Tennis is a sport that I enjoyed playing whilst living in Sydney .
Over the years I would have the occasional knockabout game with friends but got more serious about the game in 1991 . On moving into a rental house in Longueville with another guy as co lease holders we had a grass tennis court , swimming pool and waterfront access amongst the many features of this five bed roomed house .
When we moved there the court had not been used in years so it was necessary to roll the surface and fill a few dimples in the surface as well as remove a few sections of turf that were overgrown with weed . Gardening is not my forte but as this was the winter months we had some time to prepare the area and discover the necessary dimensions to lay out the playing surface to best advantage . At that time I already had the 7m yacht which was moved from it’s mooring in another cove on the Parramatta River to a mooring just off the bottom of the garden grounds . A jetty by the boathouse there proved to be too damaged to put to use so it would require rowing the 50m or so to board the Swanson Dart whenever it would be used .
Those days I had no interest in Cycling Road Racing but my co leaser had a racing bike of sorts which I would load into the station wagon and take up to North Ryde National Park a couple of times a week to ride the roads there . Even in the safety of the park I found it necessary to be aware of motorists with no conception of Cyclists rights . The first time I would spend anytime cycling on Sydney roads would be during the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games , but by that time I had several years and perhaps 50000kms of road exposure throughout Europe .
When we finally got the Tennis Court dimensions laid out and the netting repaired the court was good for use . Coming from playing Squash for a decade or so I thought I was fit but soon discovered the opposite . Certainly with all the running I had been doing with the Hash House Harriers and private training runs the legs were in good shape but the right arm was another story . Gripping the tennis racquet as compared to a squash racket was a whole new experience . Considerable weight difference demanded more effort through the arm and across the shoulders and took time to build the necessary flexibility required for serving and swinging the racket . Of course it was also necessary to avoid flicking the wrist as needed in the squash game . Those days I would only use one handed play so it was soon apparent that the right arm was adding muscle . Nowadays the players are using double handed action on the court .
This brings me to the purpose of this blog post . Being fit for a knockabout game or even club competition requires a certain level of fitness but in recent days I have noticed the muscles that some Tennis Players are developing and it appears that those remarking about Tennis Players relying on chemical intervention may have a point . Additionally I came across a web site which tends to show that in the Major Tennis Competitions the players are tested after they are eliminated . Certainly the tables for 2006 show all those tested after they are marked “ L “ for lost and only the winner is highlighted “ W ” for winner . Of course the tests were carried out on the day of competition , but wouldn’t you test the winner of the match , to see that they had won fairly ?
Tennis has some big names and those participating earn large amounts of money , so there is incentive to reach for the podium by fair or foul means . Men’s tennis has always been more profitable than the Women’s game and so it is not surprising to see well developed muscular limbs there , but some of the women’s muscles are also looking manly !
Being an Australian I have been happy to see Sam Stosur doing well in the Majors but the latest photo that came to my attention came as a surprise . Wonder if she is the subject of speculation ?
Some info above on 2006 testing at the Aussie Open that i found in another blog on Tennis . Lifted the following from that blog also :
" More Of The Same? Drug Tests At The 2012 Aussie Open "
" From the Official website of the Australian Open: "
" As if losing in the opening round on a blazing hot day wasn’t bad enough, world No.65 Rebecca Marino was then requested to provide a routine anti-doping sample..."
Again, if the test distribution plan is on taking samples from losing players directly after matches (see 2009), there should be little surprise that there are so few positive tests for steroids, synthetic testosterone, EPO, stimulants, etc. You name it. They aren't going to find any.
At a minimum, the testing of match winners at random times on off-days is required !
Tennis Admin. is so concerned about an athlete's rights that they don't test the Match winner in cae they test positive ? Those caught using should be withdrawn immediately and the " clean "loser who was also tested allowed to progress to the next round . When the " Doped athlete " is allowed to progress the whole competition becomes " Null and Void " in my opinion . Sport is supposed to be about " the level playing field " not the best pharmacist's efforts .
Comments to that Blog :
" The point of this post was to show that they're testing the player that lost the match rather than the winner "
michlobJan 18, 2012 07:02 AM
Are you implying that the loser was less likely to have used PEDS by mere virtue of the fact that they lost? Sorry, but I'm not sure if that is what you are arguing, Sen.
I think you've missed another possible explanation: If a player tests positive they will receive an immediate provisional suspension, correct? What if the winner of a match tests positive for everything that's banned under the sun? Do you let him or her play another match? Of course you wouldn't but how do you issue a suspension without disclosing this to the public? Embarrassing, right?
I think they are trying to avoid this scenario happening. It's called the "head-in-sand" sample selection technique. It's the "modern method" that the ITF has been referring to.
michlobJan 18, 2012 07:19 AM
I agree that testing should be random, unpredictable and weighted toward high performers. The TADP actually supports these principles. See 5.1.3 2012 TADP:
Sen no RikyūJan 18, 2012 08:01 AM
@michlob, No, I'm not suggesting that the loser is less likely to take PEDs. Winner and loser are equally likely. Also, I think your additional explanation for the test distribution is a valid one. It would be bad for a week 1 test to return a postive result in week 2 of a grand slam event, no?
I did, however, misread demisphere's comment. To answer: given that any substances that a player takes will have to wash out through urine, I don't see waiting 3hrs as a way to test clean. Any substance would still be in the sample.