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Doping expert has a suspicion: “Nadal has shown abnormalities”
January 17, 2020
Doping is rarely an issue in tennis. After two tennis professionals were banned at the beginning of the week, the question arises as to whether more players are cheating. A German doping expert even suspects world number 1.
Again and again, tennis manipulation is overshadowed by game manipulations and betting scandals. It was only in December that a Ukrainian betting forum operator managed to compete in an ITF tournament in Qatar and not winning a single point – which earned him and his buddies, who had bet on a clear defeat, a stick of money.
In the past there was hardly any mention of doping athletes in tennis – until now. After Chilean Nicolas Jarry (ATP 78) and Colombian Robert Farah, who leads the double world rankings, were temporarily banned for doping, the question arises as to whether more players will fortify themselves on the tour with illicit substances.
“Sport 1” asked a doping expert – and received surprising answers. Professor Fritz Sörgel from the Institute for Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Research in Nuremberg even considers tennis to be a sport that is very susceptible to doping practices. It is not surprising that the two players have now been transferred, Sörgel says: «I have been watching events for decades and have made myself a picture. Tennis is in the top four when it comes to doping. »
Doping sports: tennis ranked 4th?
The professor places tennis in his list directly behind the sports known for doping cross-country skiing, athletics and cycling. The reason: The high stress that tennis players are exposed to during a whole year. «There is a suspicion that there are more anabolic substances in tennis. And the suspicion is quite justified. The reason is the intensity of the sport. This is not just pure speculation, but the consideration of all connections within and outside the tournaments, »says Sörgel.
Robert Farah tested positive for boldenone, saying he accidentally ingested the substance through meat consumption in Colombia. Sörgel doesn’t believe him: «These are all excuses, a déjà vu in tennis. The standard excuse is to have accidentally consumed it. ”The doping expert recalls, for example, the case of Martina Hingis, who was tested positively for cocaine at a young age and said that the drug had been mixed into the orange juice.
Maria Sharapova’s case in 2016 shows that he is not wrong, says Sörgel. The Russian woman was banned for 15 months after taking Meldonium.
“Suspected with Nadal”
And the professor has other top players under suspicion: on the top of his list is world number 1, Rafael Nadal. Sörgel: «Nadal has shown some abnormalities. I have a permanent suspicion. Regarding regeneration and all its athleticism. ”Despite many injuries, the“ Taurus from Manacor ”was always able to reach its top level. “In addition, Nadal also comes from Spain, a country that is not exactly known for following its heroes particularly closely,” says Sörgel.
What the doping expert means by this: «Influential athletes have a ‘professional environment’ around them, as they say, which takes care of optimal care for top athletes from eating and taking what is initially allowed to sophisticated forms of physiotherapy, that is exactly knows how the body of your protégé works and when limits are reached that cannot be exceeded by legal means. There are enough techniques to disguise doping administered. »