Steroids in tennis - TennisForum.com
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old Apr 12th, 2004, 07:01 AM Thread Starter
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Steroids in tennis

I never hear this brought up, except in the book Ladies of the Court. I'm sorry but a certain formerly chubby player who all of a sudden was unbeatable and had arms like Schwartezegger? You don't get that way from lifting a few weights in the gym. Why is this never even whispered about? I know she's the queen bee of the Asponians so maybe that has something to do with it. Just curious as to the views here.
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old Apr 12th, 2004, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by WTT#1Fan
I never hear this brought up, except in the book Ladies of the Court. I'm sorry but a certain formerly chubby player who all of a sudden was unbeatable and had arms like Schwartezegger? You don't get that way from lifting a few weights in the gym. Why is this never even whispered about? I know she's the queen bee of the Asponians so maybe that has something to do with it. Just curious as to the views here.
It's been more than whispered about on this site, just not in the BFTP venue. Most of the players discussed here are from the era before steriods, which only really took off after the 1972 olympics and the East German swim team's display of what they could do to a woman. Certainly, performance-enhancing substances have been around in sports much longer, but it is important to note that women's tennis didn't really take off in popularity and marketability until after 1973.

I thought for a moment you were referring to Jennifer Capriati initially, but the Asponian reference leaves no doubt that you are referring to Martina Navratilova. I used to think she took steriods back then, because I was young and everyone was murmuring anything they could when she started to beat Chris and everyone else regularly in the 80s. In looking back years later, I'd submit that she actually dedicated herself in 1979-80 to a computerized fitness and cross-training regimen that no woman tennis player had ever dared try before, but it took her the best part of 3 years to develop into the lean, muscular athlete she became. The comparison to Jennifer Capriati is more interesting, because unlike Martina, Jennifer bulked up and muscled up in the period of about 4 months (or less). Conspicuous signs of steriod use after prolonged periods of time are swolen and puffy skin, frequent bloodshot eyes, dramatic reduction in breast size, etc.- all of which Ms. Capriati has demonstrated in the past few years since bulking up so quickly.

Martina, I'd have to say no.

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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old Apr 12th, 2004, 02:52 PM
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I think just by looking at Martina's steady progress physically and mentally you can tell that the work she put into her game was authentic. As Alfa pointed out, her physical transformation took several years to complete. Also, knowing Martina's reputation amongst her peers as having a great sense of fairness, I think its safe to say that Martina earned her new body and game the old fashioned way.....she earned it.

I'm sure it was talked about before, but the first time I remember hearing anyone talking about roids in the womens game was arouind 89 or 90 when Steffi and a few others told the press that they either suspected or knew of a few cases. I think it got a few headlines, but I never heard of any confirmed cases.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old Apr 12th, 2004, 03:52 PM Thread Starter
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Very interesting points. I guess I was just a frustrated Chrissie fan. But the Capriati stuff makes a lot of sense and considering her father it is definitely something I wouldn't be surprised about. All the signs sure are there.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old Apr 12th, 2004, 04:58 PM
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Mauresmo, S.Williams, V.Williams, Capriati, Pierce definetely.

Davenport, Navratilova, Sabatini, Graf, Sanchez maybe.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old Apr 12th, 2004, 05:12 PM
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Thing with Cappy is that her body changes a lot. It's weird. But if she is on steroids wouldn't she always have been fit? only her arms and legs are big. the rest is more clubby then the body's from the people in big diet (that's a program with people who are losing weight)

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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old Apr 12th, 2004, 05:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irma
Thing with Cappy is that her body changes a lot. It's weird. But if she is on steroids wouldn't she always have been fit? only her arms and legs are big. the rest is more clubby then the body's from the people in big diet (that's a program with people who are losing weight)
I don't think Capriati is actually fat, per se. Her muscle mass, even in her abdomen, is expanded and bulkier than it ever was. If she's not careful, she'll look like Rosie Casals in about 5 years!

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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old Apr 12th, 2004, 06:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HanaFanGA
I think just by looking at Martina's steady progress physically and mentally you can tell that the work she put into her game was authentic. As Alfa pointed out, her physical transformation took several years to complete. Also, knowing Martina's reputation amongst her peers as having a great sense of fairness, I think its safe to say that Martina earned her new body and game the old fashioned way.....she earned it.
.

Martina did put in a lot of hard work and she continues to do so. She's 47 years old and she's in better shape than most 25 year olds. She still works on her body and her game. About a year ago ,during one of the televised tournaments I think, they did a little thing on her and they showed her working with a trainer on the court. She was up at the net and this person was having her catch balls and just basically working on her reflexes. Also, as I recall Martina has said in the past she's to vain to just let her body go. I think she looks great and more Americans should follow suit. She also keeps a tight rein on her diet.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old Apr 12th, 2004, 09:16 PM
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You're right Roan, Martina's been on the edge as far as trends go in fitness for a long time. Her regimine has continued to evolve. As a result, she looks better now than even in the mid 80's.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old Apr 13th, 2004, 07:51 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert1
Mauresmo, S.Williams, V.Williams, Capriati, Pierce definetely.

Davenport, Navratilova, Sabatini, Graf, Sanchez maybe.

Didn't some of these people compete in the Olympics and wouldn't they have been tested there?
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old Apr 13th, 2004, 09:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WTT#1Fan
Didn't some of these people compete in the Olympics and wouldn't they have been tested there?
I am not an expert on the mechanics of doping, so maybe I have it wrong, but as far as I understand, it is all about the timing. You do the steroids in the off-season or when you are away from the tour with "injury" and then come back to the tour, so you can get the benefit but they don't show up when you are tested. Also, it looks as if the doping police is always one step behind the cheaters, by the time they figure out how to detect whatever drug it's the flavour of the week, athletes have moved on to a new one... One recent player I have suspected did something was Anna Smashnova, she became a complete different player from one year to the next. When I saw her at the Madrid Open in 2001 she had somehow developed muscle that takes years to build in less than 12 months.


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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old Apr 13th, 2004, 10:44 AM
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The WTA keeps the result of testing secret. There were some positive results in the past but it was not revealed who it was. The doping test system in Tennis is a scandal!
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old Apr 13th, 2004, 10:48 AM
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Who was it that said at the beggining of the '90s that two of the three big S (Seles, Sabatini, Sanchez-Vicario) were on steroids?
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old Apr 13th, 2004, 10:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gandalf
Who was it that said at the beggining of the '90s that two of the three big S (Seles, Sabatini, Sanchez-Vicario) were on steroids?
Klaus Hoffsass in der aktuelle sportstudio in 92.

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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old Apr 13th, 2004, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
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It wasn't Seles, that's for sure. She's never had a good body or been muscular, even when she was unbeatable. Had to be the other 2.
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