MurraysWorld  >  Tennis Talk  >  Doping in Tennis ?
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Doping in Tennis ?

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Yes he refused to have a blood test done, saying he had a needle phobia, and got banned for refusing to take a test.
I think he also said he was feeling unwell.  Whatever, it did sound like a feeble excuse because he must have had blood tests done before, perhaps even for medical reasons, and got through them OK despite his claim on that occasion that he had phobia about needles.
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I think he also said he was feeling unwell.  Whatever, it did sound like a feeble excuse because he must have had blood tests done before, perhaps even for medical reasons, and got through them OK despite his claim on that occasion that he had phobia about needles.

I didn't know Troicki had needle phobia.  But he also said he was feeling unwell - on the day?  & yes you'd have thought he'd have had blood tests before.  So did he have a sudden phobia to them?
& ... since Madison Bringle also has a phobia to them, then where does that leave us?  They could all say they had needle phobias, and thus wouldn't have to undergo blood tests at all - and in that case, what sort of tests could there be, if blood tests, using needles, were to be eradicated?
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Not doping, but cheating, although I don't really understand why it's taken so long to establish this fact -

"Nicolás Kicker Becomes Highest-Ranked Player Convicted of Match-Fixing" -
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/24/sports/nicolas-kicker-match-fixing.html
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Sara Errani has had her ban reinstated after the Italian Tennis Federation appealed to the CAS.

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^  I don't know much about it, but it does seem a bit harsh.  She's a good player.
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This isn't the first time Andy has spoken out about drug testing in tennis, and in Washington he was quizzed about how frequently he had been tested in light of Serena Williams’ criticisms of the US Anti Doping Agency (USADA).

https://metro.co.uk/2018/07/29/andy-murray-calls-drugs-testing-reform-tennis-amid-serena-williams-row-7774152/?ito=cbshare
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I should think all the players are tested on a regular basis, and that therefore Serena won't have been tested any more frequently than anyone else.
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^ But that's just the point - they aren't all tested regularly, and what Serena was complaining about was the fact that she felt she'd been tested much more frequently than the other players.  I remember Nadal saying too at one point that he reckoned he was probably the most over-tested player around, probably because of his rather well-developed muscles.
[ Last edit by Aileen July 30, 2018, 07:02 am ] IP Logged
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^  I thought they were all tested the same as each other, so why would they want to test one person more than another?  Testing does make sense but it's stupid to test, say, Rafa or Serena, more often than other players.
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^ I reckon only the doping authorities can answer that one.
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^  Oh right. well we'd better go and ask them.
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It isn't a straightforward thing. Obviously players who have played more tournaments in the last 12 months will have had more in-competition testing. Those who repeatedly reach the latter stages of tournaments get tested more.

The issue Serena has raised is about out-of-competition testing, which she feels has been significantly more than other players, particularly in the last six to seven months. The seems to be come contradictory data flying around about whether she has actually been tested more than other players.

What we do know is that some players get subjected to far more out-of-competition testing for no reason other than basically the judgement of others - race and sexuality seem to be recurring factors. For example there is actually an academic article in a women's studies journal from sometime in the mid-2000s which shows us that for about two or three years following Amelie Mauresmo's slam breakthrough in Melbourne in 1999 she was the most tested player in the world, and that this basically because there was a heck of a lot of obsessing about her sexuality and the 'OMG a female athlete has muscles' stupidity.

A weird quirk of the current anecdotal, fan-based, reaction to Serena's testing is that a lot of these people criticising her apparent over-testing are repeatedly saying that Amelie was never subjected to the criticism of her body in the way that Serena is now. Which is not true, she absolutely was - Serena has for example never had her country's version of Spitting Image make a giant puppet of her and insulted her in a sketch on national TV.

For different - but similarly stupid and ignorant reasons - these two women in tennis have/are being subjected to the same treatment in terms of both the way in which their bodies are talked about - both have had their biological gender questioned - and the related way in which they've been subjected to more drug testing. In athletics see the appalling treatment Caster Semenya, which again basically boils down to someone not conforming to social ideologies of what a woman is supposed to look like.  

So it is a big, complicated, mess. A big complicated mess which the men mostly manage to avoid because nobody obsesses over their bodies for looking like athletes. More transparency as Andy calls for is important, but it isn't going to solve all the problems in the way in which some female athletes are tested, the implications of perceptions about their bodies upon the testing they are asked to do, the frequency of such testing, etc etc etc.
[ Last edit by amongsttheleaves July 30, 2018, 06:35 pm ] IP Logged
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^ Thank you ATL.  Certainly plenty of food for thought there.  I had no idea that Amelie had been humiliated in such a disgraceful way on TV.  I do know though that Venus and Serena have frequently been referred to as the Williams Brothers by their ignorant detractors, and I also remember the monumental fuss about Semenya's sexuality in 2009, something which has continued to rear its ugly head ever since, particularly as the IAAF brought in a rule in April this year that all women with elevated testosterone levels be asked to take medication to reduce and maintain these levels before being allowed to compete, something which, so it is alleged, is specifically aimed at her.  Not only has she launched a legal challenge to this ruling herself, but it's prompted this response  -

Billie Jean King and other top athletes call for end to 'discriminatory' testosterone policy
"Athletes sign open letter demanding ‘no woman be required to change her body to participate in women’s sport’ "

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/jul/11/billie-jean-king-and-other-top-athletes-call-for-end-to-discriminatory-testosterone-policy
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Thank you ATL for your interesting take on this subject and thank you Aileen for your link regarding what Billie Jean has to say and I remember Semenya and all that, and it definitely is a complicated mess, when will it be resolved, will it ever be resolved in a satisfactory way?
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