Thursday, December 23, 2010

Ho!Ho!Ho!

by Savannah

Don't start. I am not calling anyone a "ho". Some people still believe in Santa Claus. I'm not one of them. Wayne Odesnik may be though. In one of the most bizarre drug case rulings in sports the ITF issued the following statement yesterday.

ITF Press Release
Decision in the case of Wayne Odesnik
London, England, 22 Dec 2010 - The International Tennis Federation announced today that Wayne Odesnik, who has been serving a period of ineligibility for committing an Anti-Doping Rule Violation under Article C.6 of the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme (Possession of a Prohibited Substance), has had the remaining twelve months of his ineligibility suspended pursuant to Article M.5.3 of the Programme, on account of ongoing Substantial Assistance provided by Mr Odesnik in relation to the enforcement of professional rules of conduct. As a result, Mr Odesnik will be eligible to compete again as from 29 December 2010.

The Tennis Anti-Doping Programme is a comprehensive and internationally recognised drug-testing programme that applies to all players competing at tournaments sanctioned by the ITF, ATP, and WTA. Players are tested for substances prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency and upon a finding that an Anti-Doping Rule Violation has been committed, sanctions are imposed in accordance with the requirements of the World Anti-Doping Code.


What did Odesnik do to get such a nice holiday gift? Tennis.com reports the following:

Odesnik ban reduced in return for HGH info December 22, 2010

Wayne Odesnik, who was banned from the tour after being discovered with HGH at Brisbane airport in January, has had his suspension reduced after providing the ITF with information and assistance, presumably related to revelations about his doping activity and others who may have been involved.

Odesnik will be free to return on December 29.

Under the anti-doping code, players may received reduced sanctions for providing "substantial assistance" to anti-doping authorities. A reduction of one year indicates the information was likely sustantial.

The ITF did not release details of what Odesnik disclosed.


Odesnik released the following statement through his lawyer:

"I am thrilled that I can return to the game and compete in the sport about which I am truly passionate. I have learned a lot during my time away from competitive tennis and I know have even a greater appreciation for what a privilege it is to be a professional athlete. I want to take this opportunity to thank my family, true close friends and fans who have stood by me during this difficult time; I am deeply grateful and humbled by your support."


I bet he gets a nice warm welcome in the locker room.

The Matches For Africa

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Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer played to sold out arena's in Zurich, Switzerland and Madrid, Spain Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. The exhibitions were for their related charities and raised $5 million dollars, about $2.5 million per event.
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In Zurich the players entered from the mists of time.
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In Madrid the players were escorted in by children echoing the team entrances from the World Cup.

It was absolutely no surprise who won where. In the States Patrick McEnroe and Chris Fowler focused on what the players were showing for the 2011 season, a good tactic. They did seem to expect saucy banter but both men were pretty serious on court. There was some levity but it wasn't comic in any shape form or fashion.
There was the unique photo op presented when Roger picked Rafa up at the airport. There was also a picture posted on Roger's site showing the flight from Zurich to Madrid.
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It looks like someone missed their nap.
Wedding Bells
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Martina HIngis married fellow equestrian Thibault Hutin. He's not some gold digger though. His mother gifted them the Bridal Suite at the Georges V hotel in Paris. The wedding ceremony will be next year. Some people made a big deal about Martina being 30 and Thibault being 24. She's not into cougar territory yet people. All we can do is wish them well.

Cheap is Expensive
Tennis legend Pete Sampras, in the process of moving, stored his trophies in a storage locker. Someone liked the way they shone and made off with most of them. Pete is taking a lot of heat for using such a pedestrian method to store his trophies. There's a reason he's rich people. There is no truth to the rumor that Andre Agassi was being sought for questioning.

The Brat Squad aka Juniors
Bernard Tomic continues his charm offensive down under, offensive being the operative word. Australia recently held it's Wild Card playoffs. Tomic told Tennis Australia that he was too ill to compete and they gave him a pass. Trouble is two days later he was spotted practicing. TA was not amused. Some say Tomic assumed he was getting a WC anyway and that there was no reason for him to sweat with the masses in the playoffs. It was announced this morning that Jelena Dokic, runner up in the women's playoff, and Peter Luczak, also a runner up in the Playoffs, have been granted WC's into the Main Draw.

The ITF released it's year end top ten junior rankings this week.
Boys Ranking (20 Dec 2010)

1 Juan Sebastian GOMEZ COL 1171.25
2 Marton FUCSOVICS HUN 962.5
3 Jiri VESELY CZE 922.5
4 Damir DZUMHUR BIH 913.75
5 Dominic THIEM AUT 896.25
6 Tiago FERNANDES BRA 862.5
7 Roberto QUIROZ ECU 840
8 Duilio BERETTA PER 813.75
9 Agustin VELOTTI ARG 782.5
10 Mate PAVIC CRO 771.25

Girls Ranking (20 Dec 2010)

1 Daria GAVRILOVA RUS 1395
2 Elina SVITOLINA UKR 1010
3 Lauren DAVIS USA 972.5
4 Monica PUIG PUR 962.5
5 Irina KHROMACHEVA RUS 926.25
6 Kristyna PLISKOVA CZE 913.75
7 Timea BABOS HUN 910
8 Karolina PLISKOVA CZE 903.75
9 Saisai ZHENG CHN 827.5
10 An-Sophie MESTACH BEL 795

Lauren Davis is the only player from the United States ranked in the top ten. Not very good news for the USTA.

Rumor Control

A gossip site reported that Serena Williams has an infection in her foot and that she will not be back until April. There was some disbelief since the site is, well, a gossip site. There haven't, to my knowledge, been any denials.


End Note



Seasons Greetings to everyone.

7 comments:

TennisAce said...

Happy Christmas to you and your family Savannah. Thanks for the great write ups and even though we may not have agreed on everything, at the end of the day, we agree on one thing, we are ardent tennis fans who really love this sport.

I am not sure what we expected from the Odesnik fiasco but all I can say is that the loser in this is tennis. The fact that the ITF is relying on a convicted cheat to provide them with information on other cheats shows that whatever testing programme or other programmes the ITF/ATP/WTA have in place is clearly not working. It makes tennis look bad and it puts a pall over every single athlete in tennis.

Now, whenever an athlete withdraws or takes time off due to a legitimate injury, then all that is going to happen is that there will be widespread speculation as to whether it is a legitimate injury or a drug suspension that is being served.

Anyway, this is my favourite time of the year and I am looking forward with renewed optimism to the 2011 Season.

To everyone else who posts here have a wonderful Christmas and all the best for the New Year.

Savannah said...

Tennis can't have it both ways re doping TennisAce. Some of us said after Gasquet got off with the "Pamela Defense" that it would set a bad precedent in sports. Sure enough I read a month or two ago that an athlete is saying he was kissed by someone and that that caused a false positive.

All of us want our sport to recognized as one of the top in the world but TPTB insist on acting as if no one is watching or paying attention.

This, like "Pamela" will end up biting our sport in the ass.

And Merry Christmas to you and your family!

Craig Hickman said...

Merry Christmas, Savannah.

Craig Hickman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
oddman said...

Merry Christmas to you and yours, Savannah! Haven't posted much here, but I still lurk about. It's been a great season for us, no? Hope 2011 is just as exciting.

Christian said...

Merry Christmas, Savannah!

love40 said...

Savannah, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and the family!