Friday, March 26, 2010

Tennis Talk

by Savannah

American Tennis Player Facing Two Year Doping Ban

Sam Lienert reports the following:

American tennis player Wayne Odesnik faces a possible two-year ban after pleading guilty to importing human growth hormone (HGH) into Australia.

Customs officers found eight vials, each containing 6mg of HGH, in Odesnik's baggage, when he arrived in Australia in January to play in the Brisbane International and Australian Open.

The American 24-year-old, ranked No.98 in the world, pleaded guilty in the Brisbane Magistrates Court to importing the hormone and was fined $8000 and ordered to pay $1142.80 in costs.

Odesnik made the quarter-finals in Brisbane, and reached the second round of the Australian Open, for which he picked up a $31,500 pay cheque.

The matter will now be referred to the International Tennis Federation (ITF).

Under the World Anti-Doping Authority (WADA) code - to which the ITF is a signatory - the penalty for possession of a prohibited substance is a two-year ban from the sport.

This incident occurred before Guillermo Canas became Odesnik's coach. Felix Mantilla coached Odesnik for a short time. Some are reporting otherwise.

This and That

Tommy Haas is now officially playing for the United States instead of Germany. He recently became an American citizen.
ETA: Not true. Someone at the ATP apparently jumped the gun. I apologize.


This is the only non action shot I found of Venus Williams new dress. I think I like it.


lynney62 said...

Ah...I love V's dress! Can't quite see the insignia (my old eyes) but I assume it's her design.....that girl is just super-talented in all kinds of areas! Love the RED (my fav color!)

Karen said...

Savannah, I know your feelings about how you think the establishment pulled a fast one over Canas and reading through everything that happened I can sort of see your point, but come on, this just casts a whole pall over his doping situation. Immediately he becomes the coach, or rather, in a matter of weeks of him either assuming coaching duties, or purported to become the coach of Odesnik, the fellow gets caught with vials of HGH. To be fair, there is a player quote in the article posted at that anyone who saw Odesnik knew that he was doping having regard to the fact that he had a huge barrel chest but still had skinny legs and that his back was covered with zits. I guess that rules out tons of players that people have been saying are using drugs, since there are clearly tell tale signs when a player is doping. What really amazes me though in this whole thing is that tennis does not test for HGH. I find that remarkably incredible. There are so many fingers being pointed at players just because of their physique and/or muscalature that this only fuels the fire that there are players out there who are using HGH or other forms of steroids and are not being caught by anti-doping authorities because they are not being tested for it.

Savannah said...

I don't think there is a good test for HGH yet Karen. Keep in mind this happened in January and is just now being publicized. Canas was not his coach then.

rabbit said...

According to this article, Odesnik has been training with Canas since December. Of course, another way to look at this is that Canas can't escape bad luck.

Karen said...

OK then so the article that rabbit just posted made Canas look even worse. I have to say that he has never been one of my favourite players and frankly speaking if there is doping going on in tennis then it behoves the authorities to take a stand on this. I am wondering why if this happened in January why is it just now being made public and I can only think of one answer: the AO authorities did not want the news to cast a pall over the Australian Open which I think is the correct decision. Can you imagine the fingers that would have been pointed (and indeed are now being pointed at players) who either: retired, took bathroom breaks, took their bags with them to the bathroom break, was able to find a second wind, were chasing down balls, did not seem to be getting tired, who were serving aces at will, who looked like their legs could last all day long ... the list goes on.

Craig said...

I'm sorry, but could someone explain to me how Canas is responsible for what Odesnik is carrying around in his luggage?

Helen W said...

Amazing! The doping charges that ruined Canas' career were so specious. Now he is being held responsible for something Odesnik did? Wow, the guy just can't catch a break can he?

Savannah said...

There are people who want to take the weight off of another American player caught doping. It's convenient to blame Canas whose reputation and career were destroyed by allegations that proved to be, as Helen said, specious.

From comments posted elsewhere other players said they knew he was doping because his chest was huge while his legs were spindly and that he had zits all over his back. This is way before Canas came on the scene but people are going to play the "guilt by association" game and try to say it wasn't Odesnik's fault.

My question is why, after he was caught, was he allowed to play the AO at all? We the fans are just finding out about this but I'm sure the USTA and ATP as well as Tennis Australia knew immediately. We shouldn't be fooled by diversionary tactics and we must keep asking questions.

Karen said...

Canas may not have been responsible but as Helen and Savannah have said he must be the unluckiest guy in the world. On the eve of his retirement the player that he is supposedly been working with since December of last year (or providing advice to) has been caught with HGH entering Australia. Whether Canas knew or not is to some people completely irrelevant having regard to the fact that not a lot of people in tennis are going to believe that as his coach, and for someone who himself has been tainted with the brush of doping, did not at some point know that Odesnik was juicing. It is the same thing with OJ. He may have been found not guilty by a jury of his peers but to this day there are those who say that he killed his ex-wife and her friend. The evidence does not put him there but public opinion did, as well as his actions. Circumstantial evidence is a hell of a thing.

Craig said...

Canas has been fighting for his reputation ever since the system screwed him unrelentingly.

Why would he take on a charge if HE KNEW HE WAS DOPING?

It makes no sense.

I'd also like to mention that when coaches are suspected of helping a charge with their doping (you know the ones I'm talking about) the charges don't get caught carrying vials of drugs around.


If some players suspected Odesnik had been doping for years, and players would know before anyone else, I would imagine, then Canas' need not be burdened by "circumstantial evidence" claims that he had anything to do with it except, of course, by those who are still pissed at him for beating Federer twice in a row a few years ago.

Helen W said...

Exactly, Craig!

And IIRC, Federer could not resist making some snide remarks about Canas' doping after he got beaten by him. Surprise (not).