Rusedski issues statement [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Rusedski issues statement

TheBoiledEgg
01-09-2004, 05:59 PM
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/tennis/3383843.stm

Greg Rusedski statement in full
From the top 120 players on the ATP there are now 47 samples demonstrating elevated levels of nandrolone. There has been no explanation for this. I am one of the 47.
No doubt the news that a sample I provided has been found to contain metabolites of nandrolone will be greeted by many people with a degree of world-weary cynicism.

All athletes who test positive, at some stage or another, protest their innocence.

The public have, probably rightly, become wary of such protestations.

However, as I intend to show, this case really is unique, as was demonstrated by my unprecedented decision to go public and declare my innocence when this matter surfaced.

The sample I provided in Indianapolis on 23 July 2003 was found to contain the metabolites of nandrolone in a concentration not exceeding 5ng/ml.

However, this does not tell the whole story.

What the sample analysis also indicated was the presence of the same common analytical fingerprint as that detected in over 46 other samples provided by professional tennis players on the ATP Main Tour.


This story goes back to August 2002 and represents one of the biggest scandals to surface in world sport.
Tennis has always been, and still is, amongst the cleanest sports where drug testing is concerned. Positives are rare, and are quite rightly taken very seriously.

However, between August 2002 and May 2003 something strange happened. At least 43 samples taken from top players on the ATP main tour were found to contain elevated levels of nandrolone.

What was interesting about these samples was not just the number, but the fact that they all displayed the same unique analytical fingerprint.

This type of analytical fingerprint has never been found in any other sport and therefore is unique to tennis. This indicates that the positives all spring from a common source.


The problem first surfaced in the case of Mr Bohdan Ulihrach, a Czech tennis player. He provided a sample on 26 October 2002 which was found to contain a low concentration of nandrolone metabolites.
Initially, he was suspended by the ATP for two years.

However, after his case had been heard, the Montreal laboratory discovered the common analytical fingerprint which is to be found throughout all of the cases of elevated levels of nandrolone.

The hearing panel chaired by Professor Richard McLaren reconvened the hearing.

They heard evidence from the ATP, indicating that ATP trainers had been giving players mineral supplements, electrolytes and other supplements.

Professor McLaren concluded that there was a single source for these positives, which was likely to be substances supplied by ATP trainers.

As Mr Ulihrach had tested positive because of materials given to him by ATP itself, the case was dismissed.

In response to the Ulihrach decision an ATP Commission under Mr Richard Young looked into the matter.

The Commission included very senior officers of the ATP and its external lawyers.

They found that elevated levels of nandrolone were present in at least 36 samples provided by players.


Drug taking is not rife in tennis and something here is very wrong

In a further seven samples the level was sufficiently elevated to exceed the IOC reporting threshold and were therefore reported as positive tests.
It is interesting that elevated levels were found in at least 36 samples. The simple fact of the matter is after 36 elevated samples ATP simply stopped counting.

Almost all 43 samples contained the common analytical fingerprint, which indicated that the same product had caused the positive elevated tests.

This is not to suggest that drug taking is rife in men's tennis. I know from my own experience that it is not.

This is borne out by the facts. In the 10 years in which the ATP's anti-doping programme has been running there has been one positive test for nandrolone.

Drug-taking is not rife in tennis and something here is very wrong.

Mr Young's report ended up pointing the finger at electrolytes given to players by trainers on the ATP Tour. However, this was mere speculation.

Mr Young's team analysed the electrolytes that were given and found that they all tested negative.

The simple fact of the matter is that Mr Young could not identify why all these samples demonstrated elevated results.

Their conclusion was that this phenomenon was unprecedented and unexplained.


My sample demonstrated all the characteristics of the common analytical fingerprint

It was unique to tennis, as no other sport indicated the same high number of nandrolone metabolites, still less with a common analytical fingerprint.
This phenomenon was so unprecedented Professor Ayotte, head of the IOC-accredited laboratory in Montreal that tested most of the samples and which had identified the common analytical fingerprint said:

"For the first time in my 20 years' experience in drug testing, I am uncertain that it is right or fair to go forward with the prosecution of these cases.

"Based on the unique pattern of these ATP test results, I have reason to think that some, if not all of these players, could have tested positive because of a supplement which they received from an ATP trainer."

She concluded: "This is a very unique situation. For the first time in my career I doubt that it is fair to apply the strict liability rule in these cases."

The Young Commission concurred with this view.

Despite the fact that they could not explain the phenomenon, they concluded that it would be wrong, unfair and unjust to proceed with any of the other six positive tests or continue investigations into the other 36 elevated levels.

By a news release on 9 July 2003 they said that they had now instructed ATP trainers not to distribute products and that this would be the end of the matter.

It was not. The sample I provided two weeks later in Indianapolis demonstrated all of the characteristics of the common analytical fingerprint.


When I was informed I was stunned - I have diligently kept a record of every vitamin and supplement that I have ever consumed

Furthermore, I have subsequently learnt that since July three other new cases have come to light in tennis which have also demonstrated elevated levels of nandrolone and have also demonstrated the common analytical fingerprint.
It is, I believe, absolutely clear that something is very wrong here. We now have over 47 samples demonstrating elevated levels of nandrolone.

The odds of this happening at random are billions to one against. These 47 samples emanate solely from the 120 or so top players on the ATP main tour.

Therefore, potentially, nearly half of the Tour could have demonstrated elevated levels of nandrolone.

The only explanation the ATP has been able to find for this is that they themselves caused it.

I am sure in my own mind that all the players concerned are innocent. When I was informed that my sample had tested positive I was stunned.

Despite the fact that I was very ill, I was competing for Great Britain in the Davis Cup.

I knew I had not taken anything that could test positive.

Indeed, I have diligently kept a record of every vitamin and supplement that I have ever consumed throughout my career.

At great personal cost, I arranged for all of the mineral supplements and electrolytes that I used to be analysed to see if they could be the cause. They were all clean.


Instead of prosecuting me the ATP should be trying to investigate this matter

Once the samples had been analysed, my expert, Professor Vivian James, noted my sample too demonstrated the common analytical fingerprint.
If it was unfair and unreasonable to proceed to prosecution or investigation of the previous 43 cases, equally I consider it will be wrong and unfair to proceed with mine.

However, the ATP, for reasons I simply do not understand, have not taken this view.

Instead of treating me in the same category as all of the other players who have demonstrated elevated levels of nandrolone and the common analytical fingerprint, I appear to have been singled out for this treatment.


This is wrong, unfair and discriminatory.

Instead of prosecuting me, the ATP should be trying to investigate this matter.

No other innocent players should suffer as I have done.

In conclusion, I wish to emphasise that I will fight this case to the bitter end.

I would invite the ATP to recommence the investigation begun by Mr Young to the source of this problem.

I would invite the ATP to be open about which other players demonstrated elevated nandrolone levels apart from myself.

Most of all, I would invite the ATP to drop this case as it is clear that the source of this problem is tennis rather than anything I did or took.

I am looking to the tribunal on 9 February to give me the justice I seek and fully trust that they will.

The ATP has yet to respond to Greg Rusedski's statement.

TheBoiledEgg
01-09-2004, 06:00 PM
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/tennis/3383773.stm

Rusedski outlines defence
Greg Rusedski has challenged the ATP, saying their handling of his positive test for nandrolone is "wrong, unfair and discriminatory".
He believes his case exhibits the same characteristics as those relating to seven other players who previously tested positive for the banned steroid.

But while those players escaped blame with the ATP accepting responsibility, Rusedski now faces a potential ban.

In a statement Rusedski said the story "represents one of the biggest scandals in world sport".


Rusedski added that there are now 47 samples that have tested positive and these "emanate solely from the 120 or so top players on the ATP tour".

If all 47 samples came from different players "nearly half of the Tour could have demonstrated elevated levels of nandrolone", Rusedski concluded.

The ATP has yet to comment on Rusedski's statement.

Two weeks before Rusedski gave his sample on 23 July 2003, the ATP cleared the seven players with confirmed positive tests, adding that it was the end of the matter.


The ATP took responsibility for the positives because its own trainers had handed out the supplements that could have caused the positive tests.

And, the British number two, who was "stunned" when told news of his positive sample, remains adamant that his case has the same "analytical fingerprint" as those that went before.

"I intend to show this case is unique, as was demonstrated by my unprecedented decision to go public and declare my innocence," Rusedski's statement read.

"The sample I provided was found to contain the metabolites of nandrolone in a concentration not exceeding 5ng/ml.


I consider it wrong and unfair - however the ATP have not taken this view
Greg Rusedski
"However, this does not tell the whole story.

"What the sample also indicated was the presence of the same common analytical fingerprint as that detected in over 46 other samples provided by professional tennis players on the ATP Main Tour.

"This type of analytical fingerprint has never been found in any other sport and therefore is unique to tennis.

"This indicates that the positives all spring from a common source."

Rusedski added that he felt he had been "singled out" by the organisation.

"I have subsequently learnt that since July three other new cases have come to light in tennis which have also demonstrated elevated levels of nandrolone and have also demonstrated the common analytical fingerprint," Rusedski added.

"It is, I believe, absolutely clear that something is very wrong.

"We now have over 47 samples demonstrating elevated levels of nandrolone. The odds of this happening at random are billions to one against."

Rusedski concluded by saying he would challenge the case to the "bitter end".

MisterQ
01-09-2004, 06:13 PM
This gets more and more interesting --- thanks for sharing that.

CooCooCachoo
01-09-2004, 06:14 PM
He seems to have a point. I don't believe, like he does, that all of the 47 players are in fact clean, but it is too high a number to be correct. I don't think that Rusedski is likely to take drugs, but then again, I could be mistaken. His argumentation seems to be correct however, although every sentence seems to be a reconstruction of an earlier sentence. Therefore, his defence contains a lot of yadda yadda, but the core arguments seem valid and create an interesting debate. Thank you for sharing this, Boiled Egg!

Deboogle!.
01-09-2004, 07:16 PM
Wow.... as much as he's far from my favorite, it's very gutsy of him to be honest and open and it should certainly help him.

After the mistake the ATP already admitted, I sure as hell would hope that they would investigate into the stuff they gave to players!!!!!!

and yes, more and more interesting is right, Q.

amethyst
01-09-2004, 07:22 PM
After the Ulihrach-desaster I can´t imagine the atp to publish a case without being sure that they didn´t do such a mistake again.

shaoyu
01-09-2004, 08:03 PM
I thought I heard some story last year about some atp case where the test equipment was possibly contaminated?

michelleg
01-09-2004, 08:15 PM
The folks over in Ponte Vedra Beach have repeatedly demonstrated a lack of good judgement and shoddy management skills. I would expect nothing less from them.

CooCooCachoo
01-10-2004, 06:38 AM
Always the optimist, huh, Michelle? :P Oh well, it definitely is troublesome for the game of tennis, these problems.

Leo
01-10-2004, 11:03 PM
Thanks for posting that, GBE.

Rusedski definitely has an argument here. It'll be interesting to see how the ATP responds. This past year has been a very embarassing one for the them - thankfully the actual players are entertaining the masses with magnificent product despite the association's faults.