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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old Nov 9th, 2009, 02:19 PM Thread Starter
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WTA seeks modification to doping rule during competition

A move that seems very sensible to me. Maybe McAllastar will become a WTA head that I really like.



WTA seeks modification to doping rule during competition

Mon Nov 9, 2009 12:28am EST

By Barry Wood

BALI (Reuters) - The governing body of women's tennis would like to see the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) revise its 'whereabouts rule' to give players more flexibility when they are competing.

Last week, Belgian players Yanina Wickmayer and Xavier Malisse were both handed one-year suspensions for failing to notify their national doping agency where they could be reached, under a ruling the WTA believes is a little too stringent.

"Basically each quarter, they (the players) go in to the computer system and have to give at least one hour a day where they're going to be," WTA Tour chairman Stacey Allaster told Reuters.

"There's no doubt that this anti-doping program is rigorous and I think everyone in sport who is part of the WADA code are all united that we want to have a clean sport.

"This rigorous testing for out of competition, which is really what the whereabouts rule is about, is meant to ensure the integrity of the testing system and the integrity of the sport.

"But I think together with the (men's tour) ATP, we do believe that the procedures for reporting during competition could be modified. I think when the athletes are in competition it's easy for WADA to see where the athletes are."

Allastar sympathizes with players at an event who find it difficult to inform authorities where they are going to be on a daily basis.

"If I'm at a tournament I don't know when my match is, I don't know when I'm practicing. That does become challenging for the athletes in competition," she added.

"So together with the ATP we have been advocating through the International Tennis Federation, to WADA, to make procedural changes to the reporting structure of the whereabouts program in competition."

(Editing by John O'Brien)
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old Nov 10th, 2009, 09:13 AM
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Re: WTA seeks modification to doping rule during competition

It seems sensible to me too.

It would be about time for change. Everyone in the know knew at the beginning of the year that this system was trouble for tennis, having to report your whereabouts for an hour 365 days a year, essentially waiting for a tester to turn up unannounced every day even when you have long flights to catch. Someone was bound to run into trouble. Watch out for Mike Bryan too, he has two strikes (one from when he went to get breakfast at a local place, another when his car broke down). It'll be a big uproar if he gets banned, he has about half a year more to survive. Tennis players are the most nomadic of pretty much any sport, travelling to a different place in the world each week. As Stacey says, players don't know exactly when their match will be played, unlike athletics or swimming where the schedule is very clear. Every day the schedule is different. During competitions they should just test them immediately after their matches when they come off court. I think even the out of competition rules should be changed too, so that players get at least a few days off from wondering whether the drug testers will turn up today.

Hopefully not only changes are made but also Yanina and Xavier's bans are overturned. The tours have essentially given over control of drug testing to a foreign organisation that does not understand the demands tennis players face- so it is vital now that the testing procedures are adjusted to better suit the demands of the tennis tours. We all want a clean sport, but the players' rights to fairness in the drug testing must not be compromised.

I think perhaps in the next decade or so unless things start improving players will revolt and try to form a proper union. In the absence of any real union the players are facing unbelievably tough and unfair drug laws, and innocent players are getting banned for stupid things, while appeals are often lengthy and expensive. Some more flexibility and changes in drug testing protocols would be a good start.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old Nov 10th, 2009, 09:58 AM
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Re: WTA seeks modification to doping rule during competition

Quote:
Originally Posted by HowardH View Post
It seems sensible to me too.

It would be about time for change. Everyone in the know knew at the beginning of the year that this system was trouble for tennis, having to report your whereabouts for an hour 365 days a year, essentially waiting for a tester to turn up unannounced every day even when you have long flights to catch. Someone was bound to run into trouble. Watch out for Mike Bryan too, he has two strikes (one from when he went to get breakfast at a local place, another when his car broke down). It'll be a big uproar if he gets banned, he has about half a year more to survive. Tennis players are the most nomadic of pretty much any sport, travelling to a different place in the world each week. As Stacey says, players don't know exactly when their match will be played, unlike athletics or swimming where the schedule is very clear. Every day the schedule is different. During competitions they should just test them immediately after their matches when they come off court. I think even the out of competition rules should be changed too, so that players get at least a few days off from wondering whether the drug testers will turn up today.

Hopefully not only changes are made but also Yanina and Xavier's bans are overturned. The tours have essentially given over control of drug testing to a foreign organisation that does not understand the demands tennis players face- so it is vital now that the testing procedures are adjusted to better suit the demands of the tennis tours. We all want a clean sport, but the players' rights to fairness in the drug testing must not be compromised.

I think perhaps in the next decade or so unless things start improving players will revolt and try to form a proper union. In the absence of any real union the players are facing unbelievably tough and unfair drug laws, and innocent players are getting banned for stupid things, while appeals are often lengthy and expensive. Some more flexibility and changes in drug testing protocols would be a good start.
Magnificent post.

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