TUE, suspensions and bans in 2022 — Must-click women’s tennis links
The IX: Tennis Tuesday with Joey Dillon, Dec. 13, 2022
Happy Tennis Tuesday! The other day, it was announced that ATP player Fernando Verdasco was banned for two months after testing positive for Adderall. The reason why the ban was so short was because he technically had a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE), but the one for his medication expired. Now, you might be wondering, “what’s a TUE?” A TUE is “an application process provides athletes with an opportunity to apply for a TUE when medical treatment is required involving the use of a prohibited substance or prohibited method.”
Any athlete is trying to — legally — gain an advantage and according to numerous players, TUEs for Adderall are apparently rampant in tennis:
In 2016, a computer hack revealed numerous athletes’ TUEs including Serena Williams and Simone Biles. Bethanie Mattek-Sands was revealed to have had multiple TUE requests for DHEA — which helps create testosterone and are rarely given to female athletes — approved by the ITF but denied by WADA. The Court of Arbitration for Sport eventually ruled against Mattek-Sands, but the hacking created the first conversations about TUEs and “legal doping.”
Technically, I’m a pro athlete (lol, when I can say this, I will) and can be subject to testing at any of the ITF World Tour events I get waxed at. When I sign up for the IPIN entry system, I agree to the terms set by Anti-Doping authorities to ensure a level playing field. At the same time, I am prescribed Adderall for my ADD and don’t see it as a performance-enhancer — it simply helps me with daily life. That being said, I think it’s important that TUE requests should be publicly accessible but there needs to have some safeguards for the players’ privacy. Perhaps list the players with both approved and rejected TUEs but not listing out the medications? Sure, that seems counterproductive, but transparency is key.
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Legal doping isn’t rare at the upper echelon of tennis, but it’s still only widely-known within the confines of the locker room. Drink powders, creams, injections and more are all being used. Shouldn’t other players, sponsors, etc. be made aware of the competition gaming the system? Of course, I’d like to think the majority of TUEs are for legitimate purposes, but will we ever know?
The Verdasco announcement had me thinking about this year in doping and betting, so I decided to go through the International Tennis Integrity Association’s sanctions for 2022:
- 1/21: Elizaveta Demina was provisionally suspended for testing positive for Meldonium at a W15 ITF World Tour event in Kazan, Russia in November 2021.
- 2/2: Elizaveta Koklina was given no period of ineligibility after testing positive for hydrochlorothiazide in August 2021 during an out-of-competition test.
- 2/7: Angelina Zhuravleva voluntarily accepted a provisional suspension after testing positive for arimistane metabolite at a W15 ITF World Tour event in Kazan, Russia in November 2021.
- 3/4: Vavara Lepchenko was banned for four years after testing positive for adrafinil and/or modafinil metabolite at the WTA 250 in Budapest in July 2021. Though it was her second technical Anti-Doping violation, it was treated as her first since she bore No Fault or Negligence since the traces of Meldonium in her system were from before the substance was banned by WADA.
- 4/1: Elsa Wan was banned for 18 months after testing positive for Pseudoephedrine at a W15 ITF World Tour event in Piracicaba, Brazil in October 2021.
- 4/1: Elizaveta Demina was banned for three years following her January provisional suspension
- 4/29: Ksenia Palkina was banned for 16 years, with six years suspended, along with a $100,000 fine (with $87,500 suspended) after being found guilty of match-fixing charges.
- 6/8: Tara Moore was provisionally suspended after testing positive for Nandrolone and Boldenone at the WTA 250 in Bogota, Colombia in April 2022.
- 6/14: Chilean coach Sebastian Rivera was provisionally suspended while an investigation of match-fixing was opened against him.
- 6/22: Barbara Gatica was provisionally suspended after testing positive for Boldenone at the WTA 250 in Bogota, Colombia in April 2022.
- 7/8: Three Tunisian chair umpires were found guilty of match-fixing charges. Majd Affi received a twenty-year ban, while Mohamed Ghassen Snene and Abderahim Gharsallah were both given seven-year bans.
- 7/14: Francesco Totaro, an Italian chair umpire, was provisionally suspended while an investigation of match-fixing was opened against him.
- 7/22: Max Wenders, a Dutch coach, was banned for 12 years and fined $12,000 in April 2021, but Wenders’ legal team asked for the sanction to not be public. The ITIA lifted that embargo and announced it.
- 8/11: Anastasiya Shoshyna was banned for four years after testing positive for stanozolol metabolites at a W25 ITF World Tour event in October 2020 in Istanbul, Turkey.
- 8/26: Lorenzo Chiurazzi, an Italian chair umpire and line judge, was banned for seven years, six months and fined $50,000 (with $33,500 suspended) after being found guilty of match-fixing charges.
- 9/15: Valeria Bhunu was banned for three year and three months after testing positive for Mesterolone metabolite at a W25 ITF World Tour event in Pretoria, South Africa in September 2021.
- 10/21: Simona Halep was provisionally suspended after testing positive for FG-4592 (Roxadustat) at the US Open in August 2022.
- 12/5: Stefan Milanov, a Bulgarian chair umpire, was banned for six months and fined $10,000 (with $5,000 suspended) after being found guilty of match-fixing charges.
This Week in Women’s Tennis
Alycia Parks’ patience and guts to travel abroad paid off as she won her second consecutive WTA 125 title at the Open P2i Angers Arena Loire. She knocked out Anna-Lena Friedsam in the singles final and teamed up with Zhang Shuai to win the doubles title over Miriam Kolodziejova and Marketa Vondrousova.
The 2022 WTA Awards winners were announced:
- Player of the Year: Iga Swiatek
- Doubles Team of the Year: Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova
- Most Improved: Beatriz Haddad Maia
- Newcomer of the Year: Zheng Qinwen
- Comeback Player of the Year: Tatjana Maria
- Karen Krantzcke Sportsmanship Award: Ons Jabeur
- Peachy Kellmeyer Player Service Award: Gabriela Dabrowski
- Jerry Diamond ACES Award: Maria Sakkari
- WTA Coach of the Year: David Witt
With agent Stuart Duguid in her corner, Naomi Osaka is the next athlete-entrepreneur to keep a very close eye on with their agency, Evolve.
From Linda Noskova still pinching herself after sharing a court with Serena and Venus Williams to Eva Lys already getting excited about Rome’s pasta, the future of the WTA seems bright.
Though the United Cup — where the likes of Agnieszka Radwanska and Iva Majoli are captaining — is basically its replacement, the ITF announced that the Hopman Cup will be making a return in the middle of the calendar and in Nice, France.
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Elina Svitolina’s foundation gala helped raise over $250,000, which will go towards Ukrainian war relief and helping out impacted junior tennis players.
Five at The IX alum Sloane Stephens was in South Africa for a charity exhibition that ultimately was cancelled. Yet, she still found time to give back through her Sloane Stephens Foundation:
Congratulations to Anastasija Sevastova, who gave birth to her first child, a daughter named Alexandra.
Though she’s had a full season to adapt to the media spotlight, Emma Raducanu still feels the pressure with all eyes on her.
Former Top 100 doubles player Paula Kania-Chodun announced her retirement at the age of 30:
For Anastasiia Lopata, she’s found a new home at the University of Georgia in the wake of the Ukraine-Russia war.
Congratulations to Jamie Loeb, who graduated from UNC after representing the Tar Heels from 2013-2015 before turning pro:
You don’t get to hear from pre-Open Era Grand Slam winners, but this piece celebrating 1962 Wimbledon champion Karen Susman turning 80 was a nice one. Another birthday milestone was hit by Tracy Austin, who enters her sixth decade.
Wimbledon’s ban on Russian and Belarussian athletes, which saw the LTA get fined over $1 million, might be reversed for the 2023 tournament, which is already having roadblocks with their expansion project.
The North Carolina State women’s tennis program is sweeping at the ITF World Tour level. It’s only a matter of time before multiple players will be representing the Wolfpack at the Grand Slams:
Even in retirement, Ashleigh Barty is still racking up awards. She received her fifth Newcombe Medal as Australia’s top female tennis player, but also her second Don Award — Australia’s most prestigious sports award.
The wtatennis.com staff compiled their biggest upsets of the year and Alize Cornet’s win over Iga Swiatek at Wimbledon is surprisingly not on the list.
In coaching news, Caroline Garcia will retain Juan Pablo Guzman in a limited capacity, while Karolina Pliskova shared she has reunited with Sascha Bajin.
It’s a Winter Wimbledon Wonderland:
Tweet of the Week
Thanks to IX alum Blair Henley for sharing this amazing clip. I’ll say it until I’m blue in the face — representation matters, especially in a sport for people of all ages, backgrounds, disabilities, etc.
|By: Annie Peterson, @AnnieMPeterson, AP Women’s Soccer|
|By: Joey Dillon, @JoeyDillon, Freelance Tennis Writer|
|By: Howard Megdal, @HowardMegdal, The Next|
|By: Addie Parker, @addie_parker, The IX|
|By: @TheIceGarden, The Ice Garden|
|By: Lela Moore, @runlelarun, Freelance Writer|