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chess9
06-03-2006, 09:57 PM
I'm assuming they test for exogenous steroids and little else. Do they test for human growth hormone? Insulin? Amphetamines? Ephedrine? What?

Are the two major tours turning their heads to avoid the bad press of baseball, football, cycling, swimming, track, and basketball, to name just a few sports?

Few tennis players show signs of steroid use, but other performance enhancing drugs such as hgh and insulin are being used by athletes in many sports. Why should tennis be any different? So few tennis players get drug suspensions, I'm a bit suspicious of the quality of the testing program.

So, what is the drug testing budget of the tours? How many drug tests are performed?

If the tennis drug testing program is anything like major league baseball's testing program, then you'd have to be dumber than a box of rocks to get caught, I suspect.

-Robert

BaseLineBash
06-03-2006, 09:59 PM
The big one is Nandrolone.

Max G.
06-03-2006, 10:38 PM
They also test for various masking agents, I know that much. Don't know the details though.

Check out http://www.atptennis.atponline.net/en/antidoping/ , that seems like it has the information you'd want.

framebreaker
06-03-2006, 11:21 PM
the social background of the average tennis player is different from the background of many other athletes. it is less likely that they are willing to take dangerous drugs which can lead to liver damages, heart attacks etc. they know better.

chess9
06-04-2006, 12:04 AM
They also test for various masking agents, I know that much. Don't know the details though.

Check out http://www.atptennis.atponline.net/en/antidoping/ , that seems like it has the information you'd want.

The ATP and WTA DO NOT DISCLOSE the drugs they test for or their protocols. Read the material. Try to find a list of drugs tested for. None exists. They say what drugs are banned, but not what they test for.

This strongly suggests what I'll bet all tennis pros know-you can get away with most drug violations, except probably steroid use done close to a competition and without masking agents. Take a good masking agent and you might get away with even steroid use?

This raises a question in my mind. Who has the burden of proof? Should the public give all these athletes the benefit of the doubt even in the post BALCO climate? Or, should the professional athletic associations prove to the public that their athletes are vigorously and rigorously tested and are clean?

For the record, I don't think tennis is as bad as cycling, but how would we know? The answer is, we don't.

EDIT: I forgot about Puerta. Took a stimulant. So, obviously they are testing for a few drugs. But, are they testing for insulin and hgh? Hmm....
-Robert

chess9
06-04-2006, 12:06 AM
the social background of the average tennis player is different from the background of many other athletes. it is less likely that they are willing to take dangerous drugs which can lead to liver damages, heart attacks etc. they know better.

I'm sorry, but some of the biggest crooks in the United States come from the best families. Anyone who thinks this is a white/black or class issue is dead wrong. Cycling and swimming are almost lily white, with plenty of rich kids.

-Robert

Max G.
06-04-2006, 09:21 AM
Based on what they describe in those PDFs, it seems that they take blood/urine samples, and then test for all the banned drugs on the list. That's what Paragraph H.2.1 of the Tennis Anti-Doping Rules says. Seems pretty simple to me - they probably send it off to a lab that passes it through a standard battery of tests.

The burden of proof, as always, lies on the accuser - I'm a firm believer in "innocent until proven guilty". If the professional association does not prove them guilty, then that's certainly not a reason to assume that they are.

chess9
06-04-2006, 09:54 AM
Max:

"Doping control samples shall be analysed to detect Prohibited Substances and Prohibited Methods identified on the Prohibited List...."

Notice the absence of the word ALL both at the start of that sentence and after the word "detect" and before "Prohibited". Furthermore, though testing is to be done pursuant to WADA, the entire process is under the actual physical control of the ITF. They tell the lab they select what to test for. They might be paying for the entire testing panel, or for only a small portion of it. We don't know and aren't told and that is my complaint. This is exactly the kind of problem Major League Baseball has and the problem that UCI had with cycling until the scandals got so big they had to crack down a bit. (I say a bit because it is well known that doping is occurring in cycling at still alarming rates despite the UCI's adherence to WADA standards. Some cyclists at the Giro were apparently using drugs and doing blood doping because the UCI found the evidence.)

So, I think the tennis public is entitled to more information about exactly what the ITF is doing, testing wise. I'm very suspicious about their approach because federation officials of all the sports hate to announce a positive drug test and suspension because it taints the sport. Major League Baseball is scared to death of exactly this problem and well they should be with the nearly 40 year old Bonds hitting record home runs.

-Robert

chess9
06-04-2006, 11:54 AM
By way of example, from the mondo bizzaro world of UCI cycling I offer this recent story, just in case anyone thinks I am making too much of nothing.

http://msn.foxsports.com/other/story/5665504

-Robert

The tennis guy
06-04-2006, 01:45 PM
Tennis drug test follows Olympic sports testing protocol.

chess9
06-04-2006, 11:32 PM
Tennis drug test follows Olympic sports testing protocol.

So do the UCI tests, supposedly, and cycling is like Haight-Ashbury in the '60's. :)

Something else. If the ITF decides to just draw blood or urine samples and not test them, how would we know, and what can we do about it? It's one thing to SUPPOSEDLY have a rule, it's quite another to follow through completely. Is the budget for drug testing sufficiently high to cover the enormous cost of testing 100-500 players per week, for 52 weeks per year? I doubt the ITF actually has all samples tested with the full panel. I'll bet they are very selective about who they test for what. This leaves tennis in pretty much the same situation as UCI and Major League Baseball. In fact, why would tennis be any different?

-Robert

Viper
06-04-2006, 11:55 PM
They test only the weirdest stuff, like hair growth and stuff.

chess9
06-05-2006, 12:54 AM
They test only the weirdest stuff, like hair growth and stuff.

Oh, good point! Imagine if Lube starting growing hair! Or, worse, Mauresmo with a moustache.

On the other hand, what if the Polish women didn't have leg hair? Could be a scandal? :)

-Robert