Does Tennis Have a Doping Problem?

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

So….
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.

Roger Federer


Posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , .

157 Comments

  1. Exactly. One of the things that bothers me the most is that every single tennis-related website and so-called tennis journalists suck up to a guy who has such an awful on-court behaviour. He fakes injuries during matches, receives illegal coaching from his box, grunts like a male Sharapova, gives his opponents stares and celebrates their mistakes with his shamefull fistpumping, takes 30 seconds between the end of each point and his next serve, and I could go on and on.
    And the comments by the fangirls (who dewell over Nadal´s body, failing to see how assymetrical his arms are and the fact that both his arms are giant but his chest is just flat) that flood the internet boards nearly cause me to vomit in my own mouth.

    [Reply]

    Peter Oh Reply:

    Is there any other way to vomit?

    [Reply]

  2. many things do not add up here
    1. when nadal wins, he is on ped
    2. when he loses, he is injured
    3. after injury, he comes back crushing his opponents
    3. he wont last as long as federer because of his style of play
    4. he wont last as long as federer because he doesnt plan his tournaments as well as federer.
    5. he has been tested as frequently as federer (per your tabulation above)
    6. djokovic was never tested (per your tabulation above)

    as much as i want to believe your theory, something just negates it; and i hate to admit it that the more i explore nadal’s possibility of doping, i end up with the possibility of roger and nole also doping..

    if ped makes you muscular-nadal is doping
    if ped makes your performance better-nadal, roger, nole are also doping
    if nadal is doping, how come he is not consistently winning tournaments?
    if nadal is doping, how come everybody else came down with the verdict of his short-lived dominance?
    if ped affects performance-then roger would have taken a dope when he beat an in-form nole at RG 2011?
    if ped affects performance-then nole would also have started doping this year for being unbeatable for months, considering his allergies and injuries in the past?
    with the large number of hatred against nadal, somebody would have made a way to ruin him easily based on this doping suspicion. also, it would have been more interesting and profitable for tennis if nadal would be declared a doper and that his 10 GS were illegitimate, ergo, we are all back to the roger era which is not only the best but the strongest.. but how come, nobody could pin down nadal? is it because there is really no proof to that? or maybe there is, but then, he is not the only one guilty of it? say, maybe all of them? that would be costly for the ATP.

    on the other hand, some things from your conclusions looks more consistent… he played like he never runs out of endurance in AO2009 beating roger, then he was down and out thereafter that he even lost the RG (his specialty) and missed out on the WImby and USO. if he was doping, he could have done it easily (as you said, ITF does not enforce strict drug testing) at least in RG and did not have to suffer a dismal loss. but it turned out, he had knee injuries (which i have loved to hear for roger’s sake)and needed the rest of the season to recouperate. if he was doping, he would have won more than 10GS from 2009 til date.

    on the contrast, nole’s last win at Australian open was in 2008..then no GS whatsoever after that.. come 2011, he started an almost flawless winning streak but for roger’s at RG..did diet (or haircut)dramatically makes you a very good all around tennis player? his coming to form is a lot more drastic than nadal who took several finals to beat roger. is he also on ped? maybe, not because he does not have bulky muscles..but then again..being UN-muscular does not necessarily mean he is not doping.

    just like you, i cannot prove my points but the more i dig deeper, i find myself with the possibility that even roger and nole use ped (especially when i apply the standards you enumerated)..

    being a fan, i would not want roger to be an exception to the standards set on nadal’s doping if only to prove he (roger) is clean.. but even i do not have proof to support roger except my favorable presumptions based on my own fanaticism for him.

    [Reply]

  3. It is clear that Federer is on EPO or on HGH. He has the build of Floyd Landis who was convicted of doping. Federer has plenty of muscles on his shoulders and lower body. Whoever said he doesn’t have muscles? What nonsense! Do you think he hits his forehand or his serve with magic? He is pretty powerful and he has incredible stamina. Also he either rarely gets injured or makes a quick recovery. These are all possible with doping.He has holed up in an out of the way place like Dubai where it is easier to carry on shady activities. Also did not Federer supply Forstmann with inside info about tennis players especially Nadal to help him in his betting activities? Looks like he has pulled out all stops in his effort to be considered GOAT.
    It is highly unlikely that Nadal is doping. If he were why would he draw attention to his muscles by wearing sleeveless? Also his frequent injuries are signs tht he isn’t using drugs like HGH which I am sure Fed uses. Explains his being able to remain in top 3 at age nearly 30.

    [Reply]

  4. Also what is the source for the claim that Fed asked ITF to preserve the samples for 8 years?
    Again doping in tennis is used mainly for stamina or speed or for quick recovery from injuries. All these are characteristic of Federer and can be achieved by EPO or HGH. Incidentally ATP has no tests for HGH so Federer is safe.
    Users of EPO or HGH have builds similar to Federer’s.

    [Reply]

  5. PREE almost said it all: “It would be great to do more serious tests but they will never do it. They are afraid some top pros will get caught, which hurts the business. That is all there is to it. I would imagine they could enforce Olympic standard if they wanted to but they will not do it.”
    And while Nadal has many admirable qualities, Alessandro aptly points out his shortcomings: “He fakes injuries during matches, receives illegal coaching from his box, grunts like a male Sharapova, gives his opponents stares and celebrates their mistakes with his shameful fist-pumping, takes 30 seconds between the end of each point and his next serve ….”
    Great stuff. Ruan, thank you for this post. Nadal juices. I don’t have any proof but deep down I believe it with all my heart. I’ll never convince his fans though and if he tested positive tomorrow the ATP wouldn’t let us know. Sadly, we are unlikely to ever know.

    [Reply]

  6. Beaware of some very simple fact. Those who despise Nadal of doping because of some of his irregular playin, overmore mentioning the seasons that comprehend years 2009 or 2010, may not be aware that he suffered the divorce of his parents, which coincidentally affected his play in a profound way. Nothing to do with doping. There might be, as with every outstanding sportsmen, a slight suspicion of doping, but without proof there is no real significance to this thread.

    Tennis is faraway from some endurance sports such as biking (Tour de France), though more and more resiliance proves to be more of a need (let’s see the last Djokovic/Nadal Australian Open final). That final, of such unbeliveable endurance, could lead to suspicions. But on which side?. Both?. Is it because two astonishing athletes beated a world record in a Grand Slam that they should become the target of our speculations?.

    Maybe right or not, whilst there is no viable proof to support any words here said, speculation is just that, speculation. Most of it based on ridiculous theories that support some of the yield curves from Nadal, forgetting and ignoring his personal life and how it could affect a number one player in his performance.

    Best wishes to everyone,
    Guilly

    [Reply]

  7. Just one thing, I had a schoolmate at elementary school and he was incredibly muscular. Like small bodybuilder. We all wanted to be like that. I was going to gym for many years and when I met him at school reunion, he was pretty the same as me. Just God given body. So Rafa can have biceps without too much gym.

    [Reply]

    Sadiqa Reply:

    …except….google up on youtube AO 20004. Rafa looked emaciated compared to how he looks today.

    Then google up 2005 Miami Nadal vs Federer. Nadal is all of a sudden HUGE in just a 3-4 month gap. I believe this is the time period where Uncle Toni states Nadal’s body suddenly “exploded”.

    Dunno about you but most guys dont have that dramatic a growth spurt. Especially a cardio intensive sport like tennis where its hard to put on and sustain muscle mass because of the amount of cardio. And especially a player whose whole game is based on incessant running and retrieving.

    No, rafa did not always have that huge body. The difference between his 2004 and his 2005 physique is tremendous, to say nothing of how he looked in 2008.

    [Reply]

    roger Reply:

    “No, rafa did not always have that huge body. The difference between his 2004 and his 2005 physique is tremendous”

    Nadal was 17 and 18 years old on the two occasions you mention. A boy at that age is still growing, especially if he is an athlete.

    And btw, isn’t this suppossed to be a Federer-blog. Seems to me like it’s more of a Anti-Nadal-Blog

    [Reply]

  8. Ru-an, you really make me smile ^_^ You actually keep all those horrible comments for an open discussion. Can’t those blind fans see what integrity you have? It’s okay holding different points of view, but it’s way too low distorting others’ so as to falsely validate your own. Thanks a million again for such a wonderful entry!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks Ja!

    [Reply]

  9. What caught my attention is the guy talking about a “secret suspension” for Wimbledon 2009 was it ? When Nadal supposedly retired. After he lost against Robin at RG. Look. Same thing over again. Nadal supposedly injures himself right after he exits an early round in Wimbledon (could be another disguised suspension, loosing against a 100 ranked player, really? or maybe he just wasnt allowed to use his products and he sucks this bad when he doesn’t have them), both time he finished the match btw, and didn’t look that injured to me… Next thing you know he supposedly have an injury and miss the next Grand Slam. Funny thing is he is fit enought to play the davis cup like one week later.
    C’mon seriously? You can’t play USOpen the biggest tournament on the face of the earth, but you are fit to play one week later at some no-life cup?
    I’m also totally convinced that if a top guy was to failed a test, it would be kept secret, and it break my heart to say it, EVEN if it was Federer. Now can they let that happen ? Not really, it could blow into their faces. And I’m not sure if you get a boner let a cheater get away with it. So yes a “secret suspension” seems like a very good idea. It’s money we are talking about. Ok we all love Federer but if Nadal was to blow in our faces, the entire tennis world would explode. It would even hurt Federer (let’s suppose he is totally clean), it would still hurt me because ppl would be suspicious on Tennis in general.
    Btw. ALLO. Did you guys remember when Juan Martin Del Potro got supposedly injured the next day or so after he won( he was on his two feet winning) against Federer in the USOpen 2009 final. It’s so fantastic that the minute they w-i-n a major trophy or exit a major tournament they injure themselves without even playing a match… Ok I’m pushing a bit they did play matches, but isnt it weird of a coincidence. And Del Potro is one hell of a machine too, you don’t know what products is being inside there. And btw since then he never got close to winning ever again…

    All this is too shady. Even if there is no “secret suspension”, I’m convinced that Nadal taking a vacation from 2GS+1 pathetic fail again in 2012, like in 2009 is no coincidence…For all we know, maybe they don’t even have serious proof, suspicions and stuff, and they made some kind of secret deal “You don’t play this and that tournament, and we will keep a lid on it”…Everybody wins.

    There is huge money involved, no way if a player as big as the current top 3 was caught red handed, no way they would let the world know, unless they had something to win from it, and they would only have stuff to loose…

    They almost make us a favor…But really it stinks. I don’t think Federer is in anything like this. There is just no comparison. And hell, even doped, go do 34 quarters finals in a row, and ring me back…

    Where can I hear more about this. I mean ppl talked about “secret suspension” back 2 years ago, when it had only happened once. But it’s twice now! It should be big news, no?

    [Reply]

    JT Reply:

    “Nadal supposedly injures himself right after he exits an early round in Wimbledon (could be another disguised suspension, loosing against a 100 ranked player, really? or maybe he just wasnt allowed to use his products and he sucks this bad when he doesn’t have them), both time he finished the match btw, and didn’t look that injured to me…”

    Haven’t people on here already stated that Federer has completed matches while being injured. Is it that unfathomable for a player to finish up a match in which he is slightly injured?

    “Next thing you know he supposedly have an injury and miss the next Grand Slam. Funny thing is he is fit enought to play the davis cup like one week later. C’mon seriously? You can’t play USOpen the biggest tournament on the face of the earth, but you are fit to play one week later at some no-life cup?”

    So you are equating playing the US Open which is two weeks work of possibly 5-set matches (Nadal never went to 5-sets at the US Open) with two Davis cup matches (one singles and one doubles) against a scrub team of Ukraine???? I’m sure it took a lot of effort for him to play those 2 matches for Spain.

    As for the “secret suspension” rumor. If they aren’t going to call him on it publicly, and then they are going to allow him to return to the tour (supposedly better than when he left and still able to dominate everyon). Why waste the time with a secret suspension? What does that even do for the tour or for Nadal? Is it going to make him stop doping if he already is doping? The only thing it would do is give conspiracy theorists room to speculate. I can imagine the conversation between the ATP and Nadal … “So we see that you failed a test. We are going to suspend you for 8 months. Don’t worry, we won’t tell anyone; you just have to fake an injury. Then you can return to the tour and start dominating like you weren’t doing when we suspended you anyways? That sound like a good deal?”

    [Reply]

    JT Reply:

    Oh yes, should we start the Djokovic is doping rumor since he played in Davis Cup against a much tougher opponent only 2 weeks after a grueling US Open for him. I mean didn’t he look just exhausted in that final, but he was already recouped enough to win two matches in straight sets for his davis cup team?

    [Reply]

  10. Also when Nadal says “it would be my dream to play at the Davis Cup”. WTF. His dream? that’s his dream? Now put yourself in the shoes of a guy that got caught majorly red handed, that risks his entire career. Wouldn’t it be your dream to be allowed to play again ? to have a clean slate (once again), and be back at some useless second hand tournament ?
    The time I head this from Nadal, I thought he was on drugs or something (no joke). I mean why would you say that ? But now that I make the connection, oh man I could see perfectly clear now… It’s no proof, but take good note of that and add it all up.

    [Reply]

  11. Pingback: Does Tennis Have a Doping Problem? - peRFect Tennis

  12. IMO, unless one is doping, it is not physically possible to do as much running as is required in tennis and simultaneously carry as much muscle mass as Nadal and Murray.

    [Reply]

  13. So now a question. If doping is so easy in the sport of tennis. And everyone could be doing it from Nadal to Monfils to a completely unknown Odesnik, then whose to say Federer’s magical run didn’t include doping? I mean he’s made some pretty inhuman shots in his career as well. Or was Federer’s success due to the fact he was playing in an era with Roddick and Hewitt, two complete mental-cases when it comes to playing on the big stage? Prior to Nadal arriving on the scene, Federer won 7 grand slams against 5 players: Phillipousis (wow at the star power there), Safin, Roddick, Hewitt, and Aggasi. The first 4 there combined for 5 grandslams, fewer than Djokovic has at this point. We could argue that Agassi was the only top-tier player in that list, and he was coming to the end of his career when Federer was reaching his peak. I’d put Djokovic and Murray up there to contend with Agassi and Hewitt in terms of career greatness. Which of these eras looks better to you: Federer/Agassi/Hewitt/Roddick (28 grandslams total) or Federer/Nadal/Djokovic/Murray (40 grandslams total)?

    You insinuated that doping has helped Nadal physically and mentally, but can doping really help someone mentally? Isn’t it just that Nadal IS better mentally?

    Oh and of course the “Monfils could be doping, but he is black so that could just be genetics” argument. But there’s no way it could be genetics with Nadal. He’s dark, but not dark enough for it to be genetics. Too bad James Blake wasn’t fully black, he might’ve been able to overcome his lack of being ripped and been a little bit more like Monfils. Since Monfils already has the genetics, maybe he should start doping so he can get the mental edge since he’s clearly lacking there. Oh wait, there we go again. Monfils isn’t doping because he’s well-built but mentally lacking, but Nadal is doping because he’s ripped AND mentally superior to everyone.

    With no proof, as you state so many times, it’s interesting that you are trying to pin a “tennis has doping problems” article on one person just because you don’t like how they play and are tired of them beating the people you want to win. Is it really likely that in a sport with as many testing holes as you have pointed out that only one player is doping? If there are others doping, why aren’t they reaching the success that Nadal has reached? Is he just that much better at doping than anyone else?

    [Reply]

    JT Reply:

    And more realistically you are probably trying to pin it on that one person because he is the person who is winning it all. If it were Monfils winning it all, all the time, and completely dominating tournaments, we might be talking about him doping. Or we could just wash that subject away with the “of course, it’s because he’s black” arguement.

    Or if it were Murray who was winning it all, you could be on here talking about his drastic change in his muscle tone, and obviously that means he’s doping, but since he’s the one losing, then it doesn’t really help your argument to have a loser being the face of doping.

    [Reply]

  14. Lance Armstrong didn’t “look” like a doper either, and there he was putting syringes in his butt. Also, tennis is a lot more about technique than it is about athleticism. A player with outstanding technique and mediocre athletic capabilities could become great whereas the inverse is not true, or at least, far less likely to be true.

    [Reply]

  15. Read this fairly old article and comments for the first time. Seems to be one long discussion about one person really, Nadal, and no matter what Ruan says to the contrary, he is the one who casts the first suspicions in his original article.

    Unfortunately there is no hard evidence, it is all purely speculative in the sense that, apart from doping, other explanations can be given for bulk of muscle, stamina, etc. Some of the examples seem taken out of the air, fx Nadals sudden improvement of speed on his serve in USO 2010. No way you can dope yourself to that in such a short time, but change your technique somewhat and flatten your serve especially, you can indeed see marked differences, as anybody knows who has learned to serve both with and without or with little spin.

    I would be very careful to even throw suspicions on top players without any hard evidence. Tennis is being played year around, and top players stand an awful lot to loose by being caught doping. That alone would make them thing not only twice, but find other solutions, if at all possible.

    Objectively all you really can say, is that tennis has a fairly weak doping control, which is still the case in 2014.

    [Reply]

  16. I think it’s safe to say that there’s something rotten in Denmark. This doesn’t only pertain to tennis but to most professional sports (probably even golf). The rewards are too great and the risks are to small for the top players to not do it. Testing is currently too lax and doping is too sophisticated for anti doping agencies to be able to catch most or any of it. I also believe that it is in the governing bodies interest to keep doping going (but under cover), because these top athletes get that extra omph from PEDs
    which just makes for extraordinary performances and spectacles to watch. When large audiences gravitates to those spectacles, sponsors will follow and everybody gets paid. I don’t think anyone involved, would want that gravy train to stop, hence the unwillingness of the governing bodies to implement more stringent testing. Because god forbid that top guys like Federer, Nadal and Djocovic would get caught. It would devastate the sport. Subsequently audiences, sponsors and the money would leave in droves and heaps. E.g after Armstrong got exposed and evicted from cycling, the sport never was the same. In the US, cycling might never recover. The tarnished reputation of the sport is a stain that won’t easily come off.
    So what is the solution then? I’m of the opinion that athletes when competing for multi million dollar prizes and hundred million dollar endorsement contracts, always will try to get an edge. It’s human nature. It doesn’t matter how decent and honorable you are. Most athletes will cheat, especially when knowing or suspecting that other competitors are doing it. I think the only way to get a level playing field is to legalize PEDs in sports. Yes it’s morally reprehensible and detracts from the purity of athletic competition. However, I’d rather watch pro tennis knowing that besides genetic superiority, there are no other unfair advantages to consider. I simply don’t like the idea of watching a sport wondering if a guy rose to the top because he either beat competitors that didn’t cheat or weren’t as proficient at cheating.

    It’s of course a cynical way to look at the doping issue and the remedy for it. However looking at cycling and baseball, we know that doping probably is pervasive in most pro sports. Even with players getting caught (like in cycling and baseball) it’s still as prolific as ever. It has also become more sophisticated and stealthy. I simply don’t see any other way to create a level playing field, other than allowing PEDs and doping. May the best cheater win.

    Putting on my flame suit. ^^

    [Reply]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *