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Discussion Starter #1
I am trying to make up my own mind about what I think about this decision by the WTA to investigate Venus' claim of injury. I read on another board (www.racquety-yak.com) that the reason why Lindsay was not going to be investigated for her withdrawal from the Munich finals was bec the doctors/trainers on site would have been part of the decision-making. The poster was making the point that Venus basically phoned in her injury and perhaps that was why it had to be investigated.

My question is this: Does anyone happen to know the WTA's policy on injuries and their investigation? Has a player ever been "investigated" like this before or do they usually accept the player's word? Or her own doctor's?

Also, does the ATP follow the same policy? I mean ATP players seem to call in sick all the time and I don't remember reading all this hullaballoo about that. I understand that the WTA may feel that it has some reason to be a bit sceptical about Venus' latest claim to injury, but surely there must be a standard policy that they should enforce so that they look less ridiculous at the end of this?

Or is their goal only to make the (loud) statement to Venus (and her sponsors) that she is not larger than the sport? Well, if that was indeed their intention they have gone about this the wrong way bec by paying this so much attention, they ARE telling Venus that she is larger than the sport and that Munich was nothing without her. Was it?<br />TC
 

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Even if they have done this kind of investigation before they didn't say. An article from the LA Times:

<br />On Tennis <br />WTA Taking a Chance With Williams Inquiry

Nov 2, 2001

<br />The limb is in no danger of snapping with these assumptions: Venus Williams will receive her $140,000 in bonus pool money. The WTA will issue a release, saying it looked into the legitimacy of her cited injury, an inflamed left wrist, and found the evidence supported Williams' withdrawal from the season-ending Championships.

And everyone will happily move on to the holidays, right?

Not quite. The WTA apparently tried to send a message and the execution was poor. If this was the organization's attempt at a line in the sand, well, it blurred quickly with the failure to answer the most basic of questions. Tour officials were asked Wednesday when the last time this kind of procedure had been triggered. A three-member committee (two doctors and a lawyer) selected a doctor to examine Williams.

"It's not a new policy," said Chris De Maria, WTA vice president of communications. "It has been used in the past."

For which player? And in what year? There was no answer for those questions on Wednesday or Thursday. It may not seem important but, in reality, there is increased significance after a longtime Williams family advisor, Keven Davis, said that Venus and Serena Williams are held to a different standard than the other players.

It could be that the tour finally exhausted its patience with their frequent injury withdrawals. Still, the action, along with its quasi-investigative language, could have a long-term impact on the relationship between the tour and its marquee player, Venus, who has won four of the last six Grand Slam events. She has played sparingly, and the constant stopping and starting has taken a toll.

But the officials could have simply clarified the matter by releasing the previous cases that they say exist, thus ending the appearance of inconsistency.

"We're going to reserve any further detailed comment on this until the panel has concluded its review," De Maria said. "This is a procedure stated in our rules specific to the season-ending Championships. We are in no way inferring that we don't believe Venus' injury is valid but must follow our existing rules to safeguard the bonus money at stake. If an injury has been confirmed at a previous event, no panel is needed."

Even Lindsay Davenport, who had been critical of Venus' late withdrawal, held little regard for the investigation.

"I think it's stupid," Davenport said at the ongoing Championships in Munich, Germany. "If she doesn't want to play, she doesn't have to."

Venus was examined by the doctor Wednesday. No timetable has been given for the review, but those close to Williams feel confident of the outcome. Williams had pulled out of last week's event in Linz, Austria, because of the same injury and has been troubled by both wrists, so much so that her racket manufacturer has been working on a solution to reduce the stress on her arms.

From Munich, outgoing WTA chief executive officer Bart McGuire was not commenting. The WTA has had a difficult year in terms of public perception. McGuire was on vacation during the tour's biggest crisis, in March at Indian Wells, when Venus withdrew because of an injured knee about five minutes before a scheduled semifinal against Serena.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks very much CC. That's precisely what I was wondering. Damn, I could have written that article! The WTA under McGuire's leadership has gone from one fiasco to another. No wonder the top players are fed up. Lindsay has long argued that the players more than do their part to sell the sport and that the WTA mismanages everything. This latest development only confirms that.<br />TC
 

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"It's not a new policy," said Chris De Maria, WTA vice president of communications. "It has been used in the past."

For which player? And in what year? There was no answer for those questions on Wednesday or Thursday.

<br />Question: Why on earth would this Chris De Maria person get caught out there with his(her?) drawers four sheets to the wind?

If you make a statement to the press that "It has been used in the past." , don't you have sense enough to expect that the next logical question is going to be "when and who?"

If you don't have the answers to those questions, it makes me think that you are making it up as you go along. <br />I don't believe that they've ever done it before and if they don't do it against everyone from now on, Venus should raise holy hell with them.

That being said, Venus won't raise hell because she's got her head on too straight to let those kinds of things faze her. Ice water, you know.<br /> <img src="redface.gif" border="0">
 
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