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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-23-2005, 03:34 AM Thread Starter
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Becker: Puerta scandal must not upstage memorable year

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article...957381,00.html

Puerta scandal must not upstage memorable year
By Boris Becker

AS I was seated between Billie Jean King and Greg Rusedski at a certain wedding celebration in Windsor on Wednesday night, the conversation momentarily turned to Mariano Puerta and his drugs charge. Obviously Greg was a bit sensitive about the subject and didn’t join in that much, but Billie Jean and I were agreed on one thing — take drugs and there’s no place for you in our sport.
OK, the amount was small and the story suggests that Puerta inadvertently swallowed something that was a prescription for his wife just before the French Open final. I don’t want to be harsh — he will have those eight years and a lot more on top of that to agonise over what he did — but because he made a mistake (and we’ve all made those) he must suffer the consequences.



And it is not as if he, more than anyone, should have been unaware of what might happen. He’s been caught for the second time in two years. And why did he carry on playing when his name was leaked? If you are innocent, you do what Rusedski did: stay away from competition, make sure you get the best lawyers and move heaven and earth to clear your name. Puerta just wanted to keep playing, brazen it out, regardless of the consequences should h e be found guilty. Can you imagine, in the light of what has happened, if he had qualified for the latter stages of the Masters Cup last month? Tennis would have shuddered.

All of this leaves a sour taste after what has been a memorable year, but for there to be suggestions that tennis is rife with drug takers and that there are cover-ups everywhere is, excuse my English, complete b******s. We are clearly not 100 per cent clean and no one says the system is infallible, but if more players were positive, more would have been caught. I don’t think it is possible for a positive fish to slip through the net.

Things have come on a long way since my playing days, but I remember being tested after, it seemed, every grand-slam singles match and a couple of times they even came to my home in Munich to test me out of competition.

Thank goodness, at a time such as this, we can glory in the talents of Roger Federer, one of the world’s great athletes and the epitome of what every tennis player should aspire to be.

A third consecutive Wimbledon, a second US Open, only four defeats in a year, 11 tournament victories — this is a year we shall look back on and marvel at decades from now. And so much of what he achieves now seems to be taken for granted. Amazing. Not only Federer but (Rafael) Nadal also wins 11 tournaments, including the French Open and the pair win every Masters Series event bar one between them. Nadal is there for the long haul.

And what of the new Brit, Andy Murray? There is still life in tennis in Britain. The young lad has made brilliant progress, reached his first ATP final and given Federer a run for his money. What I like about him is that he is not afraid, not of winning, of being in the spotlight, of saying the wrong thing. He’s enjoying all of this, he’s not satisfied with anything and with that, I think a top-ten place in 2006 is a distinct possibility.

I have new challenges as well. I resigned on Wednesday as the tournament chairman of the Hamburg Masters Series because I believe I have taken the tournament as far as I can. I will work in an advisory capacity with the German Federation, and I will do some more TV work — I really enjoyed They Think It’s All Over and negotiations are under way for a second series.

I hope to have a significant part to play in the World Cup as well, which is something I am looking forward to more than anything in 2006.

I’m not sure I’ll be invited to any more events like the banquet on Wednesday after Elton John’s “marriage” to David Furnish. To be counted among their 500 best friends is something. It was a beautiful celebration, extremely personal, no paparazzi and it got pretty emotional as well. It was a treat to be a part of it.

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-23-2005, 05:48 AM
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Re: Becker: Puerta scandal must not upstage memorable year

Wow! That is one incoherent essay...

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-23-2005, 09:19 AM
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Re: Becker: Puerta scandal must not upstage memorable year

I think Boris is right in his assessement of Puerta playing after he knew he was being investigated. I thought he would stop playing since any money he won, if he was found in violation, would be forfeit. If he was found not in violation then he could move on. Never knew what Rusedski did to fight the charges against him and now I do.
Some of the article is personal and non tennis related but it was still a good read. Thanks.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-23-2005, 09:54 AM
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Re: Becker: Puerta scandal must not upstage memorable year

Good comment, I've read (and heard) much worse things of Becker before. At least this time it is not only the usual encomium on Federer, but he also mentioned Nadal for his truely memorable year in two sentences, achieving all these things this season

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-23-2005, 10:47 AM
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Re: Becker: Puerta scandal must not upstage memorable year

Quote:
Originally Posted by amierin
I think Boris is right in his assessement of Puerta playing after he knew he was being investigated. I thought he would stop playing since any money he won, if he was found in violation, would be forfeit. If he was found not in violation then he could move on. Never knew what Rusedski did to fight the charges against him and now I do.
Some of the article is personal and non tennis related but it was still a good read. Thanks.
Yeah, giving back a 700,000 dollars check is never easy, I tell you !!

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-23-2005, 11:22 AM
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Re: Becker: Puerta scandal must not upstage memorable year

Quote:
Originally Posted by mojo37_12
Wow! That is one incoherent essay...
Compared to articles that have been shared here in the past, this one is much easier on the eyes, believe me.

Talk to the hand because the ears don't hear you.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-23-2005, 11:39 AM
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Re: Becker: Puerta scandal must not upstage memorable year

Quote:
Originally Posted by amierin
I think Boris is right in his assessement of Puerta playing after he knew he was being investigated. I thought he would stop playing since any money he won, if he was found in violation, would be forfeit. If he was found not in violation then he could move on. Never knew what Rusedski did to fight the charges against him and now I do.
Some of the article is personal and non tennis related but it was still a good read. Thanks.
What if a player stops playing and is found innocent 6-9 months later does this mean the ATP/ITF will compensate them for lost earnings?

A period of 6-9 months away will see your ranking drop and give you no match practice making a return to the circuit very difficult. Greg's experience is very informative; he received little help from the ATP/ITF despite being cleared and has taken a while to get back to top flight tennis.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-23-2005, 12:20 PM
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Re: Becker: Puerta scandal must not upstage memorable year

Quote:
Originally Posted by mojo37_12
Wow! That is one incoherent essay...
. He is not much of a writer but it was an interesting read nonetheless.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-23-2005, 12:44 PM
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Re: Becker: Puerta scandal must not upstage memorable year

Elton and David :

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-23-2005, 01:13 PM
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Re: Becker: Puerta scandal must not upstage memorable year

Quote:
Originally Posted by mdhubert
Yeah, giving back a 700,000 dollars check is never easy, I tell you !!
I have never held a check that big in my life. Trust me if I did they'd have to pry it from my cold dead hands.

I understand that he would've lost ranking points and beaucoup bucks but he had to know that story wouldn't overcome the fact that he had been caught out twice in two years.

Tennis PTB must've been on pins and needles...not a good choice of words. I'll just say they were on edge every time he played.

I just hope that the process is speeded up going forward.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-23-2005, 05:24 PM
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Re: Becker: Puerta scandal must not upstage memorable year

I just hope Boris didn't disappear with Billie Jean into one of the broom closets during the wedding...

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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-23-2005, 05:26 PM
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Re: Becker: Puerta scandal must not upstage memorable year

Quote:
Originally Posted by SwissMister1
I just hope Boris didn't disappear with Billie Jean into one of the broom closets during the wedding...
There will be no danger of that happening, I assure you.

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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-23-2005, 05:28 PM
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Re: Becker: Puerta scandal must not upstage memorable year

Quote:
Originally Posted by SwissMister1
I just hope Boris didn't disappear with Billie Jean into one of the broom closets during the wedding...
Billie Jean would bend Boris over.

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I definitely would have preferred Gaba winning as he needs the points much more, but Jan would have beaten him anyway. I expect Hajek to destroy Machado, like 6-1 6-2.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-23-2005, 05:38 PM
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Re: Becker: Puerta scandal must not upstage memorable year

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeWHitler
Billie Jean would bend Boris over.

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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-23-2005, 05:41 PM
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Re: Becker: Puerta scandal must not upstage memorable year

Quote:
Originally Posted by SwissMister1
I just hope Boris didn't disappear with Billie Jean into one of the broom closets during the wedding...
Many people I am sure have no clue what you are referring to.

But I thought the same thing as I was reading his self-righteous BS about Mariano.

Those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

(And I used to be a Boris fan so its not like I'm saying this because I don't like him.)
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