Google Down the Line!: Quote of the Day: Murray on WADA procedure


Friday, February 6, 2009

Quote of the Day: Murray on WADA procedure


The official who came to my home wanted me to produce identification to prove who I was. He insisted on watching me provide a sample, literally with my trousers round my ankles, and then insisted that I wrote down my own address even though he was at my private home at 7am.

- Andy Murray on undergoing tennis' new anti-doping testing under the WADA code

Uh, there's a lot I could say about this quote by the Brit baller but I'll stick to the point: These measures -- known location one hour of every day, 3 missed appointments warrants up to 2-year suspension -- seem pretty severe as he (and Rafael Nadal) have described it especially since the number of doping allegations in tennis are far under the numbers reported by other sports.

And I suppose during tourneys it's especially hard because of the constant change of match schedules.

But until the ballers can organize and fight the new measures, they better make sure to pee into that cup in a timely manner...and let them watch if they want.

(image via Gettty)

29 comments:

  1. Sounds like someone's trying to get their perv on! Nooo...they have a job to do but still, they could offer a bit of discreetness to the player, no? They don't have to STARE DIRECTLY I would think.

    Man, that has to suck.

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  2. b2012: "They don't have to STARE DIRECTLY I would think"

    Only if they want to...HA!

    Yeah that has to be pretty awkward to watch them pee. Is that in their job description "Pee watching is required"?

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  3. The point here is not pee watching (though it's pretty intrusive), or being rude and bureaucratic (identification, address), but the notion that sportsmen are guilty until proven innocent. They have to report in advance their whereabouts of one hour each day of the year, so that they could be reached by doping officials and pee (while being watched). Like criminals on parole.

    If they are not there, it's three strikes and out (suspension). One of the Brian twins already has two.

    What if Murray had got stuck at some airport on his return from Oz, instead of being in his bed at 7 AM? Or had partied till wee hours in some club?

    BTW, Murray has already undergone anti-doping test in Oz after his loss to Verdasco. Don't these people exchange their notes?

    Rafa explained last year in his blog they once came to his home early in the morning, were rude and surly and also watched him pee. He was hopping mad at the intrusion, what with all the time they had during tournaments, they disturb him during those precious few days at his own home. He had also been tested few days before that.

    Red tape gone mad.

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  4. Exactly as Anonymous said, it's gone mad. I've been griping about this for about a week and a half now. It's beyond just being "available" for testing, it's intrusive as well as rude.

    I even read about a case where they showed up to a funeral. The athletes need to end this NOW.

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  5. Maybe I come with the idea cause im cranky and sleepy right now, but if I was a player and they knock my door at 7 am..I just unzipped right there and pee there pants..."uuhh oohhh get the cup, get the cup...ooohhh you missed it. Luck the next time" and slam the door in there face.

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  6. "I am speechless."

    Or jealous? Gotta spare cup??

    LOL Uvijek - so you're going to make them wring your pants out to get the pee sample?

    *FOTF at the imagery*

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  7. LOL uvijek LOLOL

    Naw- I'm speechless cos it's so effing freaky. I wonder if they have to "see" the women players peeing too. And what happens to players who cannot pee while being watched?

    I have really strong feelings about this WADA thing, and it's pissing me more and more.

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  8. I'd just go and buy a plastic schlong if I was rafa. Just kiddin, this shit is going a bit too far.

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  9. OMG - that's so true! I know people who have a hard time peeing in public because they can't stand having people standing there waiting in line!!

    Yeah, it has to be very annoying. It's over the top for a sport that has minimal issues with doping. I get it for cycling, track & field, etc. where there have been tons of issues but tennis???

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  10. this is just taking it toooo far..come on.

    but where can i apply for his job? :)

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  11. I don't see a whole lot of tennis players with the need for steroids. But...there have been some suspensions in the past few years. The people that made the WADA presume guilt over innocence are all the athletes who swear they haven't taken a thing, and then get caught.
    Rich,I agree that it's more needed in other sports. I also agree it is way too invasive. But I don't blame the organization. I blame the athletes who started taking banned substances. They made this mess, and now other athletes have to live with it.
    And, uhm...nobody, and I mean NOBODY watches natch pee (another good reason natch is not an athlete.) I would pull a uvijek on them. ;)

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  12. I've nothing against watching a player with his pants around his ankles but not if he's peeing. That is quite creepy and why do they have to do it at 7 am? I understand why they go to the players' homes though. Most steroids users stop using a few weeks or days before a big competition so that the drugs leave their systems in time for the drug tests.

    Somehow I can't see this being done to Roger; I don't know why. There's something about him that says "too cool and revered to be observed during urination"

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  13. haha sara i can't see it either. I imagine a short balding man too scared and intimidated to demand that roger drop his pants and pee infront of him. haha and of course roger is looking cool as always.

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  14. Sure it's an inconvenience but complaints against such shouldn't be coming from Spanish players for one reason - Operación Puerto.

    Steroids, doping machinery and more than 100 bags of blood were found in the rooms of Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes, a Spanish gynaecologist, in 2006 together with lists implicating more than 200 cyclists, footballers and tennis players. The Spanish Guardia Civil launched an investigation into the matter but could not proceed on account of there being no laws in Spain against doping - drug trafficking, yes, but not doping.

    Since 2006 cycling's governing body has been after the DNA of more than one hundred cyclists to confirm the names in the lists they have but the Spanish courts have refused to allow such because there is no grounds for a criminal investigation. No such action from football or tennis authorities.

    I am not stating nor trying to imply that Rafa is doing anything illegal or untoward, but the authorities know tennis players are engaged in blood doping and it all centers around a Spanish doctor, two of the biggest Spanish football clubs (Real Madrid and FC Barcelona) and a large number of spanish cyclists and former cycling teams based in Spain.

    So if I were Rafa or any other player I wouldn't be complaining - rather, I would be asking them to test me as frequently as possible. There is a taint over the sport of tennis and it revolves around Spain.

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  15. Mitch: "..together with lists implicating more than 200 cyclists, footballers and tennis players".

    Sorry, but NOT footballers (Le Monde was convicted of defamation) NOR tennis players.

    June 29, 2006: The judicial summary of the 'Operation Puerto', reveals that at least 58 cyclists, including 15 of the Liberty Seguros' allegedly received banned substances. The names of several cyclists begin to appear on the table appear in the summary of the Operation Puerto, whose secrecy is lifted by the Magistrate's Court number 31 of Madrid.

    March 10, 2007: Judge Antonio Serrano, head of the magistrate No. 31 in Madrid, believes that in the Operation Puerto, the largest global network of doping in cycling, there are no requirements to consider it as a crime against public health. ("No law, no crime") However, the judge said that doping exists in the world of cycling. The judge ordered closed the case without having completed the interrogation of more than half a hundred bikers who agreed to take a statement.

    November 2008: The Spain's Sport secretary of state Jaime Lissavetzky recalled that Operation Puerto was done when the Organic Law of Health Protection and Anti-Doping was still not approved and the judge closed the case finding that there was no crime against public health, which caused the appeal of the State Prosecutor Office, believing that they had with illegal traffic of drugs.

    The Provincial Court of Madrid has ordered the last 12 of January 2009 the reopening of the 'Operation Puerto' and also the preparation of the trial by accepting the appeal against the decision of number 31 of Madrid judge's Antonio Serrano, last September, to close the case on the consideration that there is evidence of a crime against public health.

    (Sorry for my english "googleism". I don't speak the language, just can read it)

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  16. The official has to stare at Murray's anaconda because there are devices to deliver clean urine like the Whizzinator.

    "The Whizzinator comes as a kit complete with dried urine and syringe, heater packs (to keep the urine at body temperature), a false penis (available in several skin tones including white, tan, latino, brown, and black) and instruction manual."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whizzinator

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  17. This is seriously fucked up. How would doping even help tennis players? It might add some stamina or muscle, but this game really comes down to practice, mental strength, brains, and talent. Doping can't help you with any of that. This is ridiculous.

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  18. TO do you really think that Murray has an anaconda? I always figured he had a little garden snake.

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  19. Doping, in addition to the obvious benefits for stamina and strength, also aids recovery time between matches and tournaments.

    I don't think in the long run this would be particularly useful for elite tennis players because there are many more factors at work than just recovery time and sheer power/strength at that level. I think it would be the lower-ranked guys or the ones playing the challenger circuits and qualies who are trying to move up by playing back-to-back-to-back tournaments, who would be more likely to take the risk.

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  20. This is ridiculous. Human rights, hello??!!!

    If there's a sport that deserves this kind of treatment, then it's cycling for crying out loud. Almost every single cycler is doped - go to THOSE guys' homes and watch THEM pee, WADA!!

    Doping in tennis just doesn't make sense to me. The main issues to succeed here are mental strength, technique and talent. With a decent fitness routine, you surely don't need doping.
    Plus, they undergo doping tests all the time anyway - this kind of intrusion is just not acceptable.

    Dignity, people! Go sue their asses off, Rafa!!

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  21. sonja, the ATP anti-doping procedures were probably BASED on the stringent testing procedures that cyclists undergo. When you compare the two, they seem to be very similar.

    They try their best to randomize testing because, obviously, if the players knew that they only tested during tournaments, then it would make it easier to ensure a "clean" result. Watching them urinate, although embarrassing and intrusive, is also important as it ensures that another sample is not being substituted.

    I think for the most part, tennis is a clean sport, as steroids would not result in as much benefit as they would in other sports that rely on more heavily pure speed (e.g. track) or power (e.g. baseball).

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  22. LOL Anon, you sound like you're working for those guys. ;)

    However, the mere fact that this might all be based on the testing for cyclists is totally barefaced. You can't compare the doping use in those two sports.

    In cycling, a tiny minority is clean, there's another doping scandal after every race - while in tennis, the vast majority (esp. the top players) is surely clean.

    What I'm sayin' is that it ain't that much of an issue in tennis than in cycling for instance, and applying the same degrading standards is way over the top.

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  23. Anon 1:18 here.

    Sonja, I agree with you that steroids are not as much of an issue in tennis as in other sports (see the last paragraph of my previous post and also the post at 3:19 Feb 7 - that was me too)...but what are the alternatives? Either no testing at all or testing that is non-randomized, occurs only during or immediately after tournaments and/or players are given advanced notice of when they will be tested. In the latter scenario, this is merely lip service - creating the illusion that the testing serves any purpose - it will never catch any potential cheaters because they can easily work around it. Cheaters don't dope during competition - it's the time outside of competition where all of that stuff happens and WADA needs to know where people are so that they can randomly just show up and test them.

    Would I as an average citizen find this type of scrutiny intrusive and degrading? Yes, absolutely. But as a professional athlete potentially making millions of dollars to play a sport I love, I would have to understand that this is the price I pay to try to uphold the image of the sport - stringent testing to prove within the limits of current scientific testing, that my sport is clean.

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  24. I have to tell you I could totally live with the testing as it used to be (may it be not as accurate).

    As some other poster mentioned before, those tennis players who actually dope are probably the ones way back in the rankings or only playing challengers anyway.
    I don't care if the world No. 476 and No. 265 are doped.
    I'm sure the top players don't dope, as it wouldn't be of any use for them while being extremely risky.

    So I don't see the need for this kind of accurate doping testing in this sport. And treating honest people who are main ambassadors of the sport like criminals is outrageous. Period.

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  25. I just realized you were the one posting about the lower ranked guys anyway LOL.

    Seriously, some nickname would make stuff easier...

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  26. Sonja - No worries lol. Totally agree with you about the lower-ranked guys VS the elite guys doping. I just think that tennis needs to create the impression that they are serious about cracking down on cheats (whether there's one cheat or hundreds of cheats and whatever their ranking).

    I have the sense that the ATP is currently taking a hard line on steroid use, but that they'll relax the rules if enough players speak out against their severity. And now that elite players like Murray and Nadal have both commented publicly against the testing procedures, they will probably be relaxed a bit. I think it's all a PR move anymore - appear to be cracking down really aggressively to get in the news, soften their stance gradually and quietly over time (the casual tennis fan will not know of any changes), and everyone leaves happy.

    Didn't realize I could post using a nickname without some kind of blogger account so now I'm going to use "Mina" from now on.

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  27. No prob Mina - now I'm no longer confused LOL. ;-)

    Yeah, this could totally be a PR move by the ATP, going all strict and accurate.
    We'll see how it turns out...

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  28. I can see the ATP making a bold PR move in this area since it's all about image-making moves in light of the gambling issues, etc.

    This makes a lot of sense as does the idea that, over time, they will most likely relax the procedures. So, in the short-term it's a big hassle for these ballers but in long-term, if enough speak out and incidents don't increase, then the policy will soften.

    It'll be interesting to see how this issue evolves and if noise will be made if they, in fact, do curtail the process over time.

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