This thread should be specifically about Rochus' statements. I think all other valid "doping in tennis" conversation should go in the already existing MTF main doping thread
. Most of the points being made here have been made in that thread repeatedly. This post can also go there.
The biggest problem today is that the sports organizations that are responsible and highly motivated to promote their own sport and athletes, are also responsible for managing the anti-doping testing protocols, UCI for cycling, ITF for tennis, etc. It is a clear conflict of interest
, and these organizations should never have been permitted to run the anti-doping show from the start. But which sports authority or organization would allow an outside, independent, agency to run the anti-doping show in their sport, especially with the vast amount of money involved, unless they are required or mandated by a higher authority to do so?
There are solutions, but they need to be discussed and mandated at a higher level, such as WADA, where they will have power over each sport.
For sports where there is international competition such as tennis, I would suggest that the independent agency or agencies (perhaps WADA or some subsidiary) that would be in charge of the anti-doping controls be given power of testing and perhaps just as important, power of investigation
such as what USADA had and executed in the Armstrong matter. The USADA has this power by virtue of its governmental authority. This means that the independent agency or agencies would have to go to each government where investigation is necessary and get the necessary authority of investigative power.
In countries that have agencies that already have this power, such as the USADA, as long as those agencies are clearly independent of the sports whose anti-doping activities they are policing, perhaps those agencies might be designated as an authoritative subsidiary of a central anti-doping control agency. However, some may say that a country's own agency might protect its own athletes, so perhaps there need to be "world" representatives within each authorized government agency to ensure there is as little corruption as possible. Even though it may be complex, I'm sure there are many with ideas of how to properly handle anti-doping management, from WADA, to former dopers and facilitators, to former heads of anti-doping controls, like Richard Ings. Funding shouldn't be too difficult. The amount tennis currently allocates is ridiculously low considering its revenues compared to cycling. Events should be required to contribute x% of their revenue as needed to the anti-doping agencies.
As long as the anti-doping control responsibility remains in the hands of the sport's organizations or authorities, suspicion is natural. With the current weak testing regimen in tennis, and risk vs. reward, one should suspect that various amounts of doping is rampant, only limited by a player's resources. Suspicion should be high that any notable positive test incidents are being covered up to "protect the sport" given the current lack of transparency.
Accusations are difficult to prove when there is no evidence being provided. But as we learned from Armstrong, the fact that a player or players have no public positive tests does not mean that doping does not exist. What we do know is that the current environment in tennis is such where there are clear benefits to doping, sufficient and proper out of competition testing does not exist, in-competition testing is insufficient (is likely not to catch someone that is micro-dosing), is poorly funded, and the reward currently outweighs the risk of being caught.