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Old Nov 14th, 2012, 02:54 PM   #1
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"Player Blood Passports" being considered by ITF

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/201...#ixzz2C83d8u8m


PARIS (AP) - Tennis is considering whether to adopt blood-testing measures used by cycling and track to catch drug cheats.

"We are looking very, very carefully at an athlete biological passport program in tennis,'' International Tennis Federation anti-doping manager Stuart Miller told The Associated Press in a phone interview.

Biological passport programs in cycling and in track and field monitor athletes' blood readings over time for possible tell-tale indications of doping. The federations for those sports, the UCI and the IAAF, have used evidence of doping gathered from these programs to ban athletes and target others for more testing.

Miller said "it would be nice'' if tennis can establish such a system in 2013.

"I don't want to say it's definitely happening until we actually say, `Here's a program. It's up and running,''' Miller said. "We're looking at it to ensure that if we do run it, we can run it properly.''

Miller said the ITF also is working toward more of the blood and out-of-competition drug tests it already does on players.

In the wake of cyclist Lance Armstrong's life ban from sports for doping, Roger Federer and Andy Murray called for more out-of-competition and blood testing in tennis.

Murray called the Armstrong case "pretty shocking.''

"You would hate for anything like that to happen to your own sport,'' Murray said before the season-ending ATP finals in London.

Federer said: "We don't do a lot of blood testing during the year. I'm OK having more of that.''

The ITF and the World Anti-Doping Agency conducted just 21 out-of-competition blood tests - used to detect the abuse of growth hormone, transfusions using blood from donors, and blood-doping substances CERA and HBOCs - in tennis in 2011.

The vast majority of tests in tennis in 2011 - 2,019 of a total of 2,150 - were urine.

"We're working hard to try to increase the proportion of out-of-competition testing, and particularly blood testing, and we've been working on that for a while,'' Miller said. "I'm hopeful that by the end of the year, we'll have made some inroads into improving that.

"Like any anti-doping program, we're subject to resource constraints.''

Miller told the AP that the ITF tested Federer an average of eight times per year from 2004-2006, 11 times per year from 2007-2009 and nine times per year in 2010-2012.

Just three of the out-of-competition blood tests in 2011 were on female tennis players. ITF statistics on its web site show it didn't test Serena Williams out of competition at all in 2010 and 2011, years she won the Australian Open and Wimbledon and lost a U.S. Open final.

The ITF did test Williams in-competition at least seven times in 2010 and between 1-3 times in-competition in 2011.

"I get tested a lot,'' Williams said last month at the WTA Championships in Istanbul, Turkey. "For me, it's a pretty intense system, and I know a lot of the players feel the same way.''

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency's web site shows that before one test in the second quarter of this year, it hadn't organized a test on the 15-time major winner since 2008.

Li Na, the 2011 French Open women's singles winner from China, also was not tested out of competition by the ITF or WADA in 2011 or in 2010, but was tested in-competition.

Of the 642 tested tennis players, 510 were not tested out of competition at all in 2011 - when athletes aren't playing between events or in the offseason.

Cycling conducted 6,500 more tests than tennis on professional road racers last year and an average of nine tests per rider, compared to an average 3.4 tests per player in tennis.

By way of comparison, Canadian cyclist Ryder Hesjedal, winner of the Giro d'Italia, has had 22 urine tests and 13 blood controls so far this year.

The ITF budget shows it spent $1.3 million on testing in 2011, which Miller said doesn't include salaries and other operating expenses.

That is less than Federer and Williams each pocketed for winning the men and women's singles titles at Wimbledon this year.

Cycling says it spent $4.7 million on testing alone in 2011, with teams, riders, race organizers and the UCI all contributing.



Read More: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/201...#ixzz2CDA1dXTP
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Old Nov 14th, 2012, 05:49 PM   #2
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Re: "Player Blood Passports" being considered by ITF

I'm all for increasing doping tests in tennis. If other sports have "blood passports", why tennis shouldn't have? By being stronger or fitter, you can get advantage in tennis. And you can get stronger or fitter by doping, so you can't say tennis needs less testing than other sports.
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Old Nov 14th, 2012, 06:22 PM   #3
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Re: "Player Blood Passports" being considered by ITF

I'd be OK with this, IF the trade-off would be greatly easing the Whereabouts Rule, wherein @ least the (last) year end Top 50 from both tours have to keep the ITF updated on their whereabouts all year long. There are less intrusive ways to facilitate out-of-competition testing (like texting or emailing a player to show up @ an approved specimen collecting site within lets say 72 hours). As such places can take samples for any WADA-compliant sports governing body, they can be scattered all ova the world.
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Old Nov 14th, 2012, 06:23 PM   #4
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Re: "Player Blood Passports" being considered by ITF

I've never gotten the big deal about doping in sports. Just look at cycling, what is the point of stripping Lance Armstrong of all his titles when so many cyclists were doping that they can't even find a winner to give his titles to. If the majority of people in a sport are doping then who cares.
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Old Nov 14th, 2012, 06:28 PM   #5
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Re: "Player Blood Passports" being considered by ITF

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I've never gotten the big deal about doping in sports. Just look at cycling, what is the point of stripping Lance Armstrong of all his titles when so many cyclists were doping that they can't even find a winner to give his titles to. If the majority of people in a sport are doping then who cares.
Some players react better to drugs and or can have access to better ones.
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Old Nov 14th, 2012, 06:29 PM   #6
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Re: "Player Blood Passports" being considered by ITF

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Originally Posted by starin View Post
I've never gotten the big deal about doping in sports. Just look at cycling, what is the point of stripping Lance Armstrong of all his titles when so many cyclists were doping that they can't even find a winner to give his titles to. If the majority of people in a sport are doping then who cares.
Because it makes it harder for up-and-coming players who aren't doping. Eventually they'll be at the fork in the road where they decide to pack up their career or continue with tennis knowing they have to dope to be successful.

People with talent and dedication will be phased out to make way for people who can afford blood transfusions.
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Old Nov 14th, 2012, 06:33 PM   #7
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Re: "Player Blood Passports" being considered by ITF

Quote:
Originally Posted by starin View Post
I've never gotten the big deal about doping in sports. Just look at cycling, what is the point of stripping Lance Armstrong of all his titles when so many cyclists were doping that they can't even find a winner to give his titles to. If the majority of people in a sport are doping then who cares.
In tennis I care.

Doping makes players stronger and/or fitter. That means ballbashing and grinding become more important at the expense of creative shotmaking. And in my opinion tennis is about creative shotmaking, not about ballbashing and grinding. That's why I want that ITF/WTA/ATP don't let doping change the nature of tennis. I don't care that much about doping in cycling, doping doesn't change that much the nature of cycling, it'd still be about being able to cycle fast for a long time.
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Old Nov 14th, 2012, 06:53 PM   #8
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Re: "Player Blood Passports" being considered by ITF

a number of players will suspiciously retire just some days/months before blood passports will be introduced
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Old Nov 14th, 2012, 06:59 PM   #9
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Re: "Player Blood Passports" being considered by ITF

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Originally Posted by NashaMasha View Post
a number of players will suspiciously retire just some days/months before blood passports will be introduced
It'll be interesting to hear the reasons for retiring.

Well, ITF would take the hint and cancel the blood passports, and these players would suddenly find the motivation to continue their career.
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Old Nov 14th, 2012, 07:00 PM   #10
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Re: "Player Blood Passports" being considered by ITF

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Originally Posted by starin View Post
If the majority of people in a sport are doping then who cares.
Those who care about their health perhaps. In a sports world where everyone is allowed to take doping to their hearts delight athletes will take ever bigger risks with their health and those that aren't willing to follow their example won't be able to compete anymore. And every athlete won't have access to the same products either. Sports will become, and to a degree we don't really know probably already is more a competition between scientists and doctors than athletes.
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Old Nov 14th, 2012, 07:13 PM   #11
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Re: "Player Blood Passports" being considered by ITF

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Originally Posted by August View Post
Doping makes players stronger and/or fitter. That means ballbashing and grinding become more important at the expense of creative shotmaking. And in my opinion tennis is about creative shotmaking, not about ballbashing and grinding.
In my opinion it's a combination of all those things, but if you want creative shotmaking to be the most important factor I think faster courts and standard sized frames would be a bigger help. Otherwise ballbashing and grinding will remain the dominant styles in contemporary tennis. But with doping you'll probably get a higher standard of ballbashing and grinding than without it.
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Old Nov 14th, 2012, 07:20 PM   #12
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Re: "Player Blood Passports" being considered by ITF

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Originally Posted by Wiggly View Post
Some players react better to drugs and or can have access to better ones.
you can also say some payers learn more from coaches or can pay better ones.

Last edited by Meelis : Nov 16th, 2012 at 02:35 PM.
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Old Nov 14th, 2012, 08:35 PM   #13
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Re: "Player Blood Passports" being considered by ITF

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Originally Posted by NashaMasha View Post
a number of players will suspiciously retire just some days/months before blood passports will be introduced
Yeah, It wouldn´t surprise at all. You see some players running more and more as the match goes on, without any sign of tiredeness , rising suddenly in the ranks after years of mediocrity, building such muscles in their legs... I don´t know, I just wonder.
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Old Nov 14th, 2012, 08:58 PM   #14
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Re: "Player Blood Passports" being considered by ITF

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Originally Posted by NashaMasha View Post
a number of players will suspiciously retire just some days/months before blood passports will be introduced
They will find a way to not get caught. Dopers are always a step ahead of the testers. Besides, it's not like the ITF is really interested in catching dopers. And even if the did, they wouldn't make it public in order to keep sponsors. As long as there isn't an independent body that takes charge of the tests, I'll believe tennis anti-doping system is a big farce.
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Old Nov 14th, 2012, 10:06 PM   #15
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Re: "Player Blood Passports" being considered by ITF

This is a stupid idea. Not because taking measures against doping is futile and/or stupid. If cycling can end that shit tennis should be able to as well. However, this is too much too fast. Going from barely testing to something comprehensive like a blood passport is running before learning to walk. Get something resembling a respectable anti-doping programme before trying something like this.
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