Thursday, November 08, 2007

Tennis, Now With More Intrigue and Trickery

It used to be that tennis was the sport of gentlemen(and women). Upstanding, law-abiding citizens enjoyed playing and watching matches, and never had to worry that behind the nets there was a seedy underworld just waiting to be exposed. Then they let the players grunt and moan, and the females skirts kept getting shorter and shorter(keep going) and that was the beginning of the end.

Now, there's talk of match fixing and fines for not playing hard enough, allegations of cocaine use and possible poisonings.

The International Tennis Federation is investigating allegations that Tommy Haas was poisoned before Germany's Davis Cup match against Russia.

Haas was forced out of his match against Mikhail Youzhny with a suspected stomach virus. Russia won both reverse singles matches on Sept. 23 to win the semifinal series 3-2 and reach the Davis Cup final.

"We take this very seriously," ITF spokeswoman Barbara Travers said Wednesday. "The investigation starts today."

German teammate Alexander Waske said he was told by a Russian who manages numerous athletes that it was poisoning, not a virus. Waske didn't say who the manager was.

"He said as an aside, that it was bitter that Tommy Haas was poisoned," said Waske, who answered the man by saying that it was a virus. "Thereupon he said, 'No, they poisoned him.'"

And what is that could have been poisoned?
"I was the only one ever to order dessert or a Latte macchiato after dinner," Haas said. "If all this is true, since no one else got sick, that must have been when it happened."

The dessert or Latte macchiato? That's just playing dirty! Though, I wonder if the dessert was by chance a black and white cookie.


Free Bet Man said...

When did Tennis become such a hot bed for such underhanded tactics such as match fixing and poisoning?!
Either these problems have only just started to become a problem within the game or the players are only now being brave enough to open up and tell the whole sporting World just exactly what goes on behind the scenes?
However, I must say that I for am very disappointed that young Andy Murray retracted his statement on match fixing and something deep in me hopes that Haas' tests come back as poisoning, maybe if it does, this may open the door to even more intrigue?

BDoc said...

Yeah, if Haas' tests come back and show that he was poisoned, that will just add to the events that we seem to be learning about everyday.

I have a feeling that some of this stuff has occured in tennis for quite some time just like it does in any professional sport. However, it's not quite as mainstream, at least in the U.S., and doesn't get as much media coverage or hype.

Free Bet Man said...

There is a story emerging today that Davydenko is mentally drained following the intense press coverage on the 'match fixing' scandal which has been following him around for over three months now.
It is highly likely that Haas will also now be made a target by the press which will obviously be a negative factor mentally if not physically. If this does happen, surely it will put other players off blowing the whistle on these matters and that would be detrimental for the sport.

BDoc said...

That would certainly be detrimental. Hopefully, if there is more to these stories, then that information will be made public and the players won't face any reprecussions. Though, I sort of doubt that that will happen.

free bet man said...

Bdoc, I agree, that probably won't happen.
I'm a training to become a journalist at the moment and although it would be better for their relationships with the players to give them some space, journalists will without doubt go after the players as though they are already guilty or, in the case of Haas as though the poisoning is an actuality rather than just rumour.