ve been predicting the burnout of Nadal. So when he had that slump last year I thought that was it. I thought he would maybe win 2-3 more French Opens, but that would be it. Baseline grinders like Courier, Chang, and Hewitt all burned out mentally or due to injury early in their careers. For Nadal is was the knee problem last year, but I also felt like he was mentally losing his edge. To me it is nothing short of astonishing the way he has come back this year. I have never seen anyone come back from a year long slump in that fashion. It made Roger’s remarkable recovery last year look almost like a joke. The way his knee problem went away is in itself surprising.
Then of course there has been the mind-boggling increase in serve speed that he got at the US Open this year. I don’t know if that has ever been done either.A physical specimen like Nadal has never been seen in tennis before. For a tennis player to look like that is in itself a first, but that is not the amazing thing. The amazing thing is that he himself swears by it that he hates the gym and never spends any time there. So how on earth do you get muscles like that simply by playing tennis?! If that was only due to genes, and there was no steroids involved, then surely there would have been someone like that in the sport before. Monfils is also a physical specimen, but even him isn’t as buff as Nadal. And of course it’s not impossible that Monfils is doping either. But having said that, black people tend to be more athletic anyway.
Something else that is suspect about Nadal is the fashion in which he won the Australian Open of 2009. I just found it incredible how he could play that marathon semi-final and come back with one days less rest than Roger and win the final in another marathon. It just didn’t seem normal to me. And again, it was probably the first time we saw such a superhuman display of endurance and fitness in the history of tennis. As you can see there is a lot of firsts with Nadal. So we are left with the conclusion that he is simply superman, the likes of what we have never seen before, or he is in fact doping. I’m sad to say it, but I think there is a pretty strong case for him to be doping. But on the other hand there is no concrete proof, so it is just plain wrong to say that he is doping for sure. All that can be said is that there is a very good chance given all we have observed, and given how lax the doping controls is.
It is s shame to think that tennis can be a dirty sport, because it could mean that Roger’s career has been ruined by it to some extent, given what Nadal has done to him. But we live in a corrupt world. Corruption is everywhere. So for me there is hardly any doubt that there is doping in tennis. As for Nadal, I don’t think he is a bad guy. Him and Roger gets along well and he seems to be a nice kid. Look at the below video again for instance:
When I watch this video on Youtube where him and Roger is laughing together I find it hard to believe that he is a doper. He just look like a good, spontaneous kid. He doesn’t look like the type that deceives and cheats. Personally I’m not the kind of person that would accuse Nadal of doping just because he is threatening Roger’s records or something. If he is the better man than that is it. However hard it will be to accept, it must be accepted. But I thought this post was necessary anyway just to spread awareness and look at some of the facts. I don’t claim to be an expert in this area, and if there is anything that I left out or that is wrong, then please feel free to leave me a comment. I am really making this post to open a discussion more than anything else, because the facts say that there is something fishy going on here.
So to recap why Nadal could possibly be doping:
- Although I don’t have data for 2010, it seems the drug testing is very lax, which means he could get away with it if he wanted to.
- He is cut and has muscles like no other tennis player we have ever seen before. His muscles also looks like someone who is doping.
- He admits that he never goes to the gym, which makes his muscles even more surprising.
- He came back from being almost down and out in 2009 to winning 3 grand slams in a row in 2010 and in the process completing the career slam.
- He never gets tired. He plays a physically very demanding game, yet despite of that he played two marathon matches in a row to win the Australian Open of 2009.
- He seems to have unlimited reserves of endurance because he keeps grinding match wins year in and year out and looks like he is only now hitting his peak.
- He improved his serve speed by huge amount from seemingly nowhere this year at the US Open, and it played a big role in his winning the title.
- He seems superhuman, which seems to good to be true.
Like I said before, it is hard to ignore these facts. But on the other hand we don’t have any hard evidence either, and Nadal does seem to be a good kid. So lets have a discussion about this, but please try to keep it civilized. This is not to accuse Nadal of anything, because we just don’t know for sure until we have hard proof. Personally I am not committed either way. For me it’s just as likely that he is doping as that he is not doping.
The floor is yours.