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What the ITU investigation tells me

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What the ITU investigation tells me Empty What the ITU investigation tells me

Post by bogbrush Wed 27 Jan 2016, 11:08 am

It tells me that the sport is hard-wired to cover up bad PR.

It tells me that the cancer that has infected Football and Athletics is alive and flourishing in tennis. I am not so naive as to imagine this is anything other than indicative of a pattern of behaviour.

And it tells me that I have even stronger reason to believe that doping is a serious problem in the sport, and that if it ever came out it would cause a meltdown.
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Post by HM Murdock Wed 27 Jan 2016, 11:25 am

Sport, politics, business, the financial system, the media... all the same.

If this were a UK institution, we could expect the usual "nobody to blame, lessons will be learned".

As this is international in flavour, and there are probably a few lowly-ranked players who can be punished with the minimum of financial fallout, there may be action of sorts here.

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Post by bogbrush Wed 27 Jan 2016, 11:30 am

Undoubtedly there will be easy scapegoats. We might even have heard of a few of them.

Yes, this is the World in which we live.
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Post by coolpixel Wed 27 Jan 2016, 11:33 am

for me the problem lies with any sports administration body. all these organisations, FIFA, IOC, IAAF, ATP, et al, are so obtuse and unaccountable to anyone, that its no surprise corruption and cover-ups flourish in them.

to this day, i have no clue who the IAAF is accountable to. some of these bodies, like FIFA, wield more power than national governments and that's just insane.

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Post by Jahu Wed 27 Jan 2016, 11:33 am

When betting companies take over Sports sponsorship, this is what happens, corruption.
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Post by Mad for Chelsea Wed 27 Jan 2016, 12:03 pm

I think the problem lies partly with the professionalisation of sport. Where people are no longer competing for the fun of it, but to earn a living, they will inevitably look to maximise their revenue. Sport also offers a very short career, so the need to maximise said earnings is acute.

On doping, I'd be amazed if it wasn't very wide spread. My reasoning is fairly simple. Other sports have/have had severe doping issues. It's fairly clear that tennis, while not purely down to athletic ability, is physically demanding, hence doping will help. Incredibly few players have ever been caught other than the odd over-the-counter supplement, and even when caught have tended to receive very short suspensions or none at all. Now I believe it's unreasonable to expect tennis to be completely clean, so why is no one getting caught?

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Post by Born Slippy Wed 27 Jan 2016, 12:39 pm

I think there are reasons why tennis may be a little cleaner. I would be surprised (but not shocked) if it was widespread. I've no doubt though that there will be some in the top 100 who dope - just a question of how many. My instinct would put it in the 10-20 region, whereas I guess you are saying more than 50?

However, totally agree that the authorities need to convince us that they are doing all they can. No sign of that at present.

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Post by barrystar Wed 27 Jan 2016, 12:44 pm

If this is mostly about PR, match-fixing is probably quite a good area to get the public's focus on, because I am pretty sure that it distorts a much lower level of competition than drug-taking - tennis can probably survive revelations that some matches in challenger tournaments and early rounds of 250's are being thrown by lowish ranked players - a drug problem is likely to affect higher ranked players and be more damaging.

Just like players, quite a lot of administrators have a relatively short shelf-life - they tend to come into their role after having spent time doing something else.  Much of what is desirable about the role will involve perks - being treated as someone special when you wheel into town for the annual tournament, which is usually an important part of the host town's promotion strategy - so you rub shoulders with VIP's and so-on.  Those sorts of perks go quickly if the stain of cheating or drugs looms - VIP's become circumspect.  Also, the money available to pay your salary dries up a bit.  This constitutes a huge disincentive to any administrator being the person who digs around and really uncovers the dirty side of the sport, which will make their period in office so much more disagreeable - better paper over the cracks and hope that it never becomes your problem.  In addition, any administrator who goes around asking questions will be offending many of those who employ them and believe it is the administrator's role to protect them - some of the players themselves.  Hovering above all of this, the glamour of sport and being associated with attractive athletic people means that sponsors have a relatively high tolerance threshold when it comes to a sport which can maintain a facade of propriety.  

Put it another way - not many administrators want to take their sport down the self-flagellating route that cycling has taken, even if it would mean the sport coming out of the trauma cleaner at the end of the day.
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Post by bogbrush Wed 27 Jan 2016, 1:14 pm

Brilliant analysis barry.
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Post by laverfan Wed 27 Jan 2016, 3:49 pm

Players have a right to make a living using their skills and earn money. Administration of sport is a big business.

One example that stands out for me is the American NFL's cover up of head trauma and concussion in the Sport. The same applies to MLB (Baseball) with it's drug coverup.

The business of sport now has a life of it's own instead of serving the Sport itself. It has become the Sport itself. Blatter, Platini, the entire LatAm/Carribean/African branches of FIFA have treated the sport as their Feudal kingdom. The larger the sums of money, the larger is the possibility of corruption.


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Post by MMT1 Fri 05 Feb 2016, 11:01 pm

bogbrush wrote:It tells me that the sport is hard-wired to cover up bad PR.

It tells me that the cancer that has infected Football and Athletics is alive and flourishing in tennis. I am not so naive as to imagine this is anything other than indicative of a pattern of behaviour.

And it tells me that I have even stronger reason to believe that doping is a serious problem in the sport, and that if it ever came out it would cause a meltdown.

I think you hit the nail on the head: the record of tennis authorities and how they handle the question of drugs, would lead one to to believe that they would do or say anything to avoid uncovering betting issues.

My take on both issues:

http://tennis-column.blogspot.com/2016/01/match-fixing-this-will-get-messy.html

http://tennis-column.blogspot.com/2013/03/the-only-dope-is-anti-doping-believer.html
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