Has Nadal Run Afoul of the Doping Laws?
Read this little article in the New York Times about Nadal getting a surprise doping test yesterday.
Nadal Gets Surprise Drug Test
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: February 11, 2012 at 8:59 AM ET
MADRID (AP) — Rafael Nadal says he underwent a surprise drug test toward the end of a week in which the Spaniard was the butt of jokes by a French TV program about his country’s alleged ties to doping.
Nadal wrote on his Twitter account on Saturday: “8:30 in the morning!!!Just finished passing a surprise antidoping test…it was expected after everything…but I’m happy it’s like this!”
The Spanish sports ministry contacted its French counterparts to complain over the satirical skits. It is considering legal action after Spain’s tennis and cycling federations said they would sue Canal Plus for using its logo in a video that poked fun at Nadal.
Former Tour de France champion Alberto Contador of Spain received a doping ban on Monday.
Nadal may laugh and tweet about it, but I think there are more than some people out there, maybe WADA, itself, the organization involved in drug testing, that think Nadal has run afoul of the laws.
First, there was his manly physique from an early age when Uncle Toni and even his uncle, the soccer star, weren’t built so muscularly. Then there was Nadal’s quick pullout of Wimbledon with a knee injury that seemed like maybe he pulled out because he didn’t want to risk a drug test. Then there was Nadal’s mysterious 10 mph rise in his serve before the US Open last year. And this year, a former player I talked to, said he was stunned watching the Australian Open fifth set, where at 4-all in games, during the first point of the next game, Nadal and Djokovic engaged in a long, physical rally that left Djokovic on one knee, heaving for breath afterward. Nadal, this player said, walked up to the line to serve the next point, barely breathing.
This player continued to say that it’s not like Nadal doesn’t stretch the rules in other areas of the game. He once took a 20-minute bathroom break in a match this player played against him in the third set in Madrid. He calls injury timeouts on other players’s serves down two sets to one at Wimbledon like he did against Petschner. His country, Spain, is notorious for breaking the doping rules, as this most-recent Albert Contador Tour de France cycling case shows again. This player maintains that for the top guys, testing for doping is a losing games, because the top players can hire doctors to administer drugs that are a step ahead of the testing.
One wonders how a guy can seriously injure his knee before the Australian Open and then reel off seven matches where he ran like a lion. No one knows for sure except Nadal and his team, but the question marks are definitely there.