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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I bring it up because Guillermo Canas today received a 2 year ban for doping after testing positive for a drug that the ATP determined was an agent used to mask steroid use. The ATP has had quite a lot of instances of dealing with positive doping tests while the WTA has never had a single such instance (at least, none that became publicized). Is that because the WTA is 100% clean or is it because the WTA is simply less aggressive than the ATP in investigating and prosecuting possible performance-aiding drug use?

Some quotes from current Dutch player John Van Lottum:

Van Lottum said: "I wouldn't be surprised if 50% of the top 100 uses. The risk you get caught is really small, if you do it smart. And if it happens you get a small suspension. And the tennis world stays nice for you. Juan-Ignacio Chela is crowd puller in Amersfoort, Guillermo Coria got a wildcard in Monte Carlo. Colleagues who were around the 60th place in the rankings, like me, dissapeared a couple of months from the circuit. They came back with a completely different body. I have big question marks at Guillermo Canas. I played against him on hardcourt, and after a set he was totally tired. He always had small injuries and got fast cramps. Now he is the fittest player in the circuit after Lleyton Hewitt and he makes the 4th place in the rankings. How is that possible?"

Former Dutch #1 Paul Haarhuis is also quoted in the article: "Until maybe 5 years ago, I thought tennis was basically clean of drugs. But at one moment you hear too much around you. About players who don't use for a while, because there are all kind of side-effects. Due to these stories I got aware that also a tennis player can benefit from certain stuff."

Of course people can say "well what does the ATP have to do with the WTA". But if what Van Lottum said is anywhere close to true about 50% of the players in men's tennis using performance enhancers, i would find it very hard to believe that women's tennis is doping-free - since many of the same coaches and sport scientists work with both male and female players and there is a big crossover in terms of training and knowledge.

I know the WTA is always bragging about the number of times its players are tested (as far as i know both the WTA and ATP only do in-competition tests), however if the objective of the testing is not to catch and punish cheaters but only to pay lip service to how clean the sport is, then it doesn't matter how often the testing happens. The fact that there have been no positive WTA tests (that we know about) is not over-arching proof that the WTA testing regime is effective in deterring cheaters.

If you speak Dutch, you can read the article (i found it translated on MTF).
article
 

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I think that sports in general haven't been clean for a long time. I still remember for years baseball professed to be clean, but we see that it wasn't. With the invention of more potent and harder to track drugs running around I believe that just because a player doesn't test postive doesn't mean they aren't taking. I look no further than my former favorite female athlete Marion Jones She never failed a drug test, but once that Balco stuff hit the media she is no where near the sprinter she once was.
 

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No high profile sport is free of doping. Without meaning to accuse anyone in particular,there are no saints when millions of dollars and world wide fame are at stake. To think otherwise would be naive. Not getting caught has just become a part of the competition. :smoke:
 

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Some of them probably take similar drugs to the ones used by long distance runners. Not going to create muscle but stamina.

The women don't need it as much. The men play a more physical game and longer matches. I wouldn't be surprised if many of the claycourters on the ATP tour take something to help them grind out matches.
 

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Lot's of people questioned Henin's gains, and her time off for viral infections....nothing specific, nor has she tested positive for any enhancements...but still plants seeds of doubt.
 
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Discussion Starter #7
jfk said:
Some of them probably take similar drugs to the ones used by long distance runners. Not going to create muscle but stamina.

The women don't need it as much. The men play a more physical game and longer matches.

I think it is a bit of a mis-conception to say that just because men's tennis is more physically demanding, that women's tennis is a walk in the park. Women's tennis also takes a big toll on the body, stamina plays a role in the outcome of many matches, and quick recovery time from match to match and week to week is also important.
 

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jfk said:
Some of them probably take similar drugs to the ones used by long distance runners. Not going to create muscle but stamina.

The women don't need it as much. The men play a more physical game and longer matches. I wouldn't be surprised if many of the claycourters on the ATP tour take something to help them grind out matches.
Well, this argument doesn't really work. Yes, the men's game IS more strenous on the body, but the women aren't playing the men's game. The men's game is equally strenous on the body of the male players as the women's game is for the female players. I don't think women's tennis "being less physically demanding" is a reason why we should assume players won't be tempted to use illegal substances.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
DA FOREHAND said:
Lot's of people questioned Henin's gains, and her time off for viral infections....nothing specific, nor has she tested positive for any enhancements...but still plants seeds of doubt.

Henin isn't one of the players that i would suspect of doping. She's one of the WTA's fiercest competitors but i believe she has a certain standard of honesty, not so much for the outside world but for herself, and doping would violate that standard. But of course i believe she ought to be subject to extensive testing, because with her being small, there are always going to be people who are suspicious about her.
 

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vogus said:
I think it is a bit of a mis-conception to say that just because men's tennis is more physically demanding, that women's tennis is a walk in the park. Women's tennis also takes a big toll on the body, stamina plays a role in the outcome of many matches, and quick recovery time from match to match and week to week is also important.
Who said it was a walk in the park? You misinterpreted my post. I was referring to how the men's game features more grinding, which it does because there is essentially a seperate tour for the claycourters throughout much of the year.
 

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Funnily enough people used to call me a dope.
 

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njnetswill said:
Well, this argument doesn't really work. Yes, the men's game IS more strenous on the body, but the women aren't playing the men's game. The men's game is equally strenous on the body of the male players as the women's game is for the female players. I don't think women's tennis "being less physically demanding" is a reason why we should assume players won't be tempted to use illegal substances.
I didn't say that it was a "reason why we should assume players won't be tempted to use illegal substances." It just makes it less likely. I assume some do, but I also would expect that more on the ATP use it than on the WTA.
 

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jfk said:
I didn't say that it was a "reason why we should assume players won't be tempted to use illegal substances." It just makes it less likely. I assume some do, but I also would expect that more on the ATP use it than on the WTA.
I know you weren't saying that, I wasn't directly countering your post, more like building off of it. :cool:
 

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I certainly hope that all the players who are using doping will be caught and punished. But on the other hand I hate people like this Van Lottum who are making claims that others use doping and that's the reason he/she is not winning. Only way people can prove there innocence is to test negative and that should be enough.

I can only guess that there are also people who can fool the tests, but without being able to prove otherwise it's pretty unethical to blame individuals of using doping. Players who make claims about other people using doping without being able to prove it should IMO be punished for hurting the game. In most cases they are just untalented players making excuses (like it's too hot, it's too cold, it's too windy etc.). If they can prove things then it's a different game, but mostly I just thing these whiners as people looking for excuses. I mean surely if you are using doping you will not tell it to some Von Lottum :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter #15
jfk said:
I didn't say that it was a "reason why we should assume players won't be tempted to use illegal substances." It just makes it less likely. I assume some do, but I also would expect that more on the ATP use it than on the WTA.

I'm with you on that, but there are people who are going to say that women's tennis is a more "feminine" or "delicate" sport than men's tennis, and therefore the women don't need to build up their stamina, and none of them would ever use drugs etc etc. So i was more responding to that argument than what you said specifically.
 

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vogus said:
...she has a certain standard of honesty, not so much for the outside world but for herself...
In the light of a certain incident that I dare say need not be more remarked upon, I believe there are those who do not share your belief.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Volcana said:
In the light of a certain incident that I dare say need not be more remarked upon, I believe there are those who do not share your belief.

My judgement is that the incident you refer to was a personal one, which involved Henin getting even with another player for that player's past transgressions against her. Taking revenge against an individual opponent in a specific instance, is a completely different animal than the deep, general dishonesty that doping requires.
 

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vogus said:
My judgement is that the incident you refer to was a personal one, which involved Henin getting even with another player for that player's past transgressions against her. Taking revenge against an individual opponent in a specific instance, is a completely different animal than the deep, general dishonesty that doping requires.
You dont know what that was about any more than the rest of us do. Everyone will just say 'my fave is honest and wouldnt do this' but generally Canas was respected among fans as a very honest guy, no one would have dreamt that he was doping. So just because someone appears to be honest doesnt mean they are clean.

It is inappropriate to speculate about anyone or mention names until they return a positive test though. Innocent until proven guilty.
 

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Professional sport without doping doesn't exist anymore. That's the truth, although it's very sad...

IMO we'll see many more doping on both tours. I remember people saying how Mauresmo looked like when she came on the tour, now she seems even "thin" compared to some other players who look like little bodybuilders...
 
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