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Michael Emmett: “Is There a Connection between Rafa and Lance?”

Fri, Mar 22, 2013

a. Featured, c. Editorial: Others

Michael Emmett: “Is There a Connection between Rafa and Lance?”

Written by: Michael Emmett

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***Michael Emmett is the Director of Tennis Operations at all Mayfair clubs.  He is a certified Tennis Canada Coach 3 with a Journalism degree from the University of Texas. Michael spent several years working in sports television at TSN and Sportsnet.  Michael is a former National champion who finished his last year of junior tennis ranked #1 in Canada.  Michael has coached several National champions when he worked for the All-Canadian Academy at the National Tennis Centre at York University in the early 90s.  Michael spent 2 years traveling the world playing the ATP tour satellite circuit as a member of the Molson National Team in 1985 and ’86.***

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These are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ONcourt and its publishers. For another view on the topic please see this article.

Rafael Nadal’s performance over the last month has been nothing short of amazing. Who takes seven months away from the ATP tour and comes back and wins their first Master’s series event with all the top guns in the field? History says this is impossible. This is his first hard court title since October of 2010. Nadal is 17-1 in 2013 with a perfect 4-0 record against top ten players. Nadal destroyed 17-time grand slam champion Roger Federer in the quarterfinals, losing only six games (6-4, 6-2) en route to the title. Every great tennis player in a similar situation has failed in their quest to come all the way back from a long layoff in such a short time frame. Why not Nadal? Why is he so special?

How did Lance Armstrong finish third in the Tour De France after missing five years of competitive racing? The gap in this instance is even greater – 2005 to 2009 – not surprisingly, he didn’t win the event. But he did finish third! Something most experts thought was improbable. For me, it made total sense. I lived in Austin, Texas for five years (Lance’s home town) and heard all the rumours. Apparently, they were all true.

Well, there are just as many Nadal rumours out there. I sat in a locker room a few years back and listened to three coaches discussing the steroids that Nadal was taking. One of the coaches, who was from Columbia, said he saw Nadal ingesting some sort of PEDs prior to a workout session in Monte Carlo. I know this is all hearsay, but enough people in the know have come forward to say they’ve seen it – I believe this will all come out one day – just like it did for Lance Armstrong.

My thought is they (Nadal & Armstrong) were both using steroids and engaging in blood doping. Why not, if they figured they could get away with it and gain a tremendous competitive advantage. Obviously, both men were helped immensely by their team of experts during the entire process. This is a huge gamble and a massive undertaking – it’s not a venture you go at alone.

We know Lance’s story, as he finally came clean with Oprah Winfrey a few months ago. But we also know he didn’t tell the entire truth on that platform. Evidence is there to support Armstrong was blood doping in 2009 & 2010. The lead man on the Armstrong investigation has suggested that the odds are one million to one (or greater in his opinion) that Armstrong ‘s increased blood levels are not due to blood doping.

Why did Armstrong tell the truth about everything else and not about his time between 2004 & 2009. He had the chance to come totally clean! But his lying addiction got the better of him. So sad! So disappointing! The man can never be trusted again! His lifetime ban from cycling will remain intact as a result of this calculated lie on national television in front of millions of viewers.

What about Nadal – can he be trusted? Unfortunately, I believe this is the Lance story all over again. One day, Nadal, like many of his lying, cheating predecessors before him will come forward and admit the truth in a national forum just like Lance Armstrong, Pete Rose and all the rest of the bad eggs did. But, as was the case with everybody else – it will be too late!

Has Nadal ever blood doped? You bet! Has he taken performance enhancing drugs? No doubt! Rumours are rampant and Nadal’s most recent behaviour has been curious at best. Coming out last month and urging that all the names be exposed from Dr. Fuentes (more on him later) supposed list of suspects in Operation Puerto is comical. Dr. Fuentes is infamous with Spanish athletes and their connection to blood doping and illegal drugs. Does Nadal really believe that this strategy will squash all of the chit chat about his link to PEDs? Even funnier is this is the exact formula Lance used back when he was being investigated. Rafa is mirroring Lance’s approach stride-for-stride. I guess he is naive to the fact that we can all see through this wafer thin shield he is putting up. Acting like the good will ambassador, at a time when your name is being dragged through the mud, doesn’t make people look the other way. All he is doing is bringing attention to himself at a time when he should be focused between the white lines.

Nadal’s use of banned substances is something I am very sure of. Where there is smoke there is fire and this one is burning brightly. The only problem is I don’t have proof. But every inch of my gut tells me Nadal is cheating just like many athletes out there. These guys would rather win majors then live long, healthy lives. The push to win these grand slams has never been greater. And guys like Nadal, who are chasing history, will do anything to get there. Is there a doping/drug problem in tennis? Absolutely! Are the WTA and ATP tours keeping most of this information quiet? Yes – they have to! Tennis is still a fringe sport in North America and this kind of scandal could be disastrous. Only the no-names are being exposed. The giants of the game are being treated with kid gloves in order to maintain their honour, popularity and stardom.

Remember Martina Hingis and her accelerated retirement? This was sped up in order to protect her illustrious character as one of the game’s greatest players of all time because rumours persisted she was caught using drugs. A ban for a month or two for drug use would have ruined the legacy of this superstar athlete and all of her monumental accomplishments. The WTA tour couldn’t afford this stain on its reputation when the tour’s popularity was at an all-time low. So the two sides came to an agreement – an early retirement was the only option. Any other decision could have been catastrophic.

Why do you think Nadal skipped last year’s Olympics? Do you really believe it was due to his bum knee? I don’t!

The Olympics have the most stringent testing procedures known to man. Nadal, and his surrounding team made a wise decision to take the high road prior to this global event. They knew they couldn’t mask the PED’s in London with so much visibility during the Olympics. They realized they can beat an ATP sanctioned event but not an ITF sanctioned event where the testing is quadrupled. Rafa, like Lance, has beaten many tests. But he knew it was just a matter of time, if he put himself out there in front of the drug hounds at the Olympic Games, that he’d be caught.

Nadal has bad knees – that I believe wholeheartedly. And he needed the time to rest his knees and cleanse his system from the drugs. These things take time. That’s why Lance needed so long to get back on the saddle. His burning desire to compete and win at the same time got the better of him. He shouldn’t have raced in 2009. This is a decision that will haunt him for the rest of time.

Have you seen what Nadal looks like these days? Is it his long lost brother?

Nadal’s frame, prior to the layoff, was massive. Now he looks half the size. When he came back to the tour for his first event in south America in February I did not recognize him. What can be the answer for such a drastic reduction in muscle mass? The simple answer is Performance Enhancing Drugs. Nadal was on them, and now he’s not.

His brilliant performance in the finals of the BNP Paribas Open last weekend was due to his hard work on the court, concurrently with the blood doping, which was not being tested at Indian Wells. He outlasted Del Potro in dominating style in the final set – he was not going to be denied, and the only answer can be his increased stamina due to the blood doping. He looked as fresh as a daisy in the hot humid California air, while Del Potro resembled a boxer doing the rope-a-dope. Del Potro was staggering around like he was drunk near the latter stages of the match. Nadal’s Hard work alone could not achieve these stunning results at such an early stage of the comeback.

As mentioned, Rafa’s name has been associated with Dr. Fuentes. If and when Dr. Fuentes ever names his clients, speculation is out there that Nadal would be front and centre on this enormous roster. This list includes Jan Ullrich, Ivan Basso and Tour de France winner Alberto Contador, who are now branded as drug cheaters forever.

Furthermore, and what is striking, is that many marquee names that have been mentioned by Fuentes, such as Nadal, or even most of Spain’s World Cup soccer team, seem to have been blatantly ignored by the sporting authorities and governing bodies. Fuentes has been quoted as saying, “if I talked, the Spanish team would be stripped of their 2010 World Cup victory.”

Finally, and maybe most interestingly, is Nadal’s habit of performing brilliantly in the slams and 1000 level events worldwide, and taking time off between these events in order to rest. Rather than struggle through these lesser events, he chooses not to play. Having regular gaps (nobody does this better than Nadal) from major to major is often seen as an indicator of an athlete following a specific cycle in the use of certain stimulants.

As mentioned already, I can’t prove this, but I’d bet every last penny I’m correct in my opinion. Is he or isn’t he? Your guess is as good as mine!

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127 Responses to “Michael Emmett: “Is There a Connection between Rafa and Lance?””

  1. 1
    Guga Says:

    Interesting article. Sometimes proof is a good idea. I have often wondered how someone could score 58 at Le Tigre without performance enhancing drugs.(Like that happenned).

  2. 2
    TennisLover Says:

    Ouuaaawwwh! These are powerful allegations.. If true, imagine how many grand slams he has stolen from Federer! Although I find it hard to believe that you have the audacity to write something like that without any proof, but deep in me, I fear that you might be right! I hope you are wrong though because I don’t want to see Tennis being dragged down ike cycling is with the Armstrong saga

  3. 3
    Tom Says:

    In Tyler Hamilton’s book published in 2012, “The Secret Race” in the very end of the book The same Doctor Michael is talking about was busted by the sSanish police. In the good Doctor’s freezer the authorities found 48 bags of blood with names on them. 43 were professional cyclists, 4 were professional soccer players, and one was a professional tennis player. Guess who? Rafael Nadel’s name was on that bag of blood. This book was about bike racing so I am sure it has not hit the main stream tennis community yet but there is proof Michael.

  4. 4
    TennisLover Says:

    Oh my God ! I got to read that Tyler Hamilton’s book “the Secret Race”! I Can’t believe what you are saying. Will order that book and check it out.. Thanks!

  5. 5
    2C Says:

    I struggled through this confidently opinionated article, much like I struggled through your confidently opinionated “guarantee” that Roger Federer would never win another Grand Slam… months before he did.

    Not sure the objective of this style of writing… whistle blowing? finger pointing? “I told ya so gimme a medal?” If Rafa is taking PEDs then from what you’re suggesting other players surely know about it and aren’t interested in stopping it… sounds like you’re suggesting a mass cover up involving the ATP and other players?

    You might want to be careful before you drag anyone’s name, especially an icons, through the mud. There are plenty of younger players that look up to Nadal, and could perhaps turns to PEDs if they hear that their idol is using them and getting away with it!

    I worry that this type of writing just makes players WANT to do drugs. (I for one wanted to take a tranquilizer after it, but that’s me)

    This type of towncryer journalism belongs on the street corners….even if you’re right… the sky is falling.

  6. 6
    TennisGuy Says:

    Yikes, ballsy article Michael. I hope you had a lawyer look it over prior to posting. I’m not a lawyer and I’m not aware of your exposure here. I believe he fits the profile as his physique goes, but not his personality. Serena on the other hand fits both. Care to follow up with an article on Serena? :)

  7. 7
    P Says:

    What is the goal of this article? How does it help anyone become a better tennis players? What does it teach us about ourselves? What insight does it provide? Who will it inspire? What behaviours does it promote? Who does this article promote?

    This is a product of Jerry Springer school of journalism; one part sensationalism one part conspiracy theory. Many professional athletes cheat and many exceptional performances are the product of cheating this is a well established fact. Cheating unfortunately is now part of the fabric of professional sport. Lance Armstrong, Ben Johnson, …… and the very long list of athletes who have been caught have made it very easy for us to be cynical. Can we at least wait until there are facts to support such claims before we pass judgment upon one of the top 5 tennis players of all time. There is something to be said for not throwing stones.

  8. 8
    Judith White Says:

    I agree with many of the above comments. Get a lawyer, get a better writing goal, and get thinking instead of grand standing. It’s not all about you.

  9. 9
    Ridiculous Says:

    This is ridiculous. The fact that Pierre Lemarche would allow this type of “article” to be written and posted is embarrassing. It is kind of sad to see the author’s obvious cry for attention. Perhaps some of the traits (lying addiction) Michael is so sure about, are easily recognizable because he has the same issue. “Takes one to know one” comes to mind. As one of the previous commenters suggested, this is a clear “grand standing” effort from Michael. Get over yourself, you are embarrassing the tennis world and yourself. Pierre, please stop the madness.

  10. 10
    Jay Says:

    Given that Michael Emmett offers not a shred of proof in his very serious allegations of doping by tennis superstar Rafa Nadal, his motives for writing this article are deeply suspect. Why would any parent or child seek out coaching and tennis lessons from a person who is willing to drag an icon of the sport through the dirt without any evidence behind the grave accusations he is making? Trust is totally broken. Bad day for tennis and Mayfair.

  11. 11
    Win/Win Says:

    This personal rant (not article) upset me upon first reading it. After a few days I have come to realize that this article is a true example of a Win/Win situation. My reflections on what will come of this article is one of two things….
    1. you will get sued for being a blow hard in a public forum. This is OUR sport. We play it, we teach it and we live it…why would you ever want to hurt it?

    2. you will not get sued. By not getting sued after such an attention grabbing article you will then realize just how much of an insignificant bug you truly are in the world of tennis both inside and outside of Canada

    Either way I will be happy with the outcome.

  12. 12
    Sherry B Says:

    its surprises me that so many are offended by such stirring comments – let the discussion begin. How can doping affect tennis?…Michael, you are a great coach and never hold back with what you feel – good on yah! If every one were a little more honest, and a little less sensitive the world would be a better place:)

  13. 13
    steve Says:

    wow, i dont know this emmett guy but it seems a lot of guys dont like him!!

  14. 14
    Splash of Reality Says:

    Hahahaha….I just read the comments and laughed! Is this the same reaction people had when they found out the Easter Bunny and Santa wasn’t real? I don’t know Mike but listen to what he’s saying. Having been in competitive sports at a high level I saw PED is everywhere. Get used to it. There is alot on the line ($$$$ and fame)and there is no level playing field if you are not on it. I stayed away from it (damage to kidneys and other organs were a good enough deterrent for me)and lost out on $$$ opportunities. I am a healthy individual today because of it! You just can’t keep up to these bio engineered freaks. (By the way, did anyone bother to read the other article that talked about this topic?)

    People are saying that Mike needs a lawyer, hahaha, and Piere shouldn’t have allowed this article on the site. I say thank you Piere for not censoring this topic. This article presents a great opportunity. If you as parents are really concerned, have some good and honest conversations with your kids about this and the dangers it presents. Believe me……there are kids as early as elementary schools experimenting with some forms of PED. If you have kids and don’t believe it, it’ll soon become your problem.

  15. 15
    TennisGuy Says:

    Splash of Reality, you’re way off base. Everyone knows about the prevalence of PED in sports (but thanks for enlightening us anyways). It’s about him writing in terms of this being a fact, yet providing no solid proof. This is irresponsible journalism and best left for the tabloids….unless Pierre is wanting to turn this otherwise nice website into a tabloid. Simply rewording the article and not presenting it as fact would have made it totally fine (IMO). But he instead went for sensationalism in order to draw attention to himself (I assume).

  16. 16
    Michael B Says:

    Great article. Everyone needs to relax. The truth will come out at some point…and I hope it’s sooner rather than later.

  17. 17
    Reggid Says:

    Mchael: Kudos for courageously saying what so many tennis fans can see with their own eyes. As for the Nadal apologists, is there “proof” that freaks like Nadal and Serena are doping? Well, it depends what you consider “proof,” I suppose. But let’s be honest here — in virtually EVERY SINGLE CASE where an athlete has been putting up super-human performances in recent years, it has eventually turned out they were doping, so only a fool would deny that doping is a distinct possibility – even extremely likely — when it comes to players like Nadal and Serena with their history of bizarre “injuries” and long layoffs followed by miraculous, overwhelmingly dominant performances. Does anyone seriously doubt, despite the millions of dollars at stake, that tennis alone is somehow immune from rampant doping among big-money sports? C’mon – really?

    So, is there “proof?” Well, there sure is a lot of EVIDENCE in the case of players like Nadal and Serena. The long layoffs, the bizarre, ever-changing explanations for “injuries” and “treatments.” The super-human performance upon returning. I mean, let’s look at Serena: Receding hairline? Check. Bald spot? Check. Elongated head? Check. Expanding jawline? Check. “Moon face”? Check. Repeated apparent facial plastic surgery? Check. Bad skin? Check. Hulking muscles in an aerobic sport? Check. Increased power AND endurance? Check. Increased speed and quickness despite significant extra bulk? Check. History of bizarre injury and illness claims and explanations? Check. History of bizarre, emotional outbursts? Check. Stories of evading dope testers (I.e., locking herself in a panic room and refusing to come out for doping testers)? Check. Better performance after the age of 30? Check.

    Now, is that “proof” of massive PED use? You’d have to be either very naive or very foolish not to be highly suspicious.

  18. 18
    Ernest Says:

    Did anyone have so called proof before years of suspicions about Lance were proved to be right? Or Marion Jones Or Barry Bonds or several other baseball players that many suspected to be PED users? When a player clearly exhibits patterns consistent with doping, it is not a crime to voice suspicion about such a player. No player is above the sport and kudos to the author for having the guts to write about a player with a track record of dubious injuries, open cheating,gamesmanship and suspicious peaks and troughs in performance.

  19. 19
    Victoria Says:

    Mr Emmett: Thank you very much. You are the first journalist with balls to speak about all of this.

  20. 20
    VS Says:

    STFU

  21. 21
    TennisFan Says:

    Wow, huge props to you Mr. Emmett. I hope other journalists follow in your footsteps and comment on the obvious issues regarding Nadal. Thanks for this article.

  22. 22
    Cristi C Says:

    Well done for the courage to write your thoughts. Yes, I believe that people very close to the tennis as sport and as a way of life “feel” when some performance beats the odds. But nobody would have to courage to speak up, except for few former french players in the last few years.

  23. 23
    Peter Hermann Says:

    Cristi C, if they would ‘feel’ when some performance beats the odds, they would be talking about Djokovic, not Nadal.
    This ‘article’ is downright libelous and shows absolutely nothing. In your 30ies, or 40ies, white, and male- let me guess, a bitter Federer-fan?
    Rafa has always been the way he is. While everyone in professional sport is, without evidence, a suspect for doping- just from the sheer amount of doping in sport- its another thing to come up with serious accusations of someone in particular just because you don’t like him, and as a Federer-fan, for obvious reasons. Think before you write. its not that hard.

  24. 24
    Shedha Says:

    @Tom (re: post at March 22nd, 2013 at 3:46 pm)

    I am no Nadal fan, I have read the book ‘The Secret Race’. There is no mention of Nadal in there. The mention is limited to Dr. Fuentes having cyclists, footballers and tennis stars as his clients.
    However, once you read the book, you can be sure that the sporting culture in Spain starting from 90s has done nothing to stop the use of PEDs/HGH/blood doping/EPOs (if not actually promote it). The book goes into details the frustration of Tyler when he sees that despite his hard work he just cannot reach a certain level that the dopers are at and he has to decide to go with the flow or quit.
    After reading the book, it is impossible to imagine a Spanish athlete coming through that system, basing his game on stamina as much as on (if not more than) talent, and not using PEDs. The book details how they (dopers) are far ahead of the system and the modus operandi includes faking injuries, taking unexpected breaks & Pullouts, sudden performance peaks, etc, none of which is too unfamiliar, if we consider Nadal.

    So circumstantial evidence is there, but proof, I’d say no. Unless & until dr. Feuntes’ list is made public and the list has Nadal’s name.
    Moreover, the current ruling of Spanish court ordering destruction of evidence (blood bags recovered from Fuentes’ freezer with athletes’ names/nicknames on them) is blasphemous and shows Spain and Spanish sports in poor light. After all, Fuentes said that if the names were to be revealed, the Spanish team would likely be stripped off its World cup 2010.

  25. 25
    SG90 Says:

    “Remember Martina Hingis and her accelerated retirement? This was sped up in order to protect her illustrious character as one of the game’s greatest players of all time because rumours persisted she was caught using drugs. A ban for a month or two for drug use would have ruined the legacy of this superstar athlete and all of her monumental accomplishments. The WTA tour couldn’t afford this stain on its reputation when the tour’s popularity was at an all-time low. So the two sides came to an agreement – an early retirement was the only option. Any other decision could have been catastrophic.”

    She got a 2-year ban , it wasn’t covered up, and it was for a miniscule amount of cocaine not PEDs.

  26. 26
    Montreal Roundup and Cincinnati Draw | Ruans Federer Blog 2.0 Says:

    [...] Hi. Well it’s been another mind boggling performance by Nadal in Montreal this week. Not only did a break a deadlock of 12 consecutive matches where he could not beat Djokovic off of clay, but he won his second Masters Series event on hard court this year and remains unbeatable on hard court since his comeback. After not winning a hard court title since 201o in Tokyo, Nadal has come back from a ‘career threatening’ injury and an 8 month lay off to destroy anyone in his way on hard courts. Unreal. But then again nothing should surprise us about ‘Superman’ anymore. He is surely capable of winning 20+ slams and playing at the highest level into his late 30′s, even though he has the most taxing game style in the history of the sport and plays on shattered knees. It’s becoming hilarious folks. Check out his article. [...]

  27. 27
    jfrey13tennis Says:

    You’re an idiot. Clearly your career was pretty much a joke so you want to spend your life trying to find false correlations? Grow up buddy. Tennis is a sport of SKILL not like biking which is pure endurance. Nadal has the most topspin etc because of the way he hits. That’s why he wins. Have you ever seen him without his shirt on? I am stronger looking and I assure you I’m on nothing. Wow with the accusations I hope you get terribly sued.

  28. 28
    Peter P. Says:

    To blame someone for doing something wrong is so easy, to prove the wrong doing is much harder. Where is at least some piece of evidence to support your theory, Michael? I found none.
    Traveling for two years ATP satellite circuit in 85 and 86? N.1 canadian tennis junior? Coaching tennis in 90′s? And that is where you got all your knowledge from? Are you kidding?
    I must admit it takes some guts to write stuff lake this, but I would say, that you are just trying to make some fuss and get the most of it for yourself. Anybody knows you? Compare to the guy, you are writting about, you achived nothing.
    I love tennis, I follow it and I go and see the guys at the big tournaments and there are many tennis players, not just in top 10, I like.
    But reading your stuff I wonder, when somebody like you will write something about Djoko, Murray, Ferrer and others top players. These guys are also nothing but phenomenal as Nadal is, so does it mean they are all taking banned substances and drugs?
    Next time you better come up with some evidence, before you post so much crap on the net.

  29. 29
    chassohh Says:

    This article shows that you are just another angry federer fan afraid of nadal’s comeback because you know what it means to federer’s chances if he still has any…you nadal skipped the olympic in 2012 because the olympic has the most “stringent” testing procedure known to manmp. Nadal participated in olympic 2008 and he won gold. You mean he was not tasted in that invent? Or you purposely skip that event in your lame article just to console yourself that you are writing something meaningful…

  30. 30
    Shanel Says:

    I think you are a bitter tennis player,, just because u weren’t able to win as much as what Nadal has been able to make, then you are totally just beng bitter.. This is pathetic to read, much more meaningless than tha of every word you type Nadal has participated on Beijing Olympics, so has China skipped testing him? and I don’t agree he was totally buff before he layed off 7months,, I have seen his play, I think he don’t look different. I think you should get your own life man.

  31. 31
    Raghu Says:

    Michael emmet thinks that readers are fools.
    Otherwise how can he say that Nadal skipped Olympics because of drug usage.
    Was Beijing 2008 not Olympics where he won gold medal?

    Or , is it that drug testing was inaugurated only from London 2012 Olympics ?

    Only a lunatic misses this basic fact.

    You are sick, you hate not just Nadal but tennis as a whole.
    Get well soon.

  32. 32
    Raghu Says:

    Michael , please don’t mislead people with false information and half baked facts.

    Martina Hingis got 2 year ban not covered up.

    Get educated yourself before writing articles.

    You are delusional, you are sick get well soon.

    I pray for you.

  33. 33
    George Says:

    So a Columbia tennis trainer told you that saw Nadal taking PEDS.

    What’s his name please? If you wanna talk tough you need to back it up buddy.

    Your claims about Nadal’s body are laughable. I’m 39 years old. Much stronger and ripped than him, however I never took PEDs. Unless you think whey protein, aminoacids and great nutrition are banned substances.

    In your article you fail to mention Nadal’s skill, peerless talent mental toughness and even his matchup advantage over Federer that allows him to breakdown Fed’s backhand. It’s clear that you have an agenda, little man.

  34. 34
    George Says:

    There’s a lot of retired and in the tail end of their careers players that had their butt kicked by Nadal. They are in the ‘know’. Don’t you think they wouldn’t love to write a book and expose tennis doping and unmask Nadal? The ATP could pay them out right? 10-20 million might shut their mouths.

    What about Federer? The ATP doesn’t have enough money to bribe that fella. Nadal prevented him of being called unquestionably the best ever in tennis, and maybe the best in all sports. I’m pretty sure that Roger fucking Federer knows more than the “Columbia tennis trainer” you mention. IMO, Roger would take the chance to destroy Nadal.

  35. 35
    pm mp Says:

    Total speculation. No proof. Get the Facts, then write the article. Bad Journalism. Fickle Bottom Feeders Unite!

  36. 36
    chassooh Says:

    Nadal has been a phenomenal talent since he came on stage and he has not change a tad. I like him most because he always figure out how to beat a player no matter how many time he lose to a particular player he never feels intimidated he will just take it as a challenge and as a motivator to alter his game a little and be a better player…
    After losing several time to djokovich he has finally figure out how to beat him not only on clay but on all surfaces and djokovich knows it that’s why he has been avoiding nadal since Montecalo….

    Instead of giving him credit for his great effort at this sport you are trying to associate him with some lame doping accusations. Well all this theory will olny make him greater.

    Recntly John Mcenroe came out to say that even if nadal did not add to his 12 grand slam titles that he still believes that nadal is the greatest tennis player of all time ahead of federer, but again that’s his opinion but again that’s the kind of people I listen to because he actually played the game at the highest level and has seen it all.

  37. 37
    Patrick Says:

    Whereas I think there are doppers out in high octane tennis, the djoker being top of the list, I highly doubt Rafa would go to such lengths. I however think one day he’ll take something for his troublesome knee & all hell would break loose!!!!

  38. 38
    Amber Says:

    Michael Emmett – Thanks for writing this article. Great comparison and insights. Same goes to readers comments as well.

  39. 39
    Antonio Says:

    I fart in your general direction.

  40. 40
    Elizabeth Howard Says:

    You have a sick , twisted agenda. You are a jealous, negative person who wants to do down one of the most decent people in sport. You talk about ” your gut feeling”. Facts stand up not gut feelings. I sure laughed out loud about a nameless Columbian tennis coach giving you information! Do you think we are stupid enough to believe your untruths?

  41. 41
    Elizabeth Howard Says:

    You have a bitter, twisted agenda. You talk about “your gut feeling”, but have no evidence to back up your negative, vile allegations. Loose statements are not factual. Facts stand up not gut feelings. Why do you want to damage the reputation of one of the great sportsmen of this generation and a decent person?

    I did laugh out loud when I read about getting information from a nameless Columbian tennis coach! Convincing or what??

    Accept that Rafael Nadal has a great talent and also the intelligence to figure out his opponents strengths and adapt his game accordingly. He is injury prone due to the physicality of his game.

    It is time that people like you are challenges in the courts.

  42. 42
    Haha Says:

    You are a DOUCHE. Where is your proof? You have none, so STFU

  43. 43
    Savetennis Says:

    Need a whistle blower to bring down Nadal.

  44. 44
    Lopi Says:

    If these allegations aren’t true, why hasn’t Nadal sued for libel? Because the truth would come out in a trial probably. No one who is innocent would allow this article to remain on the web. It’s been out there since March and nothing. Crickets. The silence from the Nadal camp speaks for itself.

  45. 45
    TennisFan Says:

    I see the Nadal fans have descended. I followed cycling, and all your responses where similar to that of Armstrong apologists.
    - You don’t have proof
    - You’re jealous
    - You’re bitter
    e.t.c

    TO IDIOTS asking for proof:
    There was never any concrete proof against Marion Jones or Lance Armstrong before they were caught. It took a Witch hunt to bring them down.

  46. 46
    Gable21 Says:

    What a load of bullshit this “article” is. You are clearly a bitter Fed fan with an ax to grind. It’s clear as a bell to me what you are. This crap could have been written by that Federer ball sniffer, Ruan, and nobody would know the difference. You can also find several more of your kind on that Fed worshiping, Nadal hating website, THASP.

    Another thing that gets me is how come you didn’t write something like this about Novak Djokovic? Has a player ever turned their stamina and endurance around a one month’s time the way he did? He was a fish out of water weakling who couldn’t take the heat up until the AO in 2011. There’s no more obvious case of doping in tennis than him. I bet you didn’t have a single problem rooting for him to beat Nadal over and over again though to protect Fed’s records did you? You are as typical as they come, sir.

    I also think your faceless, nameless friend is full of shit when he said he saw Nadal ingesting PEDS in MC. If he were doping, do you think he’d be stupid enough to do it in front of outsider’s who don’t know about his PED use? Get the fuck out, asshole.

    As for suing like that idiot THASP member Lopi suggested, how the hell would that prove anything? Didn’t Lance sue anyone and everyone who accused him of doping, yet was full of PEDS the entire time? What do you have to say about that, dumbass?

  47. 47
    Anon Says:

    The comments above made my day. When the truth regarding Nadal is revealed, all you Nadal fans would have to be placed on suicide watch.

  48. 48
    Gable21 Says:

    Hey, #47; I think you’re a pervert who can’t keep it zipped. I think I’ve seen you do inappropriate things with minors. Now, prove me wrong or else it’s true. Do you get why this article is bullshit now, dumbass?

  49. 49
    Kristy Says:

    What a horrible piece of writing.

    Olympics. 2008 Nadal won gold…… Drug testing existed.
    Olympics. 2012 Nadal didn’t compete due to injury.

    The French sports ministry publicly apologized to Nadal over Baseless claims made by Yannick Noah.

    The writer is an idiot if he thinks players who have so much to lose would actually openly dope.

    Hingis was formally sanctioned for drugs, there was nothing hidden.

    The writer is also an idiot for his description of Nadals beating Fed at IW. Fed was hurt, he’d been hurt in a previous match, which has shown to be true the rest of the season thus far. Nadal was wobbly on clay when he came back. He sure benefitted from DelPo taking out both Novak and Murray, and the being very tired in the final. Gulbis would have beaten him, if he hadn’t choked.

    Nadal has by no means looked like the Nadal of the past. He’s looked very beatable.

    The most fascinating aspect of this article, is all the innuendos that seem to be taken from the baseball steroids stories. Nothing about Lance was rumor. Lance destroyed folks that came forward and witnessed Lances drug usage, Lances conspiring regarding drug testing, or overheard Lance talking to his doctors.

    I can’t believe anyone paid this guy to write the tripe he’s written.

  50. 50
    chassooh Says:

    Nadal is such a talented player that knows how to figure out his opponents. Since he came he looks beatable but he is so mentally strong that he knows how to come out from a losing position and win a particular match. Mr Emmet go and check his history even as a junior at the age of 10 he won the spainsh under 12 championship

    If anyone is doping it should be novak. What is this about his gluten free diet that all of a sudden a guy with no staminer, a guy that retire during matches all of a sudden between december 2010 and AO 2011 everything chsnges dramatically but again yu won’t write this kind of article about him because he is the protector of federers lagacy

    By the time they all retired from the sport may be even your beloved federer will be the one with the doping scandal and I will know where you will hide your face then

    If anything its nadal that has been calling for stricter testing measures and that the testing should be publshed for the world to see and by the way he has been tested four times already this year immediately he announced his return to the tour… Whatever. Yu federans have to say won’t change the great man that he is…a living legend

  51. 51
    Jake Says:

    @47

    You need to read up on the ITF’s Drug Testing protocols before the Beijing Olympic Games. It was Woeful.

    @50

    Nadal has only recently started to call for stricter measures. Before this year, Nadal was a serial complainer when it came to drug testing. All he did was complain complain complain (Look it up, Google is your friend). According to him “It’s intrusive, I feel persecuted”. And still testing was still very lax. Now Post Armstrong he has done a complete 180. His PR team are great.

  52. 52
    Jake Says:

    @49

    You need to read up on the ITF’s Drug Testing protocols before the Beijing Olympic Games. It was Woeful.

    @50

    Nadal has only recently started to call for stricter measures. Before this year, Nadal was a serial complainer when it came to drug testing. All he did was complain complain complain (Look it up, Google is your friend). According to him “It’s intrusive, I feel persecuted”. And still testing was still very lax. Now Post Armstrong he has done a complete 180. His PR team are great.

  53. 53
    TennisGirl Says:

    Sad, embarrassing article. Nadal has previously WON the Olympics. What was the deal then? He dropped his doping cycle (hmmm, but if he can without it, why do it)? He took his chances? So why not do that again if he had a technique hammered out before?

    Furthermore, “gut feelings” are the basis of nothing — people also have “gut feelings” about all kinds of things that are flat out wrong — and should NEVER be used to publicly implicate someone. In the Armstrong case, NUMEROUS insiders had said for years that LA had doped and many who raced with him were caught. Nothing like that has happened in tennis.

    Finally, LA doped as he did because that was the culture of cycling. It doesn’t excuse the horrible lies he told, but you failed to mention that the entirety of his competition was also doping. There is no evidence to date that such a culture exists in tennis. It might, but if it does, it will impact all of your favorite players, most likely, and not just Nadal.

  54. 54
    Youreanasshole Says:

    You are stupid. Fuck off.

  55. 55
    Robert Says:

    Tennis is largely a mental game. Roid rage would not help you win.

  56. 56
    kitty Says:

    Dude. I can hardly stop laughing. Not sure if this is sour grapes because you didn’t do great in tennis or as a respectable journalist. Rafa is very trim. Was before his layoff too. I saw him in person in WTF 2011 standing beside federer. I could only distinguish them by their clothing colour. You must have widescreen set on your Tv. Watched him practice close up too for ages. Even Tsonga is much smaller in person. Nadal in rome final this year is same size as now. Incredible someone can spout such nonsense when all they really need is an eyetest and a colonoscopy to sort out those ‘gut feelings’. You’ll bet you’re right?? I’ll take that bet so.

  57. 57
    kitty Says:

    Just read a comment by Reggid who gave his opinion that both Rafa and Serena are both doping.then listed the ‘obvious’ signs of doping but only as applied to Serena. Do lets apply them to Nadal shall we? Receeding hairline-no he doesn’t though Federer and many other male players do. Bald spot-yes this is developing the past couple of years but seems a family trait on his mother’s side. Andy Murray is showing a bald patch the last couple of years too-hope he’s watching his back. Poor Roddick and Aggassi have just been convicted on this point alone. Elongated head-eh no. Expanding jawline -no. Moon face -no he has lovely defined cheekbones. Bad skin – no though he did have 1 spot when he was 16 I believe. Hulky muscle -no just more than federer, elongated Isner and even Caroline Wozniaki has more muscle than federer. I’ve seen him up close and I’ve dated guys who never played sport but had more muscles. Increased power and endurance-no he’s always has this. If anything he’s improved his serve and tries to shortened points to reduce energy expenditure and seems to try to schedule matches for the cool of the evening. Look at some of his earlier matches and compare. Bizarre emotional outbursts – ha ha ha. This one describes Djokovic and occasionally Federer, Jerzy Janovitz, Tommy Haas, Roddick, Tomic, Bolgomolov…. not Nadal. Guess this guy started off dissing both Nadal and Serena then realised he couldn’t apply any of this to Nadal and shut up. Nadal has been a noticeable talent since he was an 8 year old child and I refuse to belueve his uncle

  58. 58
    kitty Says:

    I refuse to believe his uncle and coach and his family doped him as a kid. The one thing he seems to have is mental toughness which is missing in the also-rans of many top 20 players and is often underestimated by those who don’t have it. He’s always been good, no sudden improvements just hard work and gradual improvements. A layoff esp when for a long period can give a whole new lease of life and appreciation of the game, and allow you to discover the joy of competing. This is where Federer loses out if you will. He’s never had long periods out so for him it’s always a daily grind, that Monday to Friday feeling and he’s lost mental sharpness. Nadal is playing well in Cincinnati cos he knows his time left is short and unpredictable and this is probably his last spurt so he’s gunning for those titles that have eluded him so far. Nadal fans are expecting payback and more injuries but it will have been worth it. What is obvious is the efforts he’s making to have shorter matches and if you were doping you wouldn’t need to. If you can win matches without drugs why do it. Is the olympics the only tournament that drug tests competitors? He’s only gone out early in Wimbledon this year which was plagued by multiple withdrawals and loses of top players so Sharapova, Azarenka, Federer would have similar questions to answer surely. It’s always sad when top athletes are found to have cheated but to assume all top athletes are guilty…. Or just to pick on someone you don’t like and accuse them -that’s despicable. The majority of athletes are clean I believe. The reason Nadal probably won’t sue over this article is likely because he’s never heard of it or him – the real reason this article was written I think.

  59. 59
    Annie Keegan Says:

    This is the most libelous bunch of bull. period. Rafa has no outward symptoms. No rage, no acne.

    There is no appreciation of his work ethic and philosophy about the game. He doesn’t excel because of drugs. He excels because he WORKS! He works harder than any other player who has ever played the game. And that is the unanimous opinion of all the players on tour. It’s plain to see. His practices are two hours or more. His practice regime is transparent for the public to see. His physique has been the same since he was 14.

    So sad. This is just sour grapes. There are no rumors about Rafa. If there were any suspicions in the locker room, you can be sure that Federer would have said something. No way would he let his records get crushed by Rafa if he thought Rafa was cheating. But Federer has nothing but respect for Rafa.

    This article is irresponsible crap.

  60. 60
    rudy3 Says:

    so let me get this straight….prior to the layoff, he was using steroids and after blood doping? I’ve seen Rafa at IW 3 yrs in a row. His body is no different. He is a little lighter. And he has said he lost weight.

    Sir, you have written irresponsible crap in order to put yourself out in the public and get whatever you get. Do you get paid for this? Are you a credible journalist? A tabloidist? An amateur blogger?

    You are not even a good writer. You have no sources. You have no point of fact. And you change your POV’s from beginning to end of the article.

    I wonder if you have any skeletons in your closet. Other than your not good enough to make it tennis career.

  61. 61
    Annie Keegan Says:

    Commenters: Please don’t refer to this story or it’s author as journalism of any kind.

    There are no sources, no direct quotes, no facts, no evidence.

    This is fiction.

    And an insult to one of the greatest sportsmen who has ever competed.

  62. 62
    DanielleC Says:

    Yeah so he won the Olympics in 08 so would he not have been caught by the strict
    ITF then? This is pretty embarrassing. You have a gut feeling he is a cheat? Well the ATP should just ban him right now then. That’s all the evidence we need. Idiot

  63. 63
    TennisSport Says:

    That in the doping before the proof always slander is spoken, because doping is known very difficult detectable, but long before that will be talked about. I personally can only say that I hope for all tennis players that the rumours( for some time) about Rafa are wrong. Anyway, the author rejects sure strongly out of the window, but it is sometimes realy difficult to have not any question marks on Rafa. But how i said, i hope it for all Tennisplayer it is wrong.

  64. 64
    tennisfan48 Says:

    It still amazes me how delusional some people are. I don’t mean the author….I’m referencing Nadal adorers. I’ve been a hard core tennis fan for over 30 years but what I’m witnessing now truly sickens me. Look, what Nadal’s doing is far from normal. 7 months off from a “career threatening” injury and he wins 9 of 12 events?!? He’s 53-3?!? On hard courts?!? He & Serena- what a pair! Evidently, people have forgotten the names Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Marion Jones, Lance Armstrong…along with loads of cyclists, runners & Baseball players. Of course, some athletes never get caught like Carl Lewis. Personally, tennis needs a serious purging.

  65. 65
    Daniela Says:

    nowadays, being good, means cheating, by taking drugs?

    It’s not like Nadal before his comeback, was nobody. Before his pause, he was NR 1. And I’m pretty sure that he hardly worked in this months to keep the best shape.

    Just because he had an awesome comeback, doesn’t mean he’s taking any kind of drugs/steroids.

    For me, you’re just an Djokovic fan, who thought to spread lies about the enemy, in order to create rumors.

    You should take a lesson of fair-play from Nadal!

  66. 66
    DK Wilson Says:

    Whoo-hoo, look at all the Nadal sycophants!

    There is plenty of damning info on Nadal pointing to him doping. For example, all you Internet users, I’m sure you can search and find the infamous Spanish doping doc who was and is willing to give sworn testimony about Uncle Tony approaching him to dope a 17-year old Rafael just like I did. Because the doc was under investigation at the time he couldn’t do anything, so he turned Tony onto his protege, who was more than willing to administer doping treatments to Rafael Nadal – and, according to the doc did so (you find the info, I’m not your personal researcher).

    There’s also the fact – leaked – that the reason Nadal skipped the 2009 Wimbledon was because he failed a drug test. If he played the result would be made public if he claimed he was injured, the ATP would keep the test quiet… guess what “Rafa,” the guy who can’t execute a down the line slice backhand approach shot or hit a volley with the proper continental grip if god said lightning would strike Nadal if he failed to execute these two rudimentary aspects of the game, did?

    He punted on the game’s most prized event.

  67. 67
    Fan Says:

    Love it. Nadal fans are too narrow minded in thier thinking that to them anybody that accuses Nadal of doping MUST BE a Federer fan. They are so stupid that they don’t realize that EVERYONE (not just a particular fan group) is suspicious of him even more so now that he has had a Lance Armstrong type comeback (emotional investment in a certain player can cloud judgement after-all). Nadal fans all seem to share one brain cell it seems. The truth is going to come out soon.

  68. 68
    gjh11 Says:

    You have a gut feeling.. how can it be? Really, you say you believe Rafa has bad knees. I agree with my Rafa people there is no proof what so ever!Can you explain how this would help his knees?? Because it wouldn’t the last thing you want is PED for what his problem is because it wouldn’t effect the ligaments and tendons in a positive way at all. He was given a new stem cell treatment over a year ago it’s legal and he was told time would tell if it worked, they are very painful injections with that and laser ultrasound therapy plus lighting his frame while building up his quads and special training is why Rafa is playing so well plus he’s the strongest mentally. By the way they also gossip and say he’s had butt implants does your gut believe that to!!

  69. 69
    Kristina Says:

    This article was an interesting read. It is enough to raise suspicions. If he is not guilty then he won’t have to worry when they eventually have more stringent testing in tennis. His comeback seems unreal. I think the author must have very strong feelings on this or he wouldn’t risk going out on this limb.

  70. 70
    Julian Says:

    I’m with you 100%. This is the guy who said they was serious doubt he could ever play the US Hard Court season again, then never loses a match. Uncle Toni says “Rafa’s just got used to playing through pain”. Really?

    Remember the Agassi book. He tested for crystal meth – fact. The ATP buried it – fact. Don’t tell me the ATP want to catch Rafa just ask how many out of competition blood tests he’s missed.

  71. 71
    Randy Says:

    I agree with you. When Nadal came on the scene as a teenager, he had those big muscles. That is not normal for a kid. Uncle Tony changed him from a righty to a lefty so the family was determined to make a winner out of him whatever it took.

  72. 72
    John Says:

    I find it had to believe that Nadal was truly injured with the year he has had. Now that it has been revealed that Cilic used injuries as a cover up of a failed test, I think the same thing may have happened to Nadal last year in that he did fail a test and as a result had to serve a silent provisional suspension. It’s very similar to the events of 2009. After the unannounced AFLD tests that was carried out in Roland Garros we saw Nadal disappear for 3 months only to come back and win 3/4 slams the following year. It seems that Nadal has been caught more than once (like Odesnik) but is being protected by the ITF/ATP for obvious reasons.

    As for Cilic, there is a good chance that if the test results hadn’t been leaked by the Croatian media, he would have just disappeared for 9 months claiming to be nursing the fake injury the sustained at Wimbledon and as usual the corrupt ITF will refuse to comment.

  73. 73
    Robin Says:

    Sadly, this is not the first article written on this subject. Rafa fans just cant think about it, that it’s maybe the truth. Why doesn’t he just get tested? The truth will come out sooner or later. In the meantime, I distrust him and his Uncle Toni!!!!

  74. 74
    Marcia Fiani Says:

    Thank you for your article. I really hope there will be more and more about the subject. And more articles criticizing the “ormetta” imposed by tennis authorities (ITF, ATP and tournament directors). The Cilic’s case is a scandal, that only confirm your words: you are tested positive, you lose early and have a time banned but – PLEASE! – with a knees excuse. In this time, you clean your body of the most evident drugs. And we will be sure the Spanish judge of Dr. Fuentes case will not allow him to give the names of the blood samples. Nadal is, from the beginning of his career, a cheater, who does everything to win (on court coaching, fake mtos, time wasting, and so on). I don’t have proofs neither, but all his behavior, and this “come back” only reinforce my belief on his blood doping. Thanks again. I really hope one day, sooner than later, the truth will come out. But the money involved is big, very big.

  75. 75
    James Horton Says:

    I’m amazed someone can regurgitate this incredible pile of crap and not feel very sorry for himself. There’s no proof whatsoever about anything in this “article”. It’s just a bunch of impressions written to make fed fans less frustrated about their idol. And it’s full of half-truths (the masking of Martina!!!) twisted to make a point that was already “in his gut”. Truth is you despise Nadal´s style of play which has proven to be superior to Fed’s almighty class.
    Some comments accuse Nadal fans of being delusional, narrow minded. To me, Djockovich ascent was far more suspicious but there is no controversy with him. So is it open-minded to believe a good player can spontaneously play the arguably best season in tennis history but a consolidated great player can’t comeback and do what anyone could expect/fear he would? There it is the delusion. Better call it hallucination. Or maybe complex? Man up all you Fed fans, shit happens! @67 Fan: so you cheer for Baghdatis, Djockovic, Tsonga? HAHA!! Face the truth and don’t make up stories that fit what you already think. At least don’t call stupid whoever doesn’t agree with you. Of course you’re all Fed Fans! And not the classy ones, i guess middle-aged men who had dreams of being with the best, couldn´t take the hard work and think they’re just as classy as Fed…
    There is no evidence AND there is no “damning info” (as a commenter writes) pointing to him doping. All there is is a lot of pointing fingers from people who realize their idol wasn’t invincible, live in delusion and make up reality so it fits their day dreaming.@66 DK WILSON: Yours has to be the most awful, untruth,biased comment of all. The “information” you provide is just NOT real, you just made it up!! The infamous spanish doc has never said such thing, quote “Uncle Tony approaching him to dope a 17-year old Rafael “. It’s just NOT true (i live in Spain and it’s been just made up). It says something about you and your psychological status.
    I know this controversy is based on nothing but hatred and self-hatred but someone has to bring up the facts: Nadal´s body has NOT changed over the years, he’s always been pretty big, fast and strong. Nadal’s comebacks aren’t unusual in any sport ( or is it suspicous that a soccer player with a triad in a knee comes back to his former self?, “that” could be a “career challenging” injury, it’s not the case..). The 2011 year is considered an awful year due to his lack of PEDs, then how could he consistently reach grand slam finales in 2011? Wasn’t all his tennis based on PEDs?
    Can’t you all feel this is nonsense? A stupid written thing that throws the stone with no proof, so any kind soul would believe it? Or is it a way to “almighty” losers to feel a bit better?
    As to the comparisons to Armstrong,i have to say they’re very, very malicious. 7 months vs 4 YEARS? Are you nuts? How are those comebacks comparable?
    There is a life out there, try and catch it……………

  76. 76
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  77. 77
    The Hypocrisy towards Rafa | 17aces Says:

    [...] pollute the mind of young children who look up to him. Because I want somebody to shoot this guy: http://oncourt.ca/news/2013/03/22/michael-emmett-is-there-a-connection-between-rafa-and-lance/  I want to slap Cilic and all those players with law suits who’ve accused or insinuated that [...]

  78. 78
    goat Says:

    im sure he doped…but also fed and nole. nevertheless the article in detail some “facts” are wrong…the main point is ofc right…but the rest is s.hit

  79. 79
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  81. 81
    theodore Says:

    can anybody in the tennis world give me an answer about nadals “injuries” …it seems to me that he invents an injury every time he loses to players ranked 100 plus..does anybody know any athlete in any sport to come back from injury and achieve what nadal did?….is this natural or is something else involved…..theodore melabourne

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    Val Says:

    Does every sports person who does well have to be taking drugs or just plain jealousy by people who have never achieved anything in their lives. There are many males who work hard in the gym to achieve those muscles including some in my own family(without drugs).when Rafa came back after long injury he only played in small tournaments and when he played the big tournaments he didn’t,t do so well. OCD is not a sign of drugs either as I have a friend who would seriously argue that point. Is there nothing more worthwhile in this sometimes rotten world that can be discussed.

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    Mike Says:

    I can’t believe you were allowed to submit this ‘article’. Are you 10 years old? The conclusions you draw from your own admission of no proof is mind boggling. Lance Armstrong denied and threatened to sue etc. in the exact manner of someone innocent who has been accused. Does this mean that someone who is in fact innocent can longer ‘act’ in a way of someone innocent?? Unbelievably immature and illogical ‘journalism’. You better hope the Nadal lawyers don’t dig up this article or you will be in the same boat as Bachelot.

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    Rick Bradley Says:

    I only hope you’re right about even some of his PED use coming to light in public someday. Ditto for Serena. Can’t think of two more obvious cases. Murray’s dramatic increase in muscle mass and endurance in recent years also looks suspicious to me but the evidence pointing to Nadal is well-documented and an incredibly long, long list.

    My fear, however, is that Lance was the exception: unlucky to get caught, despite higher risks — a team sport (whereas Rafa’s team does not include other active players and has remained consistently closed and tightly knit for his career by contrast) and he wasn’t as careful; I suspect Rafa and his team has been learning from such mistakes.

    I have my doubts that any more than a minority of drug cheats get caught and publicly exposed. Just like most big money white collar crime. Keep digging, keep asking questions, and keep hoping someone does enough to start the dominos falling. It would be so much better if the sport were clean — or as close to it as technology and human nature will allow.

    That said, though, the way the wta parasitizes the atp is probably an even bigger reason why most of the world’s greatest, honest tennis players just trying to earn their living on merit, are unable to do so in professional tennis. If the two circuits kept to themselves like they do in any other sport rather than foolishly combining their events and constantly piggy-backing coverage so you can’t even watch an atp game without hearing commentary on the wta, all that marketing energy could go into the stuff that makes other sports more competitive for markets like the U.S.: promotion and analysis of junior prospects, making more players into household names, providing a much more rich and consistent context for information about the sport for fans of either atp or wta — so the average fan would know more in depth about the field and individual players.

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    Clelia Mattana Says:

    This article is basically a copy of what I just found after much searching, the infamous “strange case of Rafa Nadal”, a source you also mention in the beginning of your copycat article. You only added the parallel with Lance and pronto, the sensational article to bring some attention.

    Now, everything in the comments has already been said, in favor or condemning Nadal (without proof, only circumstantial facts).

    A bit of background here: I love tennis, I followed it since 1989, I went to see matches in London where I used to live for 6 years pretty regularly and saw basically all the top players matches.

    Now I want to switch the topic a bit and tell everyone the “strange case of my brother”, to give you a proof that circumstantial evidence and the consequent accusations to Nadal are a disgrace to the sport.

    All the circumstantial evidence are based mostly on a few facts:
    1) Nadal’s muscular body
    2)Nadal’s incredible endurance
    3) Nadal’s suspect absence from the tournaments for fake injuries
    4) Since Lance was a prime suspect, they had no proof until his own confession then it is mathematical that also Nadal’s case is the same.
    5)All the top players are doped, except a few ones that seem to be untouchable, see Federer.

    So based on these facts you are stating openly or just suggesting, I will lay down my brother’s weird case.

    FACT NUMBER 1) At age 18/19 he was a normal teenager, pretty average body, even a bit skinny, until he decided to join a gym for like one hour 2-3 times a week and (this was ages ago as I’m now 40 and he is 45) I still remember after not more than a couple of months a complete transformation. I couldn’t believe it, I remember his biceps, his neck, he was getting MASSIVE. The only thing he took were these proteins supplements, and eating well. Was my brother taking illegal substances? I can easily bet my own life he wasn’t. He is so conservative that bashes me for smoking, he never even tried (and he was not a sporty/healthy guy when he did), and he doesn’t even understand what doping really is.

    QUESTION: If a foolish kid like my brother was, with a lot less training than Nadal could develop incredible muscles in just a few months, don’t you think that the correlation between muscular gain and doping is not always correct?
    As soon as he turned back being a lazy bum, he quickly lost all the muscles. Easy as that. His fellow friend went to the same gym, same exercise regime, same proteins and he didn’t get that bulky. My brother has “good” genes and natural hormones for muscle growth. Usually a level of testosterone higher than usual (that runs in my family by the way) was the reason, and by age 25/26 he was also losing his hair. By age 30 he was almost bold.

    FACT NUMBER 2) After years and years of inactivity, I’m talking about 20 years, when he gain weight and even had cellulite in his stomach (and I used to mock him for that), he didn’t even go out unless he had to take the dog for a walk… after the poor dog died, he went into a state of depression and to compensate he started (very casually) to ride a bike.

    From a casual 15 minute ride he started to become obsessed with it. It was probably his drug to avoid feeling the pain of the loss of his beloved dog. Not even two years later, he was fully into biking semi-professionally at age 43, he even participated in some triathlon events. His body completely transformed once again. This time not particularly muscular, he was (in my eyes) way too skinny, like he had lost all the fat and he was only muscles.

    At 43, after 20 years of being a lazy bum) his mind switched and he was not only able to completely change his body shape but to also get ahead of guys 20 years younger than him.
    Was he taking substances? Nope. I would again put my life on the line. We are Italians, there are no secrets in our family and now more than ever, he is totally against even drinking a beer once a week.

    He injured himself for overtraining a few times and had to stop for a few months on and off, but every time he went back, probably his spirit and (to me) unhelathy obsession for the sport, put him back again at the same levelk he was before in no time.

    I tried to stop this crazy obsession of his many times as I could see that training like he was 20 and almost like a professional athlete was not good for his body, but he wouldn’t listen as riding a bike has basically become his life.

    All this “rant” about the curious case of my brother is to prove you and many other skeptics out there that you CAN’T use circumstantial evidence to accuse people of doping. My brother is the living proof that extraordinary things can happen at any age. I do believe that good genes run in our family and I believe that in my brother’s case his mind played a massive role in his performance.

    That said, I wouldn’t add anything else. Except that I respect Rafa for his super strong mind on court, his focus, his discipline, his ambition and his brilliant shots. I also have a massive respect for Federer. I love tennis and even if it’s obvious that there is doping everywhere at high levels, you can’t make such allegations with no proof whatsoever, distorting facts when convenient to make your case and using your gut feeling to trash Nadal’s reputation.

    No one is 100% sure about what is going on, no one knows if Nadal has ever taken illegal substances, except for him and his team. There is only speculation because of his muscles/endurance and great comebacks. Something that even a lazy bum like my brother could do and very late in life.

    Nadal started at age 4, tennis is his life, and his strong mind on court plays a huge role in his accomplishments. I haven’t seen many players with a higher focus on court than him, or with the willpower to come back after being down 3 games to zero, now I doubt there is a substance that will help you with that. That is what makes him a true champion. Everyone focus only on his muscles when his biggest muscle is his MIND.

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    R.A. Says:

    Great piece giving an account of something that is apparent to anyone (even those die-hard fans who refuse to accept the reality). Nadal is an absolute fraud and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand it.
    The Roland Garros 2017 campaign was just yet another blatant example. He could reach impossible balls like he did before and never showed the slightest sign of fatigue. By the way, can you name his biggest weapon in therms of game? It’s his endurance and physical strength of course! Anyone acquainted with tennis is aware that he is not as talented as Federer, Djokovic, Wawrinka and other top guys. Nadal and his team knew that he could only get there through doping and that’s what they did. His history speaks volumes about how he built his entire career!
    Earlier in the year, have you guys picked up on how robust and monstrous his arms and legs looked? In December 2016, he’d already warned everyone he was in his prime again and from that time on it was not hard to predict what would happen, especially during the clay season. If the ATP and the ITF hadn’t covered for him, Nadal would have already been unmasked. I just hope one day the entire world gets to learn the enormous cheater Nadal is. GUYS, LET’S NOT ALLOW THIS TOPIC TO FADE AWAY!

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    Larry Says:

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    George Says:

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