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.