• Federer has doubts about sweeping Nadal proposal

    2/26/13 2:08 PM | Johan Lindahl
    Federer has doubts about sweeping Nadal proposal Roger Federer takes on a more conservative approach to Rafael Nadal's suggestions about releasing results of drug testing.

    While he agrees with rival Rafael Nadal that tennis drug testing should be tough, fair and regular, Roger Federer has trouble reading all of the logic of the latest proposal from the Spaniard who is working on a tennis comeback after more than half a year out of the game with injury.

    The outspoken Nadal, who has been apparently hit hard by allegations in recent months that Spanish sport of all stripes might not be totally clean, has proposed that drug testing results be revealed on a rolling basis, perhaps as often as once per week.

    That way, the No. 5 thinks, fans might have some kind of reassurance about tennis.

    Federer, while not disagreeing, feels that releasing waves and waves of boring "negative' results - the wide majority of cases anyway - might just be counter-productive. "I don't think people care about tests. Nothing came up. I mean, it's a relief every time you hear about it that your test was fine," said the Swiss as he defends his title in Dubai.

    "I think we only care about that one test that wasn't fine. Sure, I mean, it's an idea. I'm for transparency. I'm for aggressive tests, and I have always been like that.

    "For me, it's just important that we make sure that the integrity of the game is kept where it's supposed to be and that the tour and everybody, the players, everybody, has to agree and that we should be trying to do that. I think there is a big sense of urgency that we make sure that our sport stays as clean as possible. It's very important."

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Federer is just trying to go along with the establishment as usual. If he had been at the end of the innuendos that Rafa has to live with he would think otherwise.

nadline , 2/26/13 4:16 PM

what puzzles me is why Rafa is the subject of innuendoes? Because he showed he is greater than Roger?
After all Rafa was always been well built. But Federer and Djokovic, although hugely talented, lacked stamina in their earlier years. They then suddenly became indefatigable. To an impartial observer, the latter two would be more suspect than Rafa.
But the media is heavily Fed biased perhaps because it was his rise which triggered or coincided with explosive growth in tennis media and sponsorships.
Nole is not harassed for then they would have to point fingers at dear Fed too.
Looks like ITF does not even bother to test Fed which is why dear Fed doesn't want it published every week that he is not tested.
In any case, their testing would be useless for most of the tennis pros as ITF's tests cannot catch blood or HGH dopers. ITF hasn't adopted bio passport nor is it serious about searching players' training or living premises for tell tale physical evidence of doping.

holdserve , 2/26/13 5:23 PM

So as Rafa said, let the names of players who are tested be published every week and ITF should say whether they have tests for the two most common types of doping in tennis: viz HGH and blood doping. What's the use of testing for recreational or slimming drugs?

holdserve , 2/26/13 5:29 PM

So we can see now that all Fed's talks about more testing... is fake. "I want more testing but results will be very well hidden"
Absurd !!!

zare , 2/26/13 10:13 PM

What's the use of disclosing negative results each & every time. They need to just carry out tests more regularly but should bring out the positive results only. That's what Fed means. And as usual Lindahl has created a molehill out of nothing.

abhirf , 2/27/13 6:10 AM

The outspoken Nadal - :-)

sabs , 2/27/13 6:16 AM

I agree with Fed. What purpose will it serve to post negative results? It's those who test positive that will make headlines. As it is, since tennis is deemed to be a clean sport, negative results are to be expected. However, I'm sure that it's the positive results fans want to know about, and what the powers that be should keep under close scrutiny.

There is a serious lack of testing for the wrong substance use, but it would seem that that kind of testing is unimportant to the authorities. If it were important, how is it that some top players were only tested 8 or less times during in and out of competition? Also, why is only a mere $1.3 million allotted to diligent drug testing? The answer is pretty much clear, the tennis powers don't want to know about drug use, and that's to ensure and reinforce that the sport is presumably clean. Every once in a while, we hear of some poor, unknown lower-ranked player, who's never won anything or beaten any player of consequence, being banned for doping. That's WADA/ITF's way of demonstrating to the world that they are doing something to fight the war on drug use in the sport. It's nothng but a joke.

scoretracker , 2/27/13 7:42 AM

It must be galling for Rafa to have endured 7 tests or so in 7 months, all negative, and continuously have fingers pointing at him for no good reason. That's why he wants the results to be made public.

Of course it's Fedfans who are out to tarnish Rafa's name so I'm not surprised that they don't want the results to be made public because it will expose the lies they continuously tell about Rafa.

nadline , 2/27/13 9:38 AM

I see Federer's point, but frankly, release of statistics would do tennis more good than harm given the current state of affairs. It will at least show people that the players HAVE been tested.

It is no secret that Federer has had zero out of competition tests in certain years and was tested less than both Nadal and Djokovic in 2011 at least. His statement now clearly displays why talk really is cheap when it comes to this issue.

"It must be galling for Rafa to have endured 7 tests or so in 7 months, all negative, and continuously have fingers pointing at him for no good reason."

I don't think anyone can really point fingers at Rafa alone, and I think his form of late should make it clear that he is struggling physically. Btw, 7 tests in 7 months is still inadequate if you want to catch someone but its better than nothing. I still doubt that anyone else in the top 4 was tested anywhere close to Rafa though in the last 7 months.

samprallica , 2/27/13 10:15 AM

If each and every negative results are to be declared out in the public, then only tennis news we will be getting everyday will be a list of players tested out negative for drugs which hardly anyone will bother to look up after 2-3 days.
More appropriate thing to do would be to carry out the tests more rigorously before start of every tournament.

abhirf , 2/27/13 10:16 AM

no, abhirf, I disagree...if each and every negative results are to be declared out in the public, the fans of a particular player will be able to look up and see how many times their player has been tested as opposed to those players who haven't...what this would do is for those interested to actually go and see what ITF is doing and if they are doing it given the amount of money they spend on this...currently we have no idea who and when is being tested...and if Fed was not tested at all while Rafa and Nole were, I as a fan would like to know that and would like to question why is that happening...That is what Rafa means: if you are making our lives a living hell by waking us up early in the morning while we are on injury break whereas players who are competing at that time are safe and not tested because ITF says so, then PLEASE let the public know about it so that we do not get bothered with ridiculous questions and stupid accusations. These questions should rather be directed at those who are not being tested for whatever reason.

natashao , 2/27/13 11:11 AM

^^^Good point, totally agree! And why was Fed not tested while out of competition btw?? It's shameful how such testings are conducted, biased for and against certain players to say the least!

luckystar , 2/27/13 11:49 AM

Question is: why is Fed not being tested as often as the others in the top 4?
Further is he being tested for HGH and blood doping whenever they do test him? The answer, at least for HGH is no. ITF has no tests for HGH. The media is not highlighting this fact. Why aren't fingers being pointed at all old (thirty somethings) players suddenly resurgent? Why is Rafa being harassed with suspicions? Why not Fed and others?
I am tired of Rafa being singled out.
ITF's testing for blood doping is totally inadequate and guaranteed not to catch anyone with access to doctors. Why when cycling union introduced bio passport in 2006 , has ITF been dragging its feet in introducing advanced methods?
In cycling, we know that introduction of bio passport led to fall in performance of top cyclists leading observers to suspect that all top cyclists were earlier blood doping.
The whole ITF set up stinks.
ITF should publish the results of doping tests every week for top 30. Public scrutiny will ensure that ITF treats the top 30 equally. Also pressure should be on ITF to introduce the bio passport. Why is it not anxious to catch blood dopers?
When Rafa and Muza had in earlier years objected to being tested so often, the Fed morons claimed this proved Rafa had something to hide. Now not only does it turn out that Fed is not tested so often so obviously he had nothing to complain about but that he is objecting to the tests being made public. Adopting the logic of Fed fans, Fed has something to hide.

holdserve , 2/27/13 2:10 PM

I don't think anyone can really point fingers at Rafa alone,....
samprallica , 2/27/13 10:15 AM

The fact is they do and Rafa must be heartily sick of it. The least the WADA can do is make a statement to the effect that ALL negative tests are made public and that gratuitous speculation is pointless.

nadline , 2/27/13 2:29 PM

Fed likes the fingers pointing at Rafa even though he knows it's just idle gossip. Fed is behaving like an old man in the establishment who is still playing. He doesn't behave like a player and is always against anything to improve the life of players.

Such a selfish, smug man Federer is.

nadline , 2/27/13 2:35 PM

Yeah what's the real reason why Fed not into in agreement to publish the result as often as possible? The testing is done anyway, so does it harm anyone if the result made it open to the public? I don't think so, it would be much better because it will clear all the doubts, gossips and rumors about doping, unless the man does not want the public to become aware that he is not being tested regularly. It's becoming clearer.

Raindrops , 2/27/13 3:01 PM

@10:26 am
^^ add 12-15 surprise tests in an year and that will suffice to more than enough.

abhirf , 2/27/13 3:40 PM

@natashao, seriously in which other sports does the governing body declare out the negative results of an athlete on a regular basis?
@holdserve, has Ferrer been tested adequately for HGH? And arent players supposed to improve physically when they grow up? Did Muzz had the same fitness level 2yrs back?
I think what the ATP and ITF are trying to do by carrying out few tests is- saving the money. Given the reluctance they have shown in player's prize money, they dont seem to be the ones ready to expend on anything!

abhirf , 2/27/13 3:55 PM

apart from cycling which has been exposed enough lately, tennis is individual sport and all the accusations are offensive and hurt their image...don't you remember the blog here on tennistalk in which we Rafans had to defend Rafa's image over those false stupid accusations made by certain Frenchmen and then Blake bringing the same thing up again, with all of these stories being used by certain posters here to incriminate Rafa...and it keeps coming up...we Rafans are sick of it, can you imagine how Rafa must be fed up with such is time to make things public and transparent...if not, then all public figures, ex tennis players or current tennis players should automatically be sued for making any type of accusations...In a court of law you are innocent until proven tennis it seems like you're guilty until proven innocent...
I am therefore in favor of making those tests public so that these idiots can leave Rafa and other honest tennis players in peace.

natashao , 2/27/13 4:25 PM

^^^ Well said again. Abhirf is not being objective here; if Fed is the one being accused time and again of doping, I bet his supporters would want all test results being made public, unless Fed hasn't been tested as often as he should like the rest.

luckystar , 2/27/13 4:44 PM

It makes sense, though. Rafa's obviously right about the transparency, and he probably does get unfairly singled out, but we do have transparency. We hear about all tests that ended up being positive; there are so few of those. No one's interested to hear how many times Rafa, Roger, Nole or anyone else was tested, and that they all showed up negative. If there's a positive, we'll immediately hear of it; until then, we assume everyone else passed. Even players who are clearly not cheats, yet fail a test, are widely reported. Just ask poor Richard Gasquet. Try telling him we're not transparent.

DanyalRasool , 2/28/13 12:21 AM

Maybe on second thoughts it would be a good idea to have the resuts of tests published everyday. This way, we'll see how many times which players were tested and how often. Then there won't be these claims by fans as to which player got fingered wrongfully, more often, and who got tested more than others. Despite djokovic winning so much in 2011, he was only tested about 6 times. That's ridiculous. In 2011, most of the top guys got tested very few times, which shows that the testing is not taken seriously at all.

As I mentioned in an earlier post the testing is a joke. The authorities do not do enough blood testing for those drugs which stay in the blood stream longer than others. Most of the drugs that the players are being tested for, are excreted in perspiration and urine, and if the timing of the test is done after several hours have elapsed, then they won't show up in the urine. However, the blood testing can still show traces of the drugs even if the urine does not, and it's usually the best determinant.

scoretracker , 2/28/13 2:57 AM

@luckystar, it's not a matter of my objectivity. Whatever was my opinion, I posted it. I still stand by it. Though as you said, if you as a Rafan felt dejected by the fingers pointed towards him, then you may definitely want to let out the people know the negative results. I do honour your sentiments.
But on a more neutral note, I wouldnt want every negative result to be displayed out there. Just the positive ones will keep me interested enough.

abhirf , 2/28/13 3:42 AM

Well at least a better way is to publish the names of those players who got tested week by week, and highlight those who were being tested positive! Fans of players would at least have a way of knowing that their players are tested and are cleared, or not. I'm sure those information may be of interest to some fans even though some may not (be interested). For those who are not interested, simply ignore it, but don't deprive others the chance of proving their favorite players are clean!

luckystar , 2/28/13 5:06 AM

^^ umm.. Could do that. Or publish the names every 3mths mentioning the no. of times one has undergone the test.

abhirf , 2/28/13 5:18 AM

luckystar, 2/28/13 5:06 AM,

I agree with your thoughts. I think that this is a very reasonable solution. Then we would at least know that the players are being tested.

I think that it's unfair for Rafa to have to take the brunt of accusations, suspicion and innuendo based on nothing. That's why he wants the results to be public. Why should he have to try to disprove a negative that can't even be proved? He's being considered guilty until proven innocent and that's not how it's supposed to be.

We need more transparency and I am for any suggestion that would provide it.

Nativenewyorker , 2/28/13 5:33 AM

Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
3. Federer 8 670 pts
4. Ferrer 6 970 pts
5. Nadal 6 385 pts

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