Friday, November 6, 2009

Rules Are Rules

by Savannah

I thought I was finished with the WTA for this year. Yes there is a tournament being played in Bali Tthe women who won the WTA Interational events are playing for their own trophy. I've said before I have no idea why they're playing this tournament at this time but out of respect for the players I've held back on criticism of the event.

Then a funny thing happened. A few weeks ago Belgian player Yanina Wickmayer was cited for missing three appointments with the anti doping people. She said that she had trouble with her password or some such nonsense but it was said that she'd receive nothing more that a slap on the wrist and be able to continue playing hence her presence in Bali.

While on the road to Bali a lot happened in tennis and suddenly Wickmayer found herself suspended for a year for flaunting the WADA rules of availability. Her fans are up in arms about it and many have said the suspension is unfair. I don't. Rules are rules. To let her get away with thumbing her nose at the controls put in place to ensure the sport is as clean as can be would allow other players to offer a "the dog ate my homework" defense for missing checks.

You should know that whenever something like this happens an "official statement" is put out by the WTA and sent out to the media. I kept looking for it last night but went to bed without seeing an official mailing.

It turns out that I was looking in the wrong place. An official statement was issued and is posted below. The statement was posted on the tournament web site. It was made by Stacey Allaster.

Following the withdrawal of Yanina Wickmayer from the Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions, WTA Tour Chairman and CEO Stacey Allaster stated:
"As reported this morning, the Flemish Doping Tribunal has informed Yanina Wickmayer that effective immediately they are suspending her from competition due to three filing failures under the Belgian anti-doping whereabouts programme. With this information Yanina herself has voluntarily withdrawn from the tournament and as a matter of policy the tour will not make comment on an ongoing tennis anti-doping matter."

"Yanina can appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport."

Wickmayer’s place will be taken by tournament alternate Vera Dushevina, who will play Anabel Medina Garrigues in the last match on Friday. However, she will not inherit Wickmayer’s 1-0 record in the Group.

Kimiko Date Krumm will advance to the semi-finals from Group C, as even if Garrigues beats Dushevina to match Date Krumm’s 1-1 win/loss record, Date Krumm will advance having a head-to-head win/loss record over Garrigues at this event.

Many are saying that this is because of Andre Agassi's admissions regarding his use of crystal meth and the ATP allowing him to get away with it. It could be, I don't know. It's going to be very interesting when Justine Henin returns to the tour after her eighteen month retirement.

Fed Cup

Mary Joe Fernandez is taking the United States team of Vania King, Alexa Glatch, Melanie Oudin and Liezel Huber into Italy to determine who will claim the Fed Cup starting Saturday. No one gives them a snowball's chance in hell. I should remind you that during Fed Cup and Davis Cup I bleed red, white and blue. Go USA!

End Notes

I have no intention of watching 60 Minutes on Sunday.

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