It wasn't just the meth. It's not just the on court rages. And no it's not the hair piece. Can we forget the hair piece? Now it's admitting that he tanked his 1996 AO semifinal match to Michael Chang so that he wouldn't have to play Boris Becker.
My friend Lucio Lopez provided me with a side by side translation from the Spanish of Marcelo Rios 2004 statements. I like to put the original language in the translation since there are nuances that may not translate well into English. Lucio did this in between performing his regular life duties as a doctor. Thank you Lucio.
Está claro que el tenis mundial vive un momento de ebullición tras la salida a la luz de los casos de doping del argentino Mariano Puerta y del británico Greg Rusedski. Y más aún luego de las declaraciones de este último, que afirmó que "de los mejores 120 del ranking de la ATP, hay 43 con índices de nandrolona por encima de lo permitido".
It is clear that tennis is going through a boiling point after the doping cases of Argentine Mariano Puerta and British Greg Rusedski have seen the light. Even more so after the latter’s declarations, where he stated that “of the best 120 in the ATP ranking, there are 43 with levels of nandrolone above the permitted”.
Ahora, el chileno Marcelo Ríos alimentó la controversia. En declaraciones publicadas por el diario La Tercera, el Chino disparó contra la ATP. "Yo sé que si le detectan a (Andre) Agassi nandrolona, no lo van a decir. El es un tipo muy fuerte en el tenis y el tenis se vendría abajo si lo agarran con doping. La ATP no lo diría", acusó Ríos.
Now, the Chilean Marcelo Rios has fueled the controversy. En public declarations published by La Tercera newspaper, El Chino fired against the ATP, “I know that if they detect nandrolone in Agassi, they will not say it. He is a very strong person in tennis and tennis would devaluate if they match him with doping. The ATP would not tell.”, accused Rios.
El ex número 1 del mundo se refirió a ciertos "privilegios" que recibirían los tenistas más reconocidos. "Los sudamericanos lo hemos discutido bastante. Es un tema complicado. No tengo problemas en decirlo: siempre nos preguntamos quién te certifica que le hacen el control a Agassi o quién le hace el examen a Sampras...", afirmó Ríos.
The World ex –number referred to certain “privileges” that the more known tennis players would receive. “(We) The South Americans have discussed it a lot. It’s a complicated issue. I have no problems in saying it: we always wonder who certifies that Agassi is controlled or who performs the exam on Sampras…”, stated Rios.
Y contó una anécdota sobre un hecho muy llamativo que involucra directamente a Andre Agassi durante un torneo del circuito. "Hay un caso en Australia donde hubo un control y él (por Agassi) desapareció diciendo que al hijo lo iban a raptar".
And he told an anecdote about a very suspicious event that involves Andre Agassi directly during a tournament in the tour. “There’s a case in Australia where there was a control and him (Agassi) disappeared saying that they were going to kidnap his son.”
Ti, this article status the same things, I’m only translating the new stuff that appears.
El "Chino" profundizó aún más y recordó un hecho en especial: "Hay un caso que hubo en Australia (N de la R: en 2002), donde hubo un control y él (Agassi) desapareció, diciendo que al hijo lo iban a raptar... A mí me encantaría mandar a que le hicieran dóping y yo decir 'oye, yo quiero ver y certificar que se lo están haciendo'. Porque no sé quién manda, quién decide a quién se lo hacen".
(the bolded part is the Australia anecdote again, what follows after the bold is new):
“… I would love to have him tested and say “hey, I want to see and certify that he’s being tested”. Because I don’t know who’s in charge, who decides who is tested.”.
yo sé que si le pillan a Agassi nandrolona, no lo van a decir. El es un tipo muy fuerte en el tenis, y el tenis se vendría abajo si le pillan un dóping. El ATP no lo diría. Son organizaciones tan fuertes que Agassi sería un problema si sale positivo
(same MO, this one adds to the ATP keeping silent if Agassi were to be caught comment)
“…They are such strong organizations that Agassi would be a problem were he to test positive.”
(I assume that Rios refers to Andre as an organization)
En Pontevedra, Florida, donde está el cuartel general de la ATP, no reaccionaron muy agradados ante los dichos de Ríos, pero la respuesta fue más técnica que pasional: "Los procedimientos son muy básicos y están claramente especificados para todo el mundo en nuestra página web (www.atptennis.com) y se demuestra cuántas veces se le han hecho controles a los jugadores... Nosotros no tenemos favoritos y tampoco tenemos algo contra los sudamericanos", di-jo a La Tercera Greg Sharko, director de Comunicaciones de la ATP, quien además no cree que por estas declaraciones el "Chino" pueda recibir una sanción.
Más al oeste, en las oficinas de Agassi Enterprises, en Las Vegas, evitaron realizar cualquier comentario hasta que Perry Rogers, representante del tenista, regrese de un viaje de negocios en Los Angeles.
In Pontevedra, Florida, where the ATP headquarters lie, Rios’ comments did not sit very well, but the answer was more technical than passionate: “The procedures are very basic and are clearly specified for everyone a tour website (ATPtennis.com) and it shows how many times the players have been tested… We don’t have favorites and neither do we have anything against the South Americans.” said to La Tercera Greg Sharko, director of ATP Communications, who Besides doesn’t believe that “El Chino” could be sanctioned for his statements.
Further to the West, in the offices of Agassi Enterprises, in Las Vegas, they avoided any commentary until Perry Rogers, his manager, returns from a business trip in LA.
Nuestro deporte está a la cabeza en los controles antidóping", opinó el estadounidense Agassi. "El tenis está limpio", añadió su compatriota Roddick. Rusedski denunció días atrás que más de 40 jugadores controlados por la ATP dieron positivo por nandrolona, como él, e insinuó que este esteroide está ampliamente difundido en el circuito. Sin embargo, la Asociación dijo que 36 tenistas presentaron niveles elevados de la sustancia, pero que estaban debajo del nivel considerado dóping (dos nanogramos por mililitro). A las críticas del inglés se les sumaron las del chileno Marcelo Ríos, ex número uno del mundo. "Son organizaciones tan fuertes que Agassi sería un problema si sale positivo. La ATP no lo diría", declaró Ríos.
“Our sport is at the head in antidoping controls.” expressed the American Agassi. “Tennis is clean.” (present tense) , added his compatriot Roddick. Rusedski denounced in recent days that more than 40 players controlled by the ATP came back positive for nandrolone, as him, and insinuated that this steroid is spreaded amply in the tour. However, the Asociation said that 36 players presented high levels of this substance, but that they were below the level considered as doping (two nanograms per milimeter). Former world number one, Chilean Marcelo Rios, added to the British’s critiques. “They are such strong organizations that Agassi would be a problem were he to test positive. The ATP would not tell.”, declared Rios.
Then there are these comments by Nicolas Escude of France made in 2002. Emphasis mine.
Drug Testing Under Fire
Nicolas Escudé, along with several top French players, harshly criticized the ATP for its drug-testing program in interviews with Le Parisien, a French publication. Escudé was quoted as saying, ''To say tennis is clean, that's wishful thinking.'' Also criticizing the tour's chief executive, Mark Miles, Escudé added: ''They tell me there are files that can't be opened. What can they be, if not files on doping? If these files exploded, tennis would be in bad shape for six months. But it would be a bad thing for a good cause.''
ATP Tour officials defended themselves by citing the intense testing scrutiny the players are under. Last year, in ATP events alone, there were 542 in-competition tests and 50 out-of-competition screenings. The top 10 players were tested an average of 3.8 times each.
This year, the Tour has increased testing in competition by 20 percent and out of competition by 100 percent, David Higdon, a Tour spokesman, said.
The majors also conduct drug testing of players. In the past year, only one player, Argentina's Guillermo Coria, has violated the Tennis Anti-Doping Program. He tested positive for metabolites of nandrolone, which he said he unknowingly consumed while taking a contaminated nutritional supplement. But as rigid as the Tour's testing is, there is no screening process in place for EPO, a banned endurance booster.
''We're always looking for ways to stay ahead of the curve,'' Miles said.
Last month, the ATP switched from a United States-based testing company to a Swedish firm, in part because of its advanced blood-testing capabilities. Soon, the ATP hopes to incorporate an EPO test into its Tennis Anti-Doping Program.
In the same Tennis Notebook NY Times reporter Selena Roberts reports the following:
Juan Carlos Ferrero was concocting a devilish blend of drop shots and forehand winners in a cold drizzle when Andre Agassi ended the young Spaniard's assault with the crook of his finger.
Agassi motioned to the chair umpire, who summoned the French Open referee, Stefan Fransson, to the court. After a few words with Agassi, and a nod toward a baffled Ferrero, Fransson suspended the men's quarterfinal match around 7 p.m. even though play on the outside courts continued.
Call it the perks of superstardom and the trickle-down effect of star power. That's how the annoyed Spaniards saw it. Thirteen minutes into the resumption of play, after a five-hour rain delay that had halted the match in the sixth game of the first set, Agassi had lost two of the first three games.
Down by 6-3, 1-0 and with Ferrero locked in on his shots, it was to Agassi's advantage for his opponent to sleep on his hot start. Who knows if Ferrero can replicate the same flawlessness on Thursday?
Visibly upset after the match was suspended for the day, Ferrero said, ''I didn't say anything'' when Fransson came onto the court at Agassi's request. One person from Ferrero's camp added: ''Andre canceled the match. No one asked Juan Carlos.''
Although he could not explain why the juniors kept playing on the outside courts today, Fransson dismissed the notion that Agassi influenced his decision to end play on center court. ''I can't do much about the perception,'' he said.
Agassi did not stick around to discuss the matter. Wearing a ski cap on his head, but still in his tennis shorts, Agassi hustled out of the building 15 minutes after the match was suspended.
In his wake, there was anger. Not only did the decision to suspend Agassi's match disrupt the 22-year-old Ferrero's groove, it also meant that Alex Corretja's rain-delayed quarterfinal from Tuesday had no chance to be completed, either. If it was too dismal on center court for one match, it was too dismal for Corretja's.
''Yesterday, he played until 9:45 p.m., to when you couldn't see,'' said Corretja's coach, Javier Duarte. ''Tonight, it's early. Why now? I don't like it.''
Corretja wouldn't have needed much daylight to win his quarterfinal against Andrei Pavel. It would have been no contest. After Corretja left the court with a lead of 7-6 (5), 7-5, 4-5 on Tuesday night, Pavel left Paris today to be by his wife's side for the birth of their baby.
''I've been here all day,'' Corretja said. ''I've been waiting and now I don't know what to say.''
He'll have to wait for Thursday. So will Ferrero. Perhaps seeking a turn in momentum, hoping to ice Ferrero overnight, Agassi managed to end the day early with the crook of his finger.
Maybe this answers some of the questions about why no one is really rallying around Agassi. And this is just what is known publicly.
I'll end with Marat Safin's comment.
"How they will escape this situation -- this is the ATP's and Agassi's problem."
Despite being diagnosed with H1N1 Tommy Haas expects to play Bercy.
Serena Williams now holds the WTA 2009 earnings record. Her winnings totalled $6.5 million.
There are people trying to talk up an ATP version of Bali. My first response is no. So is my second.
I hope you enjoyed the pictures from Bali.