Serena and Rafael, why I would trust them as far as I could throw them:
Let me begin back in 2002- 2003, when BALCO labs, under the tutelage of Victor Conte(who still advises athletes by the way (the scumbag)) got caught
red handed implementing doping programmes and were convicted. The most famous athletes named on the list of sportspeople who availed of Conte’s help
were; Barry Bonds the baseball player(who claimed it was to speed up injury recovery), Marion Jones the sprinter (who went on to serve time in prison
for perjury) and Shane Mosley the boxer(who jumped up two weight classes(unheard of at the time) and defeated the reigning welterweight champion,
Oscar De La Hoya). This scandal only concerns Rafael Nadal. An un-named Spanish tennis player, who had just turned 15 years of age was alleged to have
been documented as a customer of Victor Conte. The details are sketchy as the child was protected from the law due to his age, but it was a
left-handed tennis player of Spanish origin disclosed on these lists. No less than three years later, Rafael Nadal emerged as the dominant champion on
Clay courts across the world. Clay courts are renowned for being slower than harder courts, and so the need for enhanced athleticism is amplified.
Rafael Nadal won five French opens in a row. Below is a summary of the BALCO scandal.
Fast forward 8 years, and Serena Williams was in her prime. Rumours began to swirl that she may not have been playing off of a level playing field. In
early 2011, a drug testing agency employed by the governing global tennis body, deemed that there was sufficient doubt about her integrity and
validity as a clean athlete, that they elected to pay her Las Vegas home a visit. She ran into her panic room and insisted that she would not come out
as she believed that the man at her door was an intruder. The man repeatedly stated his name and showed his credentials and disclosed the purpose of
his visit, but she refused to co-operate. What is even more ludicrous is that her personal assistant was allegedly present, not in the panic room
beside her but acting as a messenger between Serena and the tester. Even when the police came, it is alleged she refused to allow a sample to be
taken. Due to stress and anxiety, she deemed herself physically unable to urinate in a damn cup. This in itself does not prove anything, and the
details are hazy, but it at least proves that some of the anti-doping organisations felt it reasonable to at least check her out.
Paul Kimmage has been a crusader against anti-doping and as a result, sources in the professional sports arena have approached him with information.
He was part of the group of journalists that eventually exposed Lance Armstrong for what he was. After this was exposed, all cyclists now have to have
a blood passport so that in future years, as detection technology improves, there would be a referral sample available so as to retroactively snare
drug cheats. On multiple occasions, when asked what other sports concerned him regarding blatant doping, he insists that the highest levels of tennis
are riddled with abusers.
The most damaging information on these two players(Rafael and Serena) emerged in the last six months. If you remember, in mid 2016, a number of
Russian athletes were caught using a substance called Meldonium. They claimed it was a timing issue as it only became illegal in that calendar year,
and as the substance had a cumulative effect, it took a while to clear the system. It actually is a legitimate medical substance used in the battle
against ischemic heart disease and other defects of the pulmonary arteries. The most high profile Russians found guilty were Alexander Povetkin(former
heavyweight boxing champion), and of course, Maria Sharapova (multiple grand slam superstar tennis player and rival to Serena Williams). Both served
technical bans under their respective governing bodies. The Olympic games were in progress around this time, and the Russians were ostracised and
almost removed completely from Rio De Janeiro before a last minute reprieve granted their team entry.
Enraged and angry at the hypocrisy of it all, a bunch of Russian hackers who called themselves “Fancy Bear”, hacked USADA and other anti-doping
organisation’s databases, and uncovered numerous names of superstar athletes(particularly Americans) who availed of “Therapeutic Use Exemptions”
or “TUE’s” for the duration of the Olympic games and for other significant sporting events. The most high profile names on the list were Rafael
Nadal and Serena Williams. TUE’s are granted if you have an underlying illness that you needed medical assistance to defeat in order to compete at
your highest level. USADA and WADA’s main go to guy, in the granting of said TUE’s, was a person called Dr Dana Leenheer. The grounds for some of
these athletes qualifying for normally banned substances, to treat physical conditions or illnesses, were very thin. The list of athletes who availed
of it was staggering. Hundreds of professional athletes were named. By the way, the only sporting group who were granted TUE’s in greater quantity
than tennis players, were, you guessed it, cyclists!!!!
Now let’s put this into perspective; these athletes, who comprise of some of the fittest and most physically gifted humans on earth, ALL suffer
ailments so serious that unless they were fully medicated with banned substances, would not be able to compete? Don’t make me laugh lads. It was a
by-law created by the Olympic committee to assist the occasional disadvantaged athlete, usually asthma sufferers. Andy Murray himself called bull# on
this farce, which brought about the rebuke of most of his peers on the tennis tour. It sounds a lot like the cyclists of seven or eight years ago does
it not, where they closed ranks to protect the integrity of their sport?
What ailments could Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams have to justify availing legally of performance enhancing substances? They have looked in fairly
pristine condition to me since their prospective careers began. The tennis federation have issued statements to all media organisations to refer
directly to them, all questions regarding performance enhancing drug use in attempt to shelter the top players from uncomfortable questions. As
recently as a month ago, Serena Williams was put to the question regarding the use of TUE exemptions and physically walked out of the interview
stating “I am sorry, I’m not answering that”
A big guilty sign round her neck.
Last weekend, to put the Australian open into perspective, three of the four single finalists had availed of TUE’s, Rafa, Serena and her sister. On
a different note, I was delighted when Roger won. The one guy who has made himself available for testing his whole career and joined Andy Murray in
speaking out against cheating in his own sport.
A last note on my opinions and conclusions. I feel that there is collusion between the governing bodies and the top players who have been caught, and
the most brazen and from the outside, guilty looking, are Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal