All General Discussion concerning WTA and ATP
'Serena Williams has a couple of years left, Sharapova is coming to the end'
In an interview to Eurosport, the former world No. 7 Barbara Schett commented on Cori Gauff's breakthrough in tennis and the veteran players. "It can be quite overwhelming", said Schett on the 15-year-old American's early success.
"I would advise her to not play too much, she can’t play more than 12 tournaments a year anyway at the moment, and focus on other things like school. I think it will be harder mentally rather than physically. Physically she seems very strong, fit and advanced for her age.
Mentally, last week she could just walk down the street but now she can’t walk around Wimbledon Village without being noticed and that’s a big change. There is no limits to what Cori can achieve in the game. There is going to be a changing of the guard on the women’s side, Serena Williams only has a couple of years left in the tank, Maria Sharapova is coming to the end.
Coco has the personality, she has all the shots as well. With her, I have no doubt she will be top 10, top five or maybe even a future number one." On how it feels to work with Mats Wilander and John McEnroe in analyzing matches, Schett concluded: "I love both of them. Mats is a humble and competitive champion, with John McEnroe you never know what happens. It's funny."
Dear Maria, before it's too late, kindly read:
German scientists say spinach chemical should be banned from sports
Popeye guzzled spinach to get his superhuman strength. But the plant's power-boosting properties aren't just fiction. German scientists say spinach has a steroid-like chemical that should be added to the doping list.
Scientists at the Freie Universität Berlin have recommended that ecdysterone, a steroid-like chemical found in spinach, be added to the list of banned doping substances, German media reported Tuesday.
The university's Institute of Pharmacy led a 10-week strength training program with 46 athletes to test how the substance affected their physical performance.
Some of the participants were given placebos, others were given ecdysterone capsules containing the equivalent of up to 4 kilograms (or 8.8 pounds) of raw spinach a day.
During the study, which was supported by the World Anti-Doping Authority (WADA), those taking the supplement saw their physical strength increase three times as much as their placebo-taking counterparts.
Popeye proven right
The fictional cartoon character Popeye the Sailor is known for attributing his bulging biceps to spinach, gulping down a can whenever he needed extra strength.
The Berlin study is the first in Germany to prove the link between spinach's ecdysterone and significantly improved physical performance, although previous research in other countries has drawn similar conclusions.
"Our hypothesis was that we would see an increase in performance, but we didn't expect it to be that big," Maria Parr at the Berlin university's Institute of Pharmacy said in an interview with broadcasters ARD and ARTE.
The results meant ecdysterone belonged on the list of banned substances for sports, the researcher added.
"We recommended to WADA in our report that the substance be added to the doping list. We think that if it increases performance, then that unfair advantage should be eliminated."
The decision would be left up to an expert body at the agency, but that will only likely happen after further investigation into how many athletes use the supplement.
Nuremberg-based anti-doping expert Fritz Sörgel told Deutschlandfunk radio that he expected there to be more studies into the properties of other plant-based extracts to follow.
"In the past we weren't able to pin down these kinds of substances with the same level of accuracy," he said. "Today we have analytical methods that allow us to extract substances from plants, which also could have a potential impact. So [this study] is really only the beginning."
RUSADA to file doping cases against 33 athletes
MOSCOW -- The Russian anti-doping agency said it plans to file doping cases against 33 athletes from a range of sports for using banned treatments from a doctor.
The agency, known as RUSADA, said the suspects who used the unspecified "banned method" include 19 track and field competitors -- two of them athletes with disabilities -- as well as five cyclists, a boxer and a gymnast.
The athletes haven't been named, but RUSADA deputy CEO Margarita Pakhnotskaya told The Associated Press some were national team members. They are suspected of receiving infusions of various substances.
Under international anti-doping rules, athletes need a valid medical reason for any intravenous infusion over 100 milliliters in 12 hours, even if the substance itself isn't ordinarily a banned drug. At least 11 of the athletes were underage at the time, Pakhnotskaya added.
All of them are from a sports academy in Chuvashia in central Russia, a region known for its track and field squads.
RUSADA said it reported a sports doctor to law enforcement under a Russian law against inducing athletes to dope. However, RUSADA said the case was closed after authorities ruled her conduct wasn't a crime because she hadn't been officially informed the treatment was banned.
Maria Sharapova is not very motivated, says Chakvetadze
In an interview to Championat, the former world No. 5 Anne Chakvetadze commented on Maria Sharapova's situation. The five-time Grand Slam winner is back to compete in the last week's Mallorca Open. "It seems she is able to comeback to her previous form, but there are obvious problems with the motivation.
It was very hard because Maria was in the top ten rankings for a long time, she was winning Grand Slams. I think she will do everything to reach the final stages. Then it's clear that after turning 30, especially for a girl, every match does not get any easier.
You have other priorities in life and it takes a bit longer for the body to recover", said Chakvetadze. The former player Anna Dmitrieva commented on Sharapova possibly pairing up with Andy Murray at Wimbledon: "Why not? I read it on social media and I thought it would be interesting.
Maria never played mixed. Murray wants to understand his real form and try to come back to the sport. And for Sharapova, that would be a very good opportunity to stay in tennis and be free mentally. That would cause an unprecedented interest for the crowd."
The Russian Tennis Federation chief Shamil Tarpischev said: "For Sharapova, it's getting even tougher to play because there are a lot of younger girls who deliver amazing tennis." Sharapova lost to the German Angelique Kerber in the Mallorca Open second round. She had defeated Viktoria Kuzmova in the first round
234 people arrested in massive doping probe
Europol investigation results in dismantling of crime groups and seizure of 3.8 million euros worth of doping substances
July 9th, 2019 by Philippe Tremblay | Posted in News
A huge police operation in Europe led by Europol, WADA, and local authorities has resulted in the arrests of 234 people and large seizures of performance-enhancing drugs. The pan-European probe that involved 33 countries called Operation Viribus into doping investigated a thousand individuals who were implicated in the production, sale and use of PEDs. WADA jumpstarted the investigation with urine and blood tests conducted at various sporting events but authorities did not say which events or sports were targetted.
A total of 24 tons of steroid powder and a total of $38 millions dollars of PEDS were seized. In addition to the 234 arrests, authorities have closed down nine underground labs and allegedly dismantled 17 organized crime groups. The raids took place across Europe, in the United States and Colombia.
Authorities have not given any details on the athletes implicated but have outlined how the distribution network operated. The scheme was directed at non-professional athletes, according to WADA. The PEDs dealers used social media to advertise their products. Athletes would then use rechargeable credit cars and cryptocurrencies to make purchases. The drugs were then distributed to customers through gyms and online pharmacies.
“We learn from the case that obviously there is a big market. Only if there is a large market will imports and structures of this kind be built, “said Mario Thevis the head of the doping analysis laboratory in Cologne.
While no professional athletes have so far been implicated, the wide-ranging scope of the tests lead experts not to rule out the possibility that professional athletes may still become embroiled in the investigation.
In February, authorities conducted raids of elite doping facilities in Germany and Austria as part of Operation Aderlass. Cross country skiers and professional cyclists have been caught as a result of the investigation along with the dismantling of doctor Mark Schmidt doping network.
Russian doping: 100 ‘strong cases’ found by WADA
LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — More than 100 “strong cases” of suspected Russian doping are being prepared using data retrieved from the Moscow testing laboratory.
World Anti-Doping Agency president Craig Reedie said Wednesday it is “packaging evidence” for sports governing bodies to prosecute the highest priority cases.
Only data for “suspicious cases” is being provided, Reedie said, adding he expects more than 100 files in the “first wave of strong cases against those we suspect of cheating.”
Data and samples were eventually retrieved this year from the Moscow lab covering drug testing up to 2015 — a period when Russian officials routinely covered up cases.
Reedie said all priority cases will have been investigated by the end of this year.
“Significant progress continues to be made,” said the outgoing WADA president, who leaves office in November.
Angelique Kerber has split with her coach, Rainer Schuettler.
The 31-year-old German said the pair had "decided that it's the right time for a fresh start" following her second-round defeat at Wimbledon. She also fell in the first round at the French Open, and has fallen out of the Top 10 in the rankings.
Moving forward, it’s never easy to change - especially when you work with great people like Rainer. But for now, we’ve decided that it’s the right time for a fresh start. He has become a friend and I‘m thankful for his hard work & dedication in the last months. #TeamAngie. 1,342 12:11 PM - Jul 19, 2019
Kerber and Schuttler began working together during the 2018 offseason, her third coaching change in as many years. It followed Kerber's decision to stop with her previous coach Wim Fissette despite a Grand Slam-winning season, and Torben Beltz in 2017.
Kerber is a three-time Grand Slam champion.