British Doping Inquiry involves tennis players

Go down

British Doping Inquiry involves tennis players

Post by hawkeye on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 8:26 am

Britain’s sports minister, John Whittingdale, called for an inquiry after a newspaper report alleged that a London-based doctor treated more than 150 sports stars with banned performance-enhancing drugs. Secret filming made public by Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper showed Dr. Mark Bonar of London talking about providing professional athletes — including Premier League soccer players, British Tour de France cyclists, tennis players and a British boxer — with banned substances.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/04/sports/doping-inquiry-sought-in-britain.html?_r=0

This story is all over the media but the focus has been on the claims that premier league soccer players are involved. Football of course is the big sport here in the UK but I'm surprised that Dr Bonors claims that he provided banned substances to British tennis players has so far gone completely under the radar.


Last edited by hawkeye on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 2:47 pm; edited 1 time in total

hawkeye

Posts : 5425
Join date : 2011-06-12

Back to top Go down

Re: British Doping Inquiry involves tennis players

Post by Matchpoint on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 9:12 am

It appears that the source you cited does NOT specifically name "British" tennis players. It only states "tennis players." So the title of your article implicating "British" tennis players is not consistent with the news report, and very misleading, because "tennis players" for me means players from other nationalities as well, not just British.

Matchpoint

Posts : 299
Join date : 2014-11-17
Location : Shangri-La

Back to top Go down

Re: British Doping Inquiry involves tennis players

Post by JuliusHMarx on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 9:27 am

HE, do you have another source that says the tennis players are British? Otherwise maybe the title of the thread ought to be changed.

JuliusHMarx
julius
julius

Posts : 18129
Join date : 2011-07-01
Location : Paisley Park

Back to top Go down

Re: British Doping Inquiry involves tennis players

Post by Born Slippy on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 9:42 am

Yeah, the article said British for a number of areas but did not expressly do so for tennis. The title needs changing.

Born Slippy

Posts : 4372
Join date : 2012-05-05

Back to top Go down

Re: British Doping Inquiry involves tennis players

Post by Matchpoint on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 9:44 am

Agree. The current title seems too hasty and very unfair to British tennis players.

Matchpoint

Posts : 299
Join date : 2014-11-17
Location : Shangri-La

Back to top Go down

Re: British Doping Inquiry involves tennis players

Post by kingraf on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 9:46 am

So I guess given the way Operacion Puerto went down we now believe Murray is doping?
kingraf
kingraf
raf
raf

Posts : 16124
Join date : 2012-06-06
Age : 24
Location : To you I am there. To me I am here.... is it possible that I'm everywhere?

Back to top Go down

Re: British Doping Inquiry involves tennis players

Post by YvonneT on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 1:42 pm

I found the whole story very interesting and at the same time a bit depressing. It made it sound like it's fairly straightforward to get a prescription for something that can be found to be "abnormal" in your blood tests like testosterone, although of course it didn't go into detail about TUEs or how to avoid detection other than mentioning limiting doping to the off-season (which surely still risks the OOC test).

It was interesting how the wording was specific about British for other sports but not specific for tennis. The Sunday Times article did say, as far as I recall, that although they were not publishing names, they had seen clients lists and were handing onto the authorities (UKAD presumably). The most curious thing I saw about this though was on the twitter feed for Christopher Clarey of the New York Times. Apologies I can't link to it just now but he linked to a quote that the tennis players were not pros but top amateurs. I'm a bit of a loss as to why it would be worth a top amateur doping (at the cost level of this doctor), what would be the glory they would be hoping to achieve? I suppose it could be a top junior or a US college athlete or something like that - otherwise surely no-one dopes to win County Week?

YvonneT

Posts : 732
Join date : 2011-12-26

Back to top Go down

Re: British Doping Inquiry involves tennis players

Post by It Must Be Love on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 1:50 pm

He must have been tired, doctors only make mistakes when tired.

It Must Be Love

Posts : 2565
Join date : 2013-08-14

Back to top Go down

Re: British Doping Inquiry involves tennis players

Post by It Must Be Love on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 1:51 pm

This doctor should give up doping practices and go into the field he'd fit in perfectly: Viagra medicine.

Also Hawkeye, everyone is right about the title, it's misleading as it's not yet clarified which nationality the tennis players are from.

It Must Be Love

Posts : 2565
Join date : 2013-08-14

Back to top Go down

Re: British Doping Inquiry involves tennis players

Post by hawkeye on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 2:57 pm

I have changed the title but the way I read it the "British" did apply to the tennis players. In the same way that the sentence "They all wore green hats, coats and shoes" would mean that the coats and shoes were green to. Unless further clarification is provided and specifically says the tennis players were not British then my guess is that the tennis players were British.

The article in the title here is quite specific as it talks about "professional athletes" and includes tennis players in the list. Amateurs are not regulated and the story wouldn't be newsworthy if it didn't involve pro athletes. Nice bit of fudge though.

hawkeye

Posts : 5425
Join date : 2011-06-12

Back to top Go down

Re: British Doping Inquiry involves tennis players

Post by dummy_half on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 3:37 pm

HE

I, and I think others, read the phrasing entirely opposite - there is specific reference to an England cricketer and British cyclist, but nothing to identify the nationality of the tennis player(s) or footballers.

I've seen a bit more information on this elsewhere, which identified the whistle blower as a amateur British cyclist, and that he was only able to provide UKAD with minimal information on other clients of Dr Bonar - one boxer.

Be interesting to see how this plays out. There's a strong suspicion that while Dr Bonar has been supplying some PEDs, he has made up a lot of the stuff that's in the Sunday Times report to 'big up' his importance as a doping doctor.

dummy_half

Posts : 4787
Join date : 2011-03-11
Age : 47
Location : East Hertfordshire

Back to top Go down

Re: British Doping Inquiry involves tennis players

Post by barrystar on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 4:17 pm

kingraf wrote:So I guess given the way Operacion Puerto went down we now believe Murray is doping?

Let me think - a case with genuine physical evidence several busts and a talkative Doctor combined with what seems to be an official desire not to investigate the evidence outside cycling (including a Judicial order that blood bags should be destroyed) against a case where the evidence so far is what a Doctor says whilst being covertly recorded.  Thus far an open mind and a thorough and fair investigation is merited in which all possibilities are left open - from the Doctor telling the truth, or being even just the tip of the iceberg, to his being a fantasist trying to big himself up.  

So, it's not yet quite such a stain on British sport and sports officials as Puerto is for the Spanish equivalent. But if our authorities wish to avoid it spiraling out of control they need to go where the evidence takes them and show nobody any favours.
barrystar
barrystar

Posts : 2960
Join date : 2011-06-03

Back to top Go down

Re: British Doping Inquiry involves tennis players

Post by YvonneT on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 6:37 pm

hawkeye wrote:The article in the title here is quite specific as it talks about "professional athletes" and includes tennis players in the list. Amateurs are not regulated and the story wouldn't be newsworthy if it didn't involve pro athletes. Nice bit of fudge though.
Yeah, that NYT article is specific - I was just reporting what I read and will post the link later. Annoyingly most of the Sunday Times stuff is behind the paywall and everything else is a summary of their reporting. There are amateurs that are subject to WADA regulations but not really in tennis which is why I found it curious.

I do think that many people in the UK think that doping is something that happens in other countries - Russia, China, Kenya etc - and have pre-disposed to assume that UK athletes are "cleaner". Maybe this will get them to challenge their own preconceptions, which is no bad thing. It's clear that anyone anywhere can get access to PEDS. It's also clear that the anti-doping authorities everywhere (however hard they are trying) are up against colluding doctors providing phony evidence for treatments as well as up against masking and other methods to avoid detection.

Of course, in this case, whilst there can be investigations into UKAD's approach to this doctor, I doubt much will come out in terms of any individuals he treated because his records are likely to stick to medical facts and prescriptions for banned substances don't prove that they were actually taken. If the Sunday Times won't name names now, would the press do so even the doctor himself wanted to go public with them?

YvonneT

Posts : 732
Join date : 2011-12-26

Back to top Go down

Re: British Doping Inquiry involves tennis players

Post by YvonneT on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 6:45 pm

Barrystar, I presume that KR was meaning that some people had linked Nadal with the Operation Puerto case, simply because he is Spanish - and so the same standards should apply here to Murray because this is a British doping scandal. I have only a very superficial knowledge of Operation Puerto, but I assume that making that link is unfair to both of them.

YvonneT

Posts : 732
Join date : 2011-12-26

Back to top Go down

Re: British Doping Inquiry involves tennis players

Post by kingraf on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 7:24 pm

Well of course it will be wholly unfair to link either man. A rather easy conclusion to come to when you don't have preconceived bias I suppose
kingraf
kingraf
raf
raf

Posts : 16124
Join date : 2012-06-06
Age : 24
Location : To you I am there. To me I am here.... is it possible that I'm everywhere?

Back to top Go down

Re: British Doping Inquiry involves tennis players

Post by Guest on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 7:31 pm

I knew it!

Boggy you barsteward!

Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: British Doping Inquiry involves tennis players

Post by YvonneT on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 9:53 pm

HE, here's the snippet from Christopher Clarey. I don't have a sub to the Sunday Times, so I had to take it at face value as an extract from one of their articles. I believe he's a respectable NYT journalist so not sure why he'd want to "fudge":
https://twitter.com/christophclarey/status/716674610960404480

If anyone does subscribe to the Times, please feel free to verify or discredit.

YvonneT

Posts : 732
Join date : 2011-12-26

Back to top Go down

Re: British Doping Inquiry involves tennis players

Post by bogbrush on Tue 05 Apr 2016, 7:25 am

legendkillarV2 wrote:I knew it!

Boggy you barsteward!
What did I do now??!!
bogbrush
bogbrush

Posts : 11169
Join date : 2011-04-13

Back to top Go down

Re: British Doping Inquiry involves tennis players

Post by dummy_half on Tue 05 Apr 2016, 10:19 am

Yvonne

The comment Clarey gives seems to be consistent with what other sources are saying. I'm struggling a bit with who these amateur tennis players would be, although I guess there are some competitive amateurs who have sufficient money to use a Harley Street doctor to supply them with steroids for vanity reasons. And I assume there is no doping control at e.g. county level matches.

Actually, the cyclist whistle blower who first named Dr Bonar to UKAD was only an amateur, although presumably was competing at national level hence being exposed to doping control (his sanction was actually for refusing a test rather than an adverse finding). Maybe it will turn out that most of Dr Bonar's clients are at this level rather than more professional*...

* Not that I think all our professional sportspeople are clean, just that I doubt they would be using this rather strange Dr as their doping supplier (noting he is currently under suspension and investigation for some very dodgy treatment of a terminally ill cancer patient). Pretty sure if an EPL club were using doping products, they would have a more direct means of acquiring them than through Dr Bonar.

dummy_half

Posts : 4787
Join date : 2011-03-11
Age : 47
Location : East Hertfordshire

Back to top Go down

Re: British Doping Inquiry involves tennis players

Post by barrystar on Tue 05 Apr 2016, 11:02 am

kingraf wrote:Well of course it will be wholly unfair to link either man. A rather easy conclusion to come to when you don't have preconceived bias I suppose

Quite, the key is the word "link".  My take on drugs is that I have a 'benefit of the doubt' system.  I don't buy into blanket acceptance that every sportsman or woman who has not (yet) tested positive is 100% clean - that way serial disappointment lies.  Instead, in so far as I am at all interested in any sportsman or woman and give the matter some thought, I have a sort of sliding scale in my head as to the extent to which they get the benefit of the doubt from me.  Nobody, not even the sainted Federer or any of 'our British Olympic heroes' gets 100%, but some of them are pretty high, just as others are pretty low.

Things that count with me include what you see when they are performing, the history of the player's attitude towards drugs testing including what they have to say about positive tests in others, how their rivals seem to perceive them, the doctors they use, the people they consort with, whether their sporting/national organisations have a reputation for laxity, and whether there is any medical history in relation to which there is an apparent opportunity to take drugs and a lack of clarity about what has been happening and so on.

Nadal gets a fairly solid benefit of the doubt on my 'scale'.  I think he gets a lot of hostile press treatment based on some less than convincing and largely circumstantial evidence part of which is motivated by jealousy - although he and his entourage have at various times fed the monster with their clumsiness.  As part of my thought process Operacion Puerto and the apparent reluctance of most Spanish sporting authorities to get to grips with it is a bit of circumstantial evidence that has a weight in the balance against most top athletes who are Spanish or trained in Spain until such time as it is cleared up; that is not making a specific link, but acknowledging that it is part of the overall picture.  I do not think that is unfair - in fact I think it would be naive to do anything else.  

Time will tell if the Sunday Times evidence is of a similar type.  

.
barrystar
barrystar

Posts : 2960
Join date : 2011-06-03

Back to top Go down

Re: British Doping Inquiry involves tennis players

Post by dummy_half on Tue 05 Apr 2016, 12:00 pm

Barrystar

An excellent post. I agree that you have to consider things on a case-by-case and person-by-person basis. There are some British athletes I would be very surprised by a positive dope test (including Andy Murray), while not so much for others (various cyclists and track athletes).

I think Britain has historically had much less of a doping culture than other countries, in part because of the differences in sporting culture - certain sports such as cycling have a historic doping culture that goes back to the start of the 20th century, and this has coloured the perception of the use of PEDs in many other western European countries. Additionally, obviously the formerly Communist eastern European countries had a history of systemic and systematic doping, and this also had an impact on some competitor nations like West Germany. Britain relatively less so, although I think we probably have more of a 'doping to be competetive' culture now than was the case 20 or so years ago.

Sports (led by cycling, but also including things like cross country skiing and long distance running) in Spain and Italy embraced oxygen vector doping (i.e. blood doping and then the use of EPO), and clearly Operacion Puerto was one of the consequences of this. I agree that the evidence linking Nadal to Fuentes is very tenuous - Puerto claiming that he worked with some tennis players but no names were ever mentioned and no documentation linking the two has ever come out (unlike a contract between Fuentes and iirc Valencia football club). The main 'evidence' was simply that Nadal had (and still has) a physical style of play and a relatively muscular physique - to describe this even as circumstantial is a stretch.

dummy_half

Posts : 4787
Join date : 2011-03-11
Age : 47
Location : East Hertfordshire

Back to top Go down

Re: British Doping Inquiry involves tennis players

Post by barrystar on Tue 05 Apr 2016, 12:24 pm

@dh - thanks.

The greatest UK male cyclist before Broadman and those who have followed him was Tommy Simpson, and he was a doper for sure.  I think you are right that the relative absence of cyclists in the UK sports pantheon until recently has not exposed the UK public to such an obvious doping culture as its presence has in other countries.  

In relation to "doping to be competitive", I think that there are countries where it is systemic and has been for some time, particularly totalitarian or former totalitarian regimes where the prestige of an Olympic Gold counts for a hell of a lot, and all others where there is not a great deal of difference between their athletes these days.  Whatever differences there were in the past will have narrowed given the propensity of elite athletes to train in the same countries and share coaches and observe cultures and see more about what their competitors are all doing and then bring those attitudes back.  

I wonder if your figure of 20 years has anything to do with the fact that at Atlanta 1996 we had a v. feeble medal haul, and then we started focusing on winning medals with a view to showing the IOC that we 'cared' (rather like Spain had in the lead up to Barcelona 1992).  There's no doubt that cheating follows temptation....
barrystar
barrystar

Posts : 2960
Join date : 2011-06-03

Back to top Go down

Re: British Doping Inquiry involves tennis players

Post by dummy_half on Tue 05 Apr 2016, 1:10 pm

Barrystar

I'm well aware of Tommy Simpson and the circumstances of his death on Mont Ventoux. His case does raise some parallels with the recent Sharapova case - if something isn't banned, or at least is not being tested for (the amphetamines in Simpson's case), is it actually cheating to use them?

20 years was a slightly 'plucked out of the air' figure, although I relate it more to the fall of Communism in Europe, which I suppose is now more like 25 years ago. Suddenly, lots of coaches with knowledge of the East German (for example) system were looking for jobs, and a few of them found their way in to UK sport. Also the early 90s was the start of the EPO era of doping, so the first occasion where endurance sports had a drug that demonstrably improved physiological performance on a day to day basis to such an extent that to be without was to be uncompetetive (previous doping mainly related to faster recovery and increased strength).

I think though you are right to highlight Atlanta as a turning point - I think after that, and with the additional funding that was available through the National Lottery, there has been much less about the Corinthian spirit and a lot more emphasis on success. I agree that this will undoubtedly have pushed some British sportspeople towards artificial aids to their performance.

dummy_half

Posts : 4787
Join date : 2011-03-11
Age : 47
Location : East Hertfordshire

Back to top Go down

Re: British Doping Inquiry involves tennis players

Post by Born Slippy on Tue 05 Apr 2016, 1:33 pm

What classes as an amateur in tennis (and when do you get tested)? For example, would an 18 year old who is still in education but is playing some Futures events with a ranking of c. 700 say qualify as an amateur or a professional?

Born Slippy

Posts : 4372
Join date : 2012-05-05

Back to top Go down

Re: British Doping Inquiry involves tennis players

Post by dummy_half on Tue 05 Apr 2016, 2:19 pm

Born Slippy

You raise an interesting point about what level of competition is subject to doping controls. Notionally, any level of competition sanctioned by a national or international federation that has signed up to WADA's code of conduct can be subject to doping control. Hell, even my University rugby team was potentially testable -doubt they'd have found any drugs that were performance enhancing...

A couple of interesting stories:
1 - Another Welsh rugby player has tested positive for steroids. This was a guy playing in Swalec league 3 East B, which by my reckoning must be at least 5 tiers below the professional levels.
2 - The whistle blower in the Dr Bonar case was a Cat 3 amateur cyclist, so below the level I previously suspected. It appears that some of his competitors had suspicions and so he was subject to a targeted test rather than testing being something routinely undertaken at this level.

As for amateur v pro, I suspect there is little distinction other than for people involved in the US collegiate system, where being paid to play is not permitted.

dummy_half

Posts : 4787
Join date : 2011-03-11
Age : 47
Location : East Hertfordshire

Back to top Go down

Re: British Doping Inquiry involves tennis players

Post by hawkeye on Tue 05 Apr 2016, 9:49 pm

Yvonne T. I'm not sure where that quote that Christopher Clarey posted on his twitter account came from but it wasn't from the original Sunday Times article.

This is interesting from today's Times.

Russia hits back at British sport

Russia has pointed the finger of suspicion at British sport after apparent claims by a doctor that he provided performance-enhancing drugs to more than 150 sports stars.

An independent investigation into the claims has been announced by the government after it emerged that UK Anti-Doping had been given information about Dr Mark Bonar two years ago, but did not alert any other authority.

Russia is embroiled in a drugs scandal after a World Anti-Doping Agency commission last year found “state-sponsored” doping, which led to the country’s athletics federation being banned from international competition.

In what appears to be a direct response, the Russian embassy posted a message on its official Twitter account saying: “Evidence of doping in British sports mounting, investigation should avoid double standards.”

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/sport/why-english-game-may-face-far-worse-doping-problem-than-it-yet-realises-bhw9n3h07

hawkeye

Posts : 5425
Join date : 2011-06-12

Back to top Go down

Re: British Doping Inquiry involves tennis players

Post by YvonneT on Wed 06 Apr 2016, 12:20 am

There was more than one Sunday Times article, but ok - that tweet will remain a mystery I guess.

As for the bit you've quoted from today's Times, it was entirely predictable that would be the reaction from the Russians. UKAD do have to explain their actions though and of course the investigation in that "should avoid double standards".

YvonneT

Posts : 732
Join date : 2011-12-26

Back to top Go down

Re: British Doping Inquiry involves tennis players

Post by laverfan on Wed 06 Apr 2016, 3:16 am

Where is the Mossack Fonseca of the sporting world?

laverfan
Moderator
Moderator

Posts : 11071
Join date : 2011-04-07
Location : NoVA, USoA

Back to top Go down

Re: British Doping Inquiry involves tennis players

Post by Guest on Wed 06 Apr 2016, 1:52 pm

laverfan wrote:Where is the Mossack Fonseca of the sporting world?

In Coleman Penitentiary in Florida Smile

Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: British Doping Inquiry involves tennis players

Post by Henman Bill on Wed 06 Apr 2016, 6:07 pm

The Russian reaction is entirely predictable. In simple terms Russian is a corrupt country and wants to do bad things. It loves to highlight the corruption and other bad things in other countries just to try and take the heat off itself so it can get away with bad things. It's the same in politics. If you've ever seen Russia today, the almost comically embarrassingly state propaganda channel which consistently focuses on minor scandals in the UK or US that no-one else cares about, then you'll be used to this kind of thing.

The Russians make a good point about their plenty of all sorts of corruption in UK, US etc, but it's pretty obvious to everyone that Russia is worse.

Henman Bill

Posts : 5040
Join date : 2011-12-04

Back to top Go down

Re: British Doping Inquiry involves tennis players

Post by YvonneT on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 11:14 pm

hawkeye wrote:Yvonne T. I'm not sure where that quote that Christopher Clarey posted on his twitter account came from but it wasn't from the original Sunday Times article.
This is a PDF of the original Sunday Times article ("How I Doped 150 Sports Stars):https://www.docdroid.net/TZzPpK2/the-doping-scandal.pdf.html
The excerpt Christopher Clarey posted is at the bottom of page 13. So the Times is certainly stating that the tennis players were amateurs. If it is fudge, then it is their fudge.

YvonneT

Posts : 732
Join date : 2011-12-26

Back to top Go down

Re: British Doping Inquiry involves tennis players

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum