Are the ATP the most incompetent sporting organisation?

03-11-2004, 06:26 AM
I woke up and just read this article.,10260,1166802,00.html

Compared to other sports, tennis is soft on drugs

Many are disturbed by what must have been either a substantial cover-up at worst, or at best a colossal case of incompetence

Stephen Bierley
Thursday March 11, 2004
The Guardian

Greg Rusedski is a fortunate man. Had he been a track and field athlete he would certainly have been banned for two years yesterday under that sport's
zero-tolerance code, as happened to Dwain Chambers. Luckily for Rusedski he belongs to a body, the ATP, which must be regarded as the most inept in world sport.

It was always likely, because of what happened previously, that Rusedski would be exonerated, for last year the ATP admitted that its own employees may have been handing out contaminated substances. Or in other words, the ATP doped its own players. Would you believe it? Well, clearly the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) is far from convinced, more of which later.

There were those of a firm opinion that because Rusedski's failed test had come two months or so after the ATP had apparently told its trainers to hold fast on the supplements, he would have difficulty clearing his name. But this was to underestimate the incompetence of the ATP.

It was so afraid of the general public and, more particularly, the sport's sponsors finding out what had been going on last year (or at least its version of that) that, despite talking to its trainers in May, it did not come clean - not exactly the most appropriate word in this instance - until July, the month of Rusedski's test.

Yes, it had issued cursory warnings to the players, but had never thought to inform every player individually of the dangers. It was therefore a relatively simple process for the lawyers to convince Rusedski's tribunal that he was in the same boat as Bohdan Ulihrach et al.

Given that the ATP believed its own trainers were at fault, or that it could not be proved they were not, the governing body should have gone to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in the first place to sort the matter out. Instead it had to be pushed into involving Wada by this newspaper. Now it is busily attempting to close the stable door long after the horse has bolted with its all-encompassing investigation which has "PR exercise" written all over it.

To date, nobody has been able to prove where the nandrolone came from, only where it got to. As David Howman of Wada has pointed out since the whole sorry episode first surfaced, the problem may have nothing to do with the ATP trainers and their supplements.

Small wonder that Wada repeated its warning yesterday that yet another case, this time Rusedski's, has been settled on the basis that the ATP trainers were probably responsible. All the time, or so it seems, a blind eye is being turned to the possibility that drug taking in men's tennis may be endemic. There is no doubt that tennis has changed hugely over the past decade. It is no longer a game of delicate skills but a fully-fledged endurance sport. And in this respect it is perfectly possible that steroids have been and are being used.

And even if they are not, then the question of supplements, and the danger of them being contaminated, has been aired for so long and with such regularity that male tennis players should have stopped taking them long ago, as their women counterparts have.

The IAAF, along with many other sporting bodies, has never flinched from its pursuit of drug cheats. Chambers tried to claim his coach had given him a steroid, THG, without him knowing, and received short shrift.

By comparison, men's tennis appears to be soft on drugs, and it is time that its drug-testing programme was completely removed from the ATP's control. Even before this scandal there were too many "special circumstances" surrounding previous positive tests, and the rumour of cover-ups over leading players has continuously bubbled under the surface.

Wada's overview of what Howman has described as "a rash of nandrolone cases" is due to be published within the next few weeks. And it is being keenly anticipated by those who have been seriously disturbed by what must have been either a substantial cover-up at worst, or at best a colossal case of incompetence.

Action Jackson
03-11-2004, 07:17 AM
Well well I can't say I am surprised with the ATP showing itself to lack credibility on this and many other issues.

As for the most incompetent organisation well along with the USTA and the CBF ( Brazilian football) they are up in there in the top of the incompetent stakes.

Tennis Fool
03-11-2004, 08:32 AM
Wow, British Press still hard on the Rus Man :lol:

I don't think drugs are prevalent in tennis, come on athletes were tested 20+ times last year.

ATP doesn't come close to the incompetence of baseball.

Action Jackson
03-11-2004, 08:54 AM
I actually don't think they are hard enough.

There should be independent drug testers and not those clowns from the ATP.

Baseball then again that isn't really a true global sport, even those mafiosi at FIFA have better drug testing than the ATP.

Of course drugs are prevalent in tennis, it's professional sport and tennis is no different in this regard. Then again if a high profile player was caught they would more than likely cover it up.

03-11-2004, 09:04 AM
Perhaps drugs are being taken lightly in tennis because physical advantages do not necessarily lead to a gameplay advantage. (not in male tennis anyway).

For example Ferrero would be favoured in most situations/surfaces against Moya.

Action Jackson
03-11-2004, 09:14 AM
I was figuring more EPO and NESP would be the drugs of choice as they help with boosting and carrying red blood cells through the body to help with the endurance capacity of tennis.

Though I think Soccer Australia are as incompetent as the ATP.

03-11-2004, 09:35 AM
LOL! I was also going to say Soccer Australia before I even read your post!

But internationally ATP would have to be in the running.

Interesting that the author thinks track and field stars are automatically banned - it seems to rather depend on where you are from and who conducted the test ...

03-11-2004, 09:37 AM
USTA is blinded by its own importance rather than actually incompetence, I would say. They seem to achieve their goal, it's just a very dodgy goal. Then again, maybe having the wrong goal IS incompetence.

Action Jackson
03-11-2004, 09:43 AM
Number1Kim, well Carl Lewis and many others got away with it, but to be fair the US athletics handed over the testing to WADA and they were the ones who caught Chambers and some of these others with TGH.

The smartest ones won't get caught as they have the best doctors and masking agents.

03-11-2004, 09:46 AM
That's true, maybe they've improved.

I read that one Aussie swimmer (maybe Thorpe but not sure) was tested 43 times in one year. They even rocked up to his pool at 6am to test him. That might be overkill but it's a lot closer to the way it should be, for everyone's protection if nothing else. After all they don't just send the safety people to every 10th auto race.

03-11-2004, 12:32 PM
At least there's some consolation. Baseball is even worse right now.

03-11-2004, 04:53 PM
Right now, no sport organisation can top CBT (Brazil tennis)!

Chloe le Bopper
03-11-2004, 11:20 PM
The smartest ones won't get caught as they have the best doctors and masking agents.

Heh. I think that you mean the most resourceful.

Action Jackson
03-11-2004, 11:34 PM
Heh. I think that you mean the most resourceful.

It means the same thing Rebecca semantics aside.

Action Jackson
03-12-2004, 04:29 AM
Right now, no sport organisation can top CBT (Brazil tennis)!

Brazil have a history of meglomaniac presidents of sporting organisations, so this is not a surprise I mean there is a cockroach that has single-handedly caused the Brazilian team to boycott Davis Cup.

The thing I would be interested in knowing would a top 10 player if they were caught doping would the ATP cover it up or release the details if both samples were positive.

I doubt the ATP would do it actually.