ITF respond to call for more blood testing

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by *Sparkle*, Nov 14, 2012.

  1. *Sparkle*

    *Sparkle* Professional

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    Following on from comments by top players, particularly Murray and Federer for the need of more blood testing, it looks as if ITF may be planning something. It's still quite vague, and they are making out it's something they were already working on, but they are also making excuses about resources, which isn't very compelling, so we'll see. However, it is at least a public acknowledgement that they should be doing more, and could see the introduction of biological passports.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/spo...-australian-open/story-fnbe6xeb-1226516916813

    This has been knocking about all day, so I'm surprised that no-one has posted about it yet, but then I remembered that most of the posters obsessed with doping seem to enjoy throwing accusations and complaining about everyone else being naive, and seemed more annoyed than pleased when some of the players started to take the subject seriously themselves.

    Murray did say that there had been a lot more blood testing this year (2012), which he assumed to be associated with the Olympics, but being generous, maybe the ITF were hoping to get some kind of programme and a bit of data together before making grand announcements about stepping things up. Maybe they didn't want to make any announcement, because raising the issue only encourages people to think that it might be an issue.

    IMO, ITF need to make a commitment to spending more money on quality and timely testing and aiming for biological passports sooner rather than later.

    As far as I'm concerned, there's no evidence that doping is widespread in tennis, but equally there's scant evidence that it's wholly clean. It's never going to be possible to absolutely prove it, but for the sake of the (clean) players, they need to at least have data to refer to. If there were any clean cyclists during Lance Armstrong's hayday, they are going to suffer guilt by association through no fault of their own. It's about protecting the clean player's image as much as it is about keeping the actual game fair.

    It's been talked about so much lately as being easy to dope that it's almost inviting underachieving players to think it's the next logical step. ITF need to make a stance now to make sure it's only a minority that think it's essential/worth the risk or doping in tennis could become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
     
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  2. Ms Nadal

    Ms Nadal Semi-Pro

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    The Lance Armstrong story has made all the other sports take note. The cheats do need to be weeded out.
     
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  3. Clarky21

    Clarky21 Banned

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    Good. The drug testing in tennis is pathetic as it is right now.
     
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  4. Murrayfan31

    Murrayfan31 Hall of Fame

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    lol Poor Nadal.
     
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  5. The Bawss

    The Bawss Banned

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    Looks like Djokovic will be serving a silent ban soon enough.
     
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  6. vive le beau jeu !

    vive le beau jeu ! G.O.A.T.

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    the rusty peak injured golden bull is already preparing his blood sample... how humble.
     
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  7. Clarky21

    Clarky21 Banned

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    Hopefully.
     
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  8. zebedee

    zebedee New User

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    The UCI have been using the biological passport for blood since 2008 but is there any evidence this has solved the problem of blood doping in pro cycling? Cynics say most definitely not. I think the bio passport may help to contain tennis doping as it's a solid measure where no solid measure currently exists in tennis and it will make it more difficult for tennis players to dope, but determined cheats will soon find a way round it. By some accounts pro cyclists already have.
     
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  9. *Sparkle*

    *Sparkle* Professional

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    It's never going to put some people off, but the consequences of getting caught are huge for any top player, so you'd think they'd want to play things safe. I wouldn't be confident that even the supposed top drugging doctors could know for sure that their regimes will always beat the system, especially if samples are kept for eight years as they do at the Olympics.

    Some will still take the risk, but I think it's inevitable that if testing improves, even the heaviest dopers would reign it in a bit, even if it was just for a while.
     
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  10. dudeski

    dudeski Hall of Fame

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    Well there goes any chance of Nadal winning titles again.
     
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  11. zebedee

    zebedee New User

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    Keeping samples for eight years will have no effect if players work out ways of blood doping while keeping haematocrit within range by microdosing. The traces disappear quickly and completely so glow time is too short to be picked up. If you accept Ashendon's thesis on Contador, what the Spanish cyclist was actually doing was blood doping rather than doping with the clenbuterol that was found in trace quantity only in his system.

    The ITF will need some good experts of Ashendon's calibre to back the bio-passport up. And where's the money coming from to do all this? Any prize money confiscated from cheats ought by right to go straight into the tennis anti-doping pot. Consideration should also be given to an additional financial sanction, heavy enough so the message goes out loud and clear that doping does not pay and will cost you dearly. At the moment doping pays very nicely, thank you very much.
     
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  12. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Nadal is completely clean. His detractors are jealous of his muscles and his ability to destroy Federer at will.
     
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  13. Ralph

    Ralph Hall of Fame

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    A great deal of your 20,000 plus posts talk of Federer.

    When will you cease the smoke screen and get over the man crush?
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2012
    #13
  14. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Well, why do posters here immediately mention Nadal in any doping thread? They have no evidence. This kind of slander has been going on for a long time.
     
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  15. Ralph

    Ralph Hall of Fame

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    I've no idea why. Still, you must not complain, for it's given you the chance to mention he for who you have a twinkle in the eye! Is it the way he plays with his hair?
     
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  16. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    That is not nice :)
     
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  17. 3fees

    3fees Hall of Fame

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    Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (Thanks, Asterix): "...I regret there is not many blood tests...When I hear some people's statements after the end of their career... I don't want to be a part of the debate. My impression is that we'll never know."

    This now makes 5 of the ATP's top ten players asking for an increase in blood testing: Djokovic, Federer, Murray, Tsonga, and Gasquet. What does the ITF have to say?

    http://tennishasasteroidproblem.blogspot.com/
     
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  18. Ralph

    Ralph Hall of Fame

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    I see what you did there, and I like it :)
     
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  19. chrisberchris

    chrisberchris Rookie

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    So what will happen if say a Grand Slam winner is found to be doping and it is proven that he was doping when he won the title? Does the finalist become the winner? I am glad that they are starting to become more attentive to the problem. I think we all will be surprised at names named, and names not named. I just hope it does not tarnish the image of tennis, and taint players that I love.
     
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  20. Clarky21

    Clarky21 Banned

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    You would like 7 more slam trophies on Fed's mantel,huh? Lol.
     
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  21. NadalDramaQueen

    NadalDramaQueen Hall of Fame

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    I wouldn't want that, and I can't imagine that Fed would even accept them. It would be a terrible situation for everyone involved and the fans would have been cheated out of a lot of fair matches.
     
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  22. sonicare

    sonicare Hall of Fame

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    guys, surely giving blood the night before a big match can't be good? does it have any effect on stamina, conditioning etc etc?
     
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  23. Clarky21

    Clarky21 Banned

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    It's not like they're going to have draw out pints of blood or anything. One vial of blood will not hurt them in the slightest.
     
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  24. Clarky21

    Clarky21 Banned

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    Maybe you wouldn't but lots and lots of *******s would.
     
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  25. zebedee

    zebedee New User

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    I don't believe there will be surprises. The biological passport will be quietly introduced. All players affected will be tested regularly over a period of several months to build the data for comparision and then the fun might or might not start. It will still require catching dopers offguard so that anomalous blood (urine too?) readings show up. Will the ITF have the budget to repeatedly go to players to take blood? Without this you still won't catch dopers and the grand slam tournaments, which is where the bulk of the money comes from, seem reluctant to finanace a proper anti-doping budget. That says a lot about the attitude of those who really command the game. I think the players that are doping currently will be more than aware of all this and will know what to do and how to circumvent. The passport should help to contain doping but I don't see how it will stop it.
     
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  26. Feather

    Feather Hall of Fame

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    Honestly speaking I suspect Djokovic more than Nadal. After the five hour SF with Murray at AO 2012, I thought Djokovic would be toast in the final against Nadal. However I saw Djokovic playing six hour Tennis and outgrinding Nadal, who has phenomenal stamina..
     
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  27. Tennis_Hands

    Tennis_Hands Hall of Fame

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    Kind of like Nadal at the AO2009?
     
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  28. joeri888

    joeri888 G.O.A.T.

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    It all depends on what happened. If one of them used and the other didn't, then yeah I would want them to be caught. If they both used, I want them both to be caught. If they didnt use, I want to see nobody get caught. In these situations I don't care about the trophies etc., but it would hurt a lot of it was found that Nadal cheated (other than MTO's and fake injuries and time violations and coaching of course ;))
     
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  29. Ms Nadal

    Ms Nadal Semi-Pro

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    They must do what they must. We don't want another Tour de FRAUD! :)
     
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  30. Gorecki

    Gorecki G.O.A.T.

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    you mean that competition where the spaniard clients of the spaniard dr Eufemiano dominate?
     
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  31. *Sparkle*

    *Sparkle* Professional

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    Complaining about drugs testing is about as meaningful as complaining about airport security. It is annoying, especially as some security staff make a right meal out of it, or are rude, or they take away your tweezers, then make you pay through the nose for a bottle of water, and then you hear stories of journalists smuggling machetes and blocks of marzipan onto planes. etc. etc. The thing is, most of us realise there is a need for airport security, and take a certain comfort from it, but would like it to be better, and it will always be a bit annoying, and we'll probably always have a bit of a whinge about it. It doesn't mean we are terrorists hoping to sneak a bomb on board.

    Drugs testing is always going to be a pain in the arse (or arm) for players, and they will complain if they don't see the point, or think their time is being wasted on silly tests that aren't effective anyway. What needs to happen is for their benefits to be explained, and to be sure that the clean players realise what can get through the existing system, and that it will benefit them to have a more effective system.

    Onto the reason I dug up this thread - there was a feature on the BBC 6 O'clock news where they were interviewing someone at WADA about the need for more blood testing, and that certain sports (they named football, boxing and tennis) do a low proportion of blood tests compared with what cycling are doing now. He was saying (with prompting from the journalist and I paraphrase somewhat) that it's a joke that rich sports like football and tennis claim it's too expensive to do more blood tests. The journalist raised the point that Murray and Federer had both called for an increase in tennis, and then they interviewed someone from the ITF who was all ineffectual and said some bland stuff about how they might do more in the future. I don't expect any sporting body to admit that they might have a problem, but I don't see why they can't say they want to make sure it stays that way by using the best technology available to them.

    Nothing ground-breaking was actually said, but I thought it interesting that they had a feature on it during the main evening news, and this was part of the main news, not the sports news.
     
    #31
  32. zebedee

    zebedee New User

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    Here's the item you refer to, sparkle.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/20517743

    The BBC falls for the same old false argument about tennis being less at risk to doping because it is more skill-dependent than other sports.
     
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