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Hi everyone :wavey:

Thought maybe we could use a thread here to post all the news, interviews, and articles we find on Masha. :)

I just got my new Tennis Week magazine and Maria is on the cover again (she was also on the March cover). :eek:

If they haven't been posted already, I'll scan in the pics and article and post them here later.
 

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ESPNTennis Conference Call with Chrissie Evert, Brad Gilbert & Patrick McEnroe

ESPN tennis analysts Chrissie Evert, Brad Gilbert and Patrick McEnroe spoke with media Tuesday about a wide variety of tennis topics to preview the French Open...

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Q. I had two questions. First, on Novak, who from a match-up perspective is the toughest match for him, and do you view anything of the lefty factor that Vesely beat him, that Lopez was up on him and that years ago Melzer beat him in Paris? And the second thing is on Maria, if the suspension was a year or more, what is the biggest challenge and repercussion for her and for the WTA?

PATRICK McENROE: ...So I would put those two as the two players, and then as far as Maria goes, I think that even if she gets off sort of somewhat easily, I think she may be able to come back late this year. I’m just guessing. But it’s not going to be easy either way to come back, off for this long for any player, but particularly a player who’s toward the tail end of her career. But she seems extremely motivated to come back, and I’m sure she’s keeping herself as fit as she can. You know, she’s certainly capable of coming back reasonably quickly.

BRAD GILBERT: ...And on Maria, I think the toughest challenge for her bar none will be whenever she does come back, let’s say it’s Australian Open 2017, maybe it’s later in the year, she’s going to be ranked very low. She’s going to be unseeded. So you’re at the mercy of the draw, and it could take her three to six months to get form and get her way back, and believe me, a lot of players won’t feel sorry for her, especially that a lot of them that she’s owned, and a lot of them will be looking to get a win back against her, especially if they’ve barely ever beaten her. It’s an opportunity for players maybe to get her when her confidence isn’t quite there, and she’ll be at the mercy of the draw being unseeded.

CHRISSIE EVERT: I think at 29, time is running out for Maria, because look, when she started in her teens playing full schedules, I think that motivation and hunger — hunger even more so has always motivated her to go out and play, and that’s what we’ve admired in her so much is the intense hunger that she’s had. And now that she’s getting a taste of real life, she seems to — I’m seeing Tweets she’s out and about and traveling and going to premiers and modeling, and she’s everywhere, and I think that if she gets a little taste of the good life, who knows if she’s going to come back as hungry. I don’t know. Maybe she’ll have a little bit different attitude. But at 29 years old, and the players are getting better and better, and Maria, if you look at her results the past few years, she’s having more and more losses to players that are ranked below her, and I think she was starting to kind of get a little fragile anyway when this happened early this year. I think it’s going to be tough. But if she comes back hungry and mentally as strong as she always has been, again, she’ll probably — nothing she can do will surprise me, but at the same time, I just wonder just about how much tennis she’s played in her career and the players getting better. You know, I doubt whether she can get back to No. 2.

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ESPNTennis Conference Call with Chrissie Evert, Brad Gilbert & Patrick McEnroe - ESPN MediaZone
 

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CHRISSIE EVERT:...And now that she’s getting a taste of real life, she seems to — I’m seeing Tweets she’s out and about and traveling and going to premiers and modeling, and she’s everywhere, and I think that if she gets a little taste of the good life, who knows if she’s going to come back as hungry.
This must be the most irritating comment on her from a tennis legend.
 

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This must be the most irritating comment on her from a tennis legend.
It's Chrissie, just a stream of words.

Remember her first hot-take on this was to say she was surprised that Maria had no support from the players (when there had been), then later in her ramblings to say anyone that supported her could be on drugs themselves. Contradictory nonsense is her thing.
 

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This must be the most irritating comment on her from a tennis legend.
doesn't mean it doesn't have its share of truth. When you are getting older and after having done the same thing for so many years, it's normal that your motivation, focus whatever you wanna call it is not the same as before (simple human nature/physiology). Especially if your body is letting you down (which has happened in the last 1 year and a half) Fight alone is just a useless activity. You are too vulnerable at this stage of your body/career. And she's not Serena in terms of body and level of play.

I said this and I'll say it again, but if her and her camp don't take a hard look at themselves and change something, she's doomed. They are simply out of touch with reality. They can't honestly bank on some mystical "mental toughness" and fighting spirit. Which is the only thing they banked on in the last 2 years. You fight, you fight until you won't.

Either they start being the best professionals they can be - and they haven't been hence this meldonium fiasco - or they just can go home. To me her situation her been "sad" in the last year and a half so this was just a disaster waiting to happen.

It's hard to accept, but that's life. And sometimes even shitchrissiesays is right.
 

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I said this and I'll say it again, but if her and her camp don't take a hard look at themselves and change something, she's doomed. They are simply out of touch with reality. They can't honestly bank on some mystical "mental toughness" and fighting spirit. Which is the only thing they banked on in the last 2 years. You fight, you fight until you won't.

Either they start being the best professionals they can be - and they haven't been hence this meldonium fiasco - or they just can go home. To me her situation her been "sad" in the last year and a half so this was just a disaster waiting to happen.
Oh for fucks sake, give it a rest already.

People who doubt Maria's hunger, her fighting spirit and her work ethic basically doubt everything her career has been built on.
 

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I don't question Maria's hunger. I think she'll be extremely motivated to win again and shove it in people's faces. And she'll be playing angry against certain players. The aspects to be concerned with when she gets back onto the court will be her health and, as I've said many times, her coaching. Whether it was her leg or her wrist, injuries seem to be taking much longer to heal as she gets older and you wonder how that body will still hold up when she gets back to the rigors of the tour. I know people are fond of Sven because he's been loyal and Maria really likes him a lot, but he's just not a good coach and there simply can't be any case made that he's furthered her game in any way. The decline in her tennis since he became coach is glaring and can't be denied.

Now given how horrible the quality of the WTA is, I remain confident a Maria with Sven at the helm can still be a top 10 player, even after the layoff. It will be a struggle at times, considering her ranking and long layoff, but Maria can still fight her way through most of these mentally weak scrubs on any given week. First things first, though. We need to get this suspension decided already, so Maria can get on with planning the rest of her career.
 

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DICK POUND ON THE TOOLS THAT WADA NEEDS TO TACKLE DOPING

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Meldonium

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Mildronate’s manufacturer Grindeks argues that meldonium is used to treat health conditions such as cardiovascular and neurological diseases. If it doesn’t have a performance-enhancing effect and it designed to promote health rather than posing a risk to the health of athletes, then Grindeks’ argument that it shouldn’t be on the List appears to hold some water.

However, Pound doesn’t support the theory that in meldonium’s case, WADA got it wrong. “In the sense of identifying it as a drug to go on the list, the scientific process we go through and the consultation is huge, on an annual basis”, he argued. “There was a very clear consensus that it should be on the List”.

In April, WADA said that there have been 172 positives for meldonium since the 2016 Prohibited List, which banned meldonium, was introduced on 1 January. Many of these athletes have argued that they stopped taking the drug months before the List came into effect. As WADA’s Guidance Notice on meldonium indicated, it appears that the detection window for the drug is much longer than previously thought.

The only known scientific study on excretion times for meldonium was published on 4 May this year. The study, which was performed on ‘two healthy male volunteers’ (not elite athletes), found that meldonium exited the body in two phases – a rapid phase followed by a slower elimination phase. It could provide some support for athletes who have tested positive for meldonium, but claim to have stopped taking it before the 2016 Prohibited List came into effect on 1 January.

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“It would probably have been better to have done those studies in advance”, conceded Pound. “Looking back with the clarity of hindsight, that would have been helpful. Once you knew you are heading towards a recommendation to add it to the List, somebody should have said OK, is this like marijuana, where it stays in your system for weeks or whatever the duration is, or is it something that is gone pretty quickly.”

Communication issue

WADA has already said that it will look at how international federations are communicating changes to the World Anti-Doping Code, after Maria Sharapova fought back against allegations that tennis authorities had warned her five times about meldonium. “In light of what we see, the communication might not have been optimal at that level”, said WADA’s Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel, Olivier Niggli. ““Clearly there is a responsibility on anti-doping organisations to make sure that they pass on the information”.

Pound said that WADA would consider making communicating changes to the Prohibited List a compliance feature of the Code. “We can probably do that”, he said. “One of your Code compliance checklists would be what do you do with respect to the annual List and changes to it? Or, have you communicated it to the athletes? You can certainly put an onus on the international federation to make sure its national federations do this; on the NOC to make sure that its national federations do it. That’s certainly feasible.”

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Dick Pound on the tools that WADA needs to tackle doping | Sports Integrity Initiative
 

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“In the sense of identifying it as a drug to go on the list, the scientific process we go through and the consultation is huge, on an annual basis”, he argued. “There was a very clear consensus that it should be on the List”.
So again the only reason they can give to put Meldonium on the list, is because "we said it should go on the list", same answer as Reedie in weedy political language.

“It would probably have been better to have done those studies in advance”, conceded Pound. “Looking back with the clarity of hindsight, that would have been helpful. Once you knew you are heading towards a recommendation to add it to the List, somebody should have said OK, is this like marijuana, where it stays in your system for weeks or whatever the duration is, or is it something that is gone pretty quickly.”
Yet that quote takes the biscuit, yeah looking back with hindsight , or even fucking foresight I would say,I guess it would have been a good idea if you'd actually done some research on this drug you've banned. This scientific process mentioned in the previous quote doesn't seem terribly, umm, scientific.
 

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I don't understand this. Maybe it's because she alone made it so public?
I don't know
From this TASS: Sport - Swiss sports court to hear doping case on Russian titled swimmer Efimova


Late last month FINA decided against lifting the temporary suspension of Efimova before her case was considered by the FINA Doping Panel on May 30. The date of her hearings in CAS is yet to be announced.


I'm not sure but Efimova's hearing still not happen. So she can be suspended again.. idk
 

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And there are people out there who still don't think this is a blatant witch hunt? She's the only one out of 288 still suspended? This is the biggest joke and travesty in the history of drug-related suspensions and that isn't hyperbole. How can anyone in the media look at those numbers and not be suspicious. Maria is getting railroaded hard and I've changed my mind about 6-12 months being acceptable. Any suspension longer than time already served is an injustice.

Unless there's some mystery report that reveals that Maria was found to have taken multiple banned substances, which there's no reason to believe, then there's no logical reason at all to continue this sham.
 
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