Tennis has a steroid problem

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Roland Garros 2014: Do We Have a Deal?

In 2013, the French Senate released a report on doping in sport. The report was quite critical of the ITF. Of note is the following passage:

Dans ce contexte, votre commission d’enquête souhaite que l’AFLD, la FFT et le ministère mettent tout en oeuvre afin que soit conclue, dès 2014, uneconvention entre l’AFLD et la FIT permettant à l’Agence française de réaliser des contrôles à Roland-Garros et à Paris-Bercy qui, bien que coordonnés avec ceux de la fédération internationale, seraient programmés de façon autonome. La fédération française de tennis, forte de l’organisation de plusieurs événements majeurs du tennis mondial, devrait jouer un rôle moteur dans la conclusion de tels accords.

The paragraph sets out an expectation by the senate commission that the governing bodies of tennis reach and agreement with the French anti-doping authority (the AFLD), allowing the AFLD to conduct doping controls at Roland Garros and the Paris-Bercy Masters event.

The question is: Did they reach an agreement for 2014 Roland Garros?

THURSDAY, MAY 1, 2014

Decision in the cases of Paco Climent Gregori and Philipp Aleksanyan

Decision in the cases of Paco Climent Gregori and Philipp Aleksanyan

Press Release
30 April 2014 – London, ENGLAND – The International Tennis Federation announced today that Paco Climent Gregori and Philipp Aleksanyan have been found to have committed Anti-Doping Rule Violations under Article 2.1 of the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme (presence of a Prohibited Substance in a Player’s Sample).

Mr Climent Gregori, a 16 year-old player from Spain, and Mr Aleksanyan, an 18 year-old player from Russia, provided urine samples on 8 September in association with their participation in the F30 Futures Event in Madrid, Spain. Those samples were sent to the WADA-accredited laboratory in Montreal, Canada for analysis, and were found to contain stanozolol, which is a Prohibited Substance under section S1 (Anabolic agents) of the 2013 WADA List of Prohibited Substances and Prohibited Methods, and is therefore also prohibited under the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme (the “Programme”). Mr Climent Gregori and Mr Aleksanyan were each therefore charged with an Anti-Doping Rule Violation under Article 2.1 of the Programme.

Both players asserted that the stanozolol, for which they did not hold a valid TUE, had entered their system through their ingestion of pills provided to them by an unidentified pharmacist whom they befriended at the Granadia Tennis Club. This assertion did not meet the preconditions of Article 10.5 of the Programme (no fault or negligence, or no significant fault or negligence). The players’ attempt to rely on Article 10.5.4 of the Programme (voluntary admission) was also rejected.

Mr Climent Gregori’s and Mr Aleksanyan’s commissions of Anti-Doping Rule Violations under Article 2.1 of the Programme were confirmed, and it was determined that they are suspended from participation for a period of two years, commencing from 5 November 2013, the date on which they were provisionally suspended, and so ending at midnight on 4 November 2015. It was also determined that both players’ results at the F30 Futures event and all subsequent events in which they competed up to 4 November 2013 should be disqualified, with resulting forfeiture of the ranking points and prize money that they won at those events.

Read more at http://www.itftennis.com/news/176948.aspx#DYplkv0pbPpbv7ZX.99

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 2, 2014

USADA Tennis Statistics: 2013

The USADA’s 2013 anti-doping statistics are now up (all tests were out-of-competition):

10 Athletes Selected
61 Total Tests
Athlete Name Test Count
Michael C Bryan 7
Robert C Bryan 8
Mardy S Fish 4
Liezel Huber 2
John Isner 10
Wayne Odesnik 14
Sam Querrey 2
Sloane Stephens 1
Serena J Williams 5
Venus E Williams 8

TUESDAY, APRIL 1, 2014

“There are always going to be outliers”

The ITF has posted their per player anti-doping statistics for 2013. I will not be providing an analysis because I don’t think it is necessary? Why do I feel this way? Well, for the very first time, the mainstream press has taken a good look at the statistics and written about them…

Douglas Robson at USA Today: “Analysis: Tennis drug-testing more stringent, but holes remain

Ben Rumsby at The Telegraph: “Many players left out of ITF’s random drug-testing programme last year

Simon Cambers at The Tennis Space: “Anomalies abound in 2013 drug-testing figures

This is a quantum leap from previous years.

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