Tennis mulls anti-doping step
Tennis mulls anti-doping step
ITF anti-doping manager Stuart Miller told The Associated Press that tennis’ governing federation is working hard to do more blood and out-of-competition tests on players.
In the wake of cyclist Lance Armstrong’s life ban from sports for doping, Roger Federer and Andy Murray have called for more out-of-competition and blood testing in tennis.
Murray called the Armstrong case “pretty shocking.” “You would hate for anything like that to happen to your own sport,” Murray said before the season-ending ATP finals.
Federer said: “We don’t do a lot of blood testing during the year. I’m okay having more of that.” In a phone interview, the ITF’s Miller said: “We’re working hard to try to increase the proportion of out-of-competition testing, and particularly blood testing, and we’ve been working on that for a while.” “I’m hopeful that by the end of the year we’ll have made some inroads into improving that. Like any anti-doping program, we’re subject to resource constraints,” he said.
Cycling, followed by track and field, also runs so-called “biological passport” programs that monitor athletes’ blood readings over time for possible tell-tale indications of doping. The federations for those sports, the UCI and the IAAF, have used evidence of doping gathered from their passport programs to ban athletes and to target others for more testing.
Without giving a fixed timeframe, Miller said “it would be nice” if tennis can establish a similar monitoring system in 2013.
“We are looking very, very carefully at an athlete biological passport program in tennis,” he said.
“I don’t want to say it’s definitely happening until we actually say, ‘Here’s a program. It’s up and running.’ We’re looking at it to ensure that if we do run it, we can run it properly.” The ITF and the World Anti-Doping Agency conducted just 21 out-of-competition blood tests — used to detect the abuse of growth hormone, transfusions using blood from donors, and blood-doping substances CERA and HBOCs — in tennis in 2011.
Just three of those were on women players. ITF statistics on its web site show it didn’t test Serena Williams out of competition at all in 2010 and 2011, years she won the Australian Open and Wimbledon and lost a US Open final. The ITF did test her in competition.
The US Anti-Doping Agency’s web site also shows that before one test in the second quarter of this year, it hadn’t organized a test on the 15-time major winner since 2008.
Williams said last month, “I get tested a lot.” “For me, it’s a pretty intense system, and I know a lot of the players feel the same way,” she said.
Cycling conducted 6,500 more tests than tennis on professional road racers last year and an average of nine tests per rider, compared to an average 3.4 tests per player in tennis.
Of the 642 tested tennis players, 510 were not tested out of competition at all in 2011. By way of comparison, Canadian cyclist Ryder Hesjedal, winner of the Giro d’Italia, has had 22 urine tests and 13 blood controls so far this year.
The ITF budget shows it spent $1.3 million on testing in 2011, which Miller said doesn’t include salaries and other operating expenses.
That is less than Federer and Williams each pocketed for winning the men and women’s singles titles at Wimbledon this year.
Cycling says it spent $4.7 million on testing alone in 2011, with teams, riders, race organizers and the UCI all contributing.
Ramadel Falcao, Juan Cuadrado and Yerry Mina star as stylish Colombia break Polish hearts
- The disappointing Poland became the first European side eliminated from the tournament
- The South Americans’ bid for a place in the last 16 will be determined by the results from their final game with Senegal
KAZAN: Radamel Falcao, Yerry Mina and Juan Cuadrado scored as stylish Colombia boosted their World Cup last 16 hopes with a comprehensive 3-0 win over Poland on Sunday.
In a match destined to see the loser sent home after the group stages, Colombia overcame a nervous start against Adam Nawalka’s men to move up to third place in Group H, one point behind Japan and Senegal.
The disappointing Poland became the first European side eliminated from the tournament.
“I’m very sorry and very sad about the result, but tomorrow’s another day and we have to come to terms with things,” said Poland coach Adam Nawalka.
“Our players did their best until the end of the game. We lost to a very strong team and this is something we have to accept.
“I extend my congratulations to Colombia.”
The South Americans’ bid for a place in the last 16 will be determined by the results from their final game with Senegal, who drew 2-2 with Japan earlier in the day.
Colombia’s march to the quarter-finals in Brazil four years ago came thanks to James Rodriguez’s six-goal tally for Los Cafeteros.
And days after a troublesome calf injury restricted him to a half-hour cameo role as 10-man Colombia stumbled to a 2-1 defeat against Japan, the Bayern Munich midfielder was back to his best.
Starting alongside Juan Quintero and Cuadrado on the right, Colombia’s ultra-offensive starting line-up was a forewarning.
After riding a tense start that forced Mina and then Wilmar Barrios to react quickly to thwart early threats from Robert Lewandowski, Colombia eventually got into their stride.
Cuadrado was wasteful on several occasions when finding space deep on the right flank.
The Juventus winger’s trickery would eventually pay dividends, but it was Falcao — who has dreamed all his life of scoring a World Cup goal — who turned on the style, dancing through the Polish defense to win the corner that led to Colombia’s opener.
Rodriguez’s short corner eventually found Quintero, whose smart through ball back to Rodriguez gave him time and space to curl a perfect left-footed cross that Mina rose to header powerfully past Szczesny on 40 minutes.
Colombia resumed in positive fashion, Cuadrado holding up well to set up Falcao for a first-time drive that sailed over Szczesny’s crossbar.
A Colombia counter saw Falcao’s drive from the edge of the area deflected out for a corner.
Nawalka replaced Dawid Kownacki with the more experienced Kamil Grosicki and the switch almost paid dividends.
Only the bravery of goalkeeper David Ospina saved Colombia from conceding what looked like the equalizer when he rushed out to block from Lewandowski after the Bayern Munich striker did well to get a shot away from a long ball from midfield.
Poland threatened again, but when Lewandowski got his head to a cross into the area he was marked by both Mina and Davinson Sanchez.
Colombia, however, were not to be denied.
When right-back Sanitago Arias found Quintero, the midfielder sliced Poland’s defense apart with a low pass that found Falcao on the run before he beat Szczesny down low with the outside of his right boot.
Five minutes later, Rodriguez produced arguably the assist of the night, drawing several Polish players on the left flank before somehow finding Cuadrado on the run with a superb cross-field pass that the pacey winger tucked away.