Thursday, November 01, 2007

Thursday Roundup

Fox News reports tennis player Martina Hingis is retiring following a positive test for cocaine at Wimbledon. She says she had a private test done that was negative, but is unwilling to take two years at age 27 to fight the charges. She'd been in a second-act after a long layoff early in her career, and doesn't think she has the motivation to do it again.

The VeloNews reports that a University clinic and two doctors residences in the Freiberg area of Germany has been searched by police in the continuing investigation of doping at T-Mobile. This could just be the beginning of problems facing the doctors and the clinic:

Germany is due to implement a new law on November 1 (today) aimed at battling against doping in sport. It includes provision for a prison sentence of up to 10 years for those involved in the supply of doping products

The CyclingNews quotes sources within the WADA accredited lab in Lausanne who say that despite the negative publicity of the Landis affair in 2006 and the UCI "pledge" there was still widespread doping at the 2007 Tour de France. Lab director Martial Saugy cites EPO, testosterone, and especially HGH use, but none of the samples were found to be at a levels high enough to constitue a positive:

The director of the WADA-accredited Swiss Laboratory for Analysis of Doping in Lausanne, Switzerland, has told Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws that he believed there was still widespread doping in the Tour de France this year. "47 out of 189 riders raced on blood transfusions or EPO," Martial Saugy alleged. "We have been able to show this from the samples taken at the health controls."

Still, Saugy added that these test results did not fulfil the requirements to be declared as 'positive'. "It is appalling, but we find so many test results that undoubtedly point to manipulation," he continued. "But there is a big difference between a suspicious sample and one that can be declared positive."

There are also further details on the Freiberg clinic raids in Germany that took place yesterday.

Bloomberg posts comments from outgoing WADA president Dick Pound who spoke recently in London. He states that doping continues to increase in sports due to the governing bodies who are "drifting along" and taking too little action. Pound predictably saved his harshest criticism for cycling:

"They reaped as they sowed,'' said Pound."They let it happen and now they have to try to get rid of it.''

The Times Online presents a first for even marginally Floyd Landis related posts, an article about snow skiing. A new device called the ski-mojo sure sounds like performance enhancement to us, but do we really want to take all the fun out of suffering on the slopes?

The NY Times writes that USA Track and Field has banned ipods and other similar devices not just for safety reasons. Can "Badlands" really be considered a PED?

Mike Cass read an article about the uneven justice meted out over doping offenses throughout the sports world and feels that baseball players suffer far too few consequences for their action in comparison to cyclists accused of doping.

Go Faster Jim is a bit dubious about the announcement coming out of Lausanne this morning that many riders doped at the Tour de France this year. He wonders if someone merely wants to see his name in print, and cites some in the Landis case who he feels were seeking publicity.

Phekimian has posted more pics on Flickr of Floyd Landis at a recent LA Triathlon Club dinner. Nice shots.


Bob Thomas said...

Tennis Player Decides That She Would Rather Switch Than Fight?

A Fox News report about Martina Hingis says that she tested positive for cocaine at Wimbledon. The B test allegedly confirms the A test. She claims that she is innocent and has test results to back her claim. Rather that bankrupt herself in what would most likely be an exorbitantly expensive battle against the anti-doping authorities she has decided to retire.

Perhaps all athletes subject to testing will have to strike to bring things around to where they

1. Are innocent till proven guilty.
2. Questioning the anti-doping authorities does not bankrupt you.

Imagine the holes in sports programming if all athletes decided to sit down for a whole 48 hour weekend.