Should players reveal what drugs are they taking under TUE?

Arak

Professional
Obviously there are certain considerable advantages to be obtained from consuming certain therapeutic drugs. Some players in the past have been accused of faking certain injuries in order to get a TUE. One of the players who seem to disagree with revealing it is Azarenka. I’m pretty sure most players would feel the same even if they don’t speak out. Discuss.
 

vive le beau jeu !

Talk Tennis Guru
Obviously there are certain considerable advantages to be obtained from consuming certain therapeutic drugs. Some players in the past have been accused of faking certain injuries in order to get a TUE. One of the players who seem to disagree with revealing it is Azarenka. I’m pretty sure most players would feel the same even if they don’t speak out. Discuss.
 

Guru Apu

Rookie
Many of the players take drugs they dont want people to know. If you get TUE for coke or herion then maybe you not want people to know about it.

People may call you junkie or something, sponsor will not like that.
 

bigserving

Hall of Fame
That is going to fall under doctor-patient privilege. The appropriate tour officials will need to know and be aware of the duration. So no, the player should not have to disclose publicly.
 

tonylg

Hall of Fame
That is going to fall under doctor-patient privilege. The appropriate tour officials will need to know and be aware of the duration. So no, the player should not have to disclose publicly.
Was Sharapova's Meldonium doctor patient privilege? Was Armstrong's steroids doctor patient privilege? No, because it wasn't their doctors disclosing the information. It was done because they were breaking the rules of their sport.

These players are breaking the rules, but being given permission to do so. It's not their doctors who need to make this public, it's the ATP and WTA.
 

vive le beau jeu !

Talk Tennis Guru
Was Sharapova's Meldonium doctor patient privilege? Was Armstrong's steroids doctor patient privilege? No, because it wasn't their doctors disclosing the information. It was done because they were breaking the rules of their sport.

These players are breaking the rules, but being given permission to do so. It's not their doctors who need to make this public, it's the ATP and WTA.
 

tonylg

Hall of Fame
TUE’s are weird, I recall Verdasco not being allowed to take medication for his ADHD as it’s seen as a PED.
Increasing focus and concentration would definitely be a PED.

It's a judgement call on who should be given a TUE, but if given it should definitely be disclosed.
 

Arak

Professional
Was Sharapova's Meldonium doctor patient privilege? Was Armstrong's steroids doctor patient privilege? No, because it wasn't their doctors disclosing the information. It was done because they were breaking the rules of their sport.

These players are breaking the rules, but being given permission to do so. It's not their doctors who need to make this public, it's the ATP and WTA.
Exactly! And to be honest, I don’t even trust the ATP and WTA on this matter as I think they are too lenient/gullible compared to other organizations like say the WADA.
One female player at the Australian open who was taking a beating claimed she couldn’t breathe and was given an inhaler. We don’t know her medical history, and she might very well suffer from asthma, but if she didn’t, the inhaler would have given her an unfair advantage as it opens up the lungs and allows more oxygen. I didn’t watch until the end, so I don’t know if she got any benefits from this, but as a spectator and fan, I feel that I have the right to know what’s going on.

Edit: it was Azarenka. She lost nonetheless.
 
Last edited:

Terenigma

G.O.A.T.
Personally I don't care how much you medically need it. If you are taking a drug directly tied with any kind of performance enhancing effect then you should be banned from playing until you stop taking it.

The idea of a green light for it because it's unfair is absolutely stupid. Id like to believe players don't take intended advantage of this system but that's what they intend, the actual effects are still active and might push you over the line.

TL;DR = If you are taking a banned substance in any form. No exemption should be made for you. Stop playing because you are cheating.
 

Arak

Professional
Personally I don't care how much you medically need it. If you are taking a drug directly tied with any kind of performance enhancing effect then you should be banned from playing until you stop taking it.

The idea of a green light for it because it's unfair is absolutely stupid. Id like to believe players don't take intended advantage of this system but that's what they intend, the actual effects are still active and might push you over the line.

TL;DR = If you are taking a banned substance in any form. No exemption should be made for you. Stop playing because you are cheating.
Fully agreed. If players are taking cortisone injections for example, which seems quite popular in the last couple of years, they should stop playing until the effects of cortisone have dissipated.
 

tonylg

Hall of Fame
Fully agreed. If players are taking cortisone injections for example, which seems quite popular in the last couple of years, they should stop playing until the effects of cortisone have dissipated.
I agree with this. TUE should apply while they are out of competition, recovering from injury. If you can't compete without the TUE, then you can't compete.
 

Robert F

Professional
I believe there are certain chronic medical issues that require medication not just for a limited time. So if you say you can't play when you have a TUE, then you can't play at all.
There is definitely a grey zone. But I can argue many drugs for common conditions can give performance enhancement but can be necessary for daily function.

Metformin--lowers weight/body composition. Treats Diabetes.
Insulin--can help build muscle. Treats Diabetes
Albuterol--opens up airways, improves oxygen flow. Treats asthma attacks/not breathing
Propranolol--lowers blood pressure/slows heart rate. Could help athletes manage anxiety/stress response to court pressure. Treats hypertension/arrythmias
Modafanil--can help with alertness/focus/fatigue. Somewhat like a stimulant. Used for narcolepsy/sleep shift disorders.

Having athletes disclose what medications they are on is not a violation of doctor/patient relationship. It can be a condition of being able to play for an organization based on its rules/policies. In the US, certain jobs require disclosures of medications used to make sure the job is safe (airplane pilots, truck drivers etc.). Has nothing to do with the doctor/patient relationship/confidentiality.

Not sure I'm ready to say an athlete has to disclose all of their medical history publicly in order to play professional sports. For some people this can be very private and difficult to share.

Without knowing all the detailed rules for the TUEs, I'd be most concerned with those getting hormone treatments for possible conditions. Needing growth hormone injections to repair cartilage/tendon damage--would be a red flag. Needing testosterone as a woman to help with low energy/sex drive, would be a way to sneak things under the radar
 

Arak

Professional
I believe there are certain chronic medical issues that require medication not just for a limited time. So if you say you can't play when you have a TUE, then you can't play at all.
There is definitely a grey zone. But I can argue many drugs for common conditions can give performance enhancement but can be necessary for daily function.

Metformin--lowers weight/body composition. Treats Diabetes.
Insulin--can help build muscle. Treats Diabetes
Albuterol--opens up airways, improves oxygen flow. Treats asthma attacks/not breathing
Propranolol--lowers blood pressure/slows heart rate. Could help athletes manage anxiety/stress response to court pressure. Treats hypertension/arrythmias
Modafanil--can help with alertness/focus/fatigue. Somewhat like a stimulant. Used for narcolepsy/sleep shift disorders.

Having athletes disclose what medications they are on is not a violation of doctor/patient relationship. It can be a condition of being able to play for an organization based on its rules/policies. In the US, certain jobs require disclosures of medications used to make sure the job is safe (airplane pilots, truck drivers etc.). Has nothing to do with the doctor/patient relationship/confidentiality.

Not sure I'm ready to say an athlete has to disclose all of their medical history publicly in order to play professional sports. For some people this can be very private and difficult to share.

Without knowing all the detailed rules for the TUEs, I'd be most concerned with those getting hormone treatments for possible conditions. Needing growth hormone injections to repair cartilage/tendon damage--would be a red flag. Needing testosterone as a woman to help with low energy/sex drive, would be a way to sneak things under the radar
Very good point.

In case of chronic illnesses like diabetes, it goes without saying that athletes should be allowed to take their medications as their bodies will not function without them. One such players is Zverev who suffers from diabetes since he was a kid. However, it would be difficult for a player to claim he got diagnosed with diabetes in the middle of a tournament. These cases, being chronic, can be regulated once for all and can easily be proven by blood tests and dealt with accordingly.
 

tonylg

Hall of Fame
Very good point.

In case of chronic illnesses like diabetes, it goes without saying that athletes should be allowed to take their medications as their bodies will not function without them. One such players is Zverev who suffers from diabetes since he was a kid. However, it would be difficult for a player to claim he got diagnosed with diabetes in the middle of a tournament. These cases, being chronic, can be regulated once for all and can easily be proven by blood tests and dealt with accordingly.
We are talking millions of dollars here. As I said above, cases like this are a judgement call. The details should be made public, including the level of concentration that is permitted.

Don't like that? Don't compete in events that attract millions of dollars in prize money and .. dare I say it .. many times more in the betting markets.
 

EllieK

Hall of Fame
Very good point.

In case of chronic illnesses like diabetes, it goes without saying that athletes should be allowed to take their medications as their bodies will not function without them. One such players is Zverev who suffers from diabetes since he was a kid. However, it would be difficult for a player to claim he got diagnosed with diabetes in the middle of a tournament. These cases, being chronic, can be regulated once for all and can easily be proven by blood tests and dealt with accordingly.
A type 1 diabetic as Zverev is cannot live without insulin. It’s not optional for him.
 

Terenigma

G.O.A.T.
Athletes shouldn't have to disclose medical problems publicly for sure but quite frankly if you are born with or get an illness that needs to be treated with drugs or medication that violates the rules then it's tough but your tennis career is over. There should be NO exception for popular or well known players or whatever other reason. It's no different than getting a career ending injury to me.

TUE's as a concept are something I don't agree with at all. The idea you can get a doctor's note to play with banned substances is a joke. If you get both legs chopped off and replaced with terminator legs that work at 500% capacity, can you get a TUE for that coz you need legs to play?
 

Robert F

Professional
Typically in medicine we apply treatments to make people normal not superhuman or above average.
There are some in medicine, that ask what is wrong with using medicine to make people better than normal?
Why not give all students stimulants so they can do better on their SATs?
Why not give all people hormones to get better than average strength?

I think the concept of TUEs is to give athletes access to medical care to normalize their disorder not to make them better than the competition.
Should Djokovic not be able to play with contact lenses?
Clearly foggy diagnoses that result in substances that greatly help performance need to be looked at very closely.

I think we want an ideal even playing field, but there is a limit to that otherwise players can't be too tall because it gives them advantage over shrimps like me.
 

Terenigma

G.O.A.T.
@Robert F

I think what the difference between our EGs is that glasses and contacts are not banned under the tennis rules. I am only refering to what what is banned under the rules. If they decide that contacts are a performance enhancing problem then yes I would be against them but they are not.

I feel I must stress, I'm not making this personal with people's illnesses but I am absolutely behind rules in sport. As soon as you start bending the rules, you lose all fairness. There is a drug ban list for a reason and if you are taking a banned substance (no matter how legit the reason) you CANNOT compete.
 

Robert F

Professional
My only problem with that is do we want to start banning people with legitimate medical issues from treatment. Not sure sports should exclude people with diabetes, asthma, heart conditions etc. if with some medical help they can compete.
The problem is how to best enforce the gray zone to avoid rule bending etc.
 

Arak

Professional
My only problem with that is do we want to start banning people with legitimate medical issues from treatment. Not sure sports should exclude people with diabetes, asthma, heart conditions etc. if with some medical help they can compete.
The problem is how to best enforce the gray zone to avoid rule bending etc.
My thinking as well. Someone with diabetes should be able to take his insulin shots, but there should be a control on how much he is taking. A slightly higher dose of insulin can give an unfair advantage (and also some disadvantages as well).
 

Raul_SJ

G.O.A.T.
A great reference point is the standard set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The FDA did NOT approve the Meldonium which the cheating Sharapova was taking to gain unfair advantage.

Red Flag!

Meldonium is also known as mildronate, the name by which Sharapova knew the drug, having taken it since 2006.​
• Meldonium is used to treat ischaemia: a lack of blood flow to parts of the body, particularly in cases of angina or heart failure.​
It is manufactured in Latvia and only distributed in Baltic countries and Russia. It is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in the United States and is not authorised in the rest of Europe.​
• It increases blood flow, which improves exercise capacity in athletes.​
• Wada found “evidence of its use by athletes with the intention of enhancing performance” by virtue of carrying more oxygen to muscle tissue.​
• The decision to add meldonium to the banned list was approved on 16 September 2015, and it came into effect on 1 January 2016. Wada had spent the previous year monitoring the drug before adding it to the banned list.​
• The drug was name-checked in the latest investigative documentary on Russian doping reforms by the German Hajo Seppelt on Sunday. The documentary referred to a 2015 study in which 17% of Russian athletes (724 of 4,316) tested were found to have meldonium in their system. A global study found 2.2% of athletes had it in their system.​
L’Equipe reported that the scientific advisor to the French Agency Against Doping (AFLD), Professor Xavier Bigard, said in interviews with athletes at last year’s European Games in Baku that a wide proportion of athletes admitted taking meldonium.​
• It is classed as an S4 substance under the Wada code, which addresses hormone and metabolic modulators.​
• The standard ban under the World Anti-Doping Code is four years.​
• A memo was sent out to athletes by Russia’s anti-doping agency last September informing them of the decision to ban its use.​
• Sharapova claimed she had been taking the drug for 10 years because of a magnesium deficiency and family history of diabetes.​
 

Robert F

Professional
What scares me about TUEs are:
1.) Athletes abusing the rules to manufacture reasons to take performance enhancing drugs
and worse
2.) TUE's appear after someone tests positive and the organization helps cover or suggests getting a TUE.

#2 is speculation, but there is a lot of motivation for parent organizations to protects it athlete's reputations.

What if current athletes are using a newer type of performance enhancing drug. No testing has been made for this at this time. In 5 years, WADA figures out how to test the new drug. They take old samples between 2004-2020 and find out the Big 3 were using it. What would tennis do? It would be devastating. Do you risk scandal and say the big 3 needed the drug? Does the organization attack the Big 3/demonize them like Lance was in cycling?

Something like this could be evolving now with possible gene therapies. Using some of the similar tech from the COVID vaccine--using mRNA to produce various proteins could result in performance enhancement.
 

LETitBE

Hall of Fame
What scares me about TUEs are:
1.) Athletes abusing the rules to manufacture reasons to take performance enhancing drugs
and worse
2.) TUE's appear after someone tests positive and the organization helps cover or suggests getting a TUE.

#2 is speculation, but there is a lot of motivation for parent organizations to protects it athlete's reputations.

What if current athletes are using a newer type of performance enhancing drug. No testing has been made for this at this time. In 5 years, WADA figures out how to test the new drug. They take old samples between 2004-2020 and find out the Big 3 were using it. What would tennis do? It would be devastating. Do you risk scandal and say the big 3 needed the drug? Does the organization attack the Big 3/demonize them like Lance was in cycling?

Something like this could be evolving now with possible gene therapies. Using some of the similar tech from the COVID vaccine--using mRNA to produce various proteins could result in performance enhancement.
you mean like the 2012 olympics??guess who did not play there
 

bigserving

Hall of Fame
Was Sharapova's Meldonium doctor patient privilege? Was Armstrong's steroids doctor patient privilege? No, because it wasn't their doctors disclosing the information. It was done because they were breaking the rules of their sport.

These players are breaking the rules, but being given permission to do so. It's not their doctors who need to make this public, it's the ATP and WTA.
This thread is about TUEs. Get yourself an understanding about what that means.

That is a Therapeutic Use Exception. That is when the drug is disclosed by the player, and the Tour gives that player an exception to use that drug for a legit therapeutic, and or health reason.

Sharapova never had a TUE. She and those other athletes merely ducked the process, juiced, and cheated and they should be punished accordingly.

TUEs are an entirely different animal.

It is not any business of a bunch of morons on a talk tennis board to know personal medical information of anyone else including athletes.

I would love to hear Ollnger's take on this.
 
Top