First a comment on Morning Drive, and Shackelford’s week as a guest host. I turned it on this morning as the intro was on, and I was informed there will be a segment on “controlling your trajectory.” Look, guys, I don’t give a shite about my golf swing. I want golf NEWS! I can watch the evening shows to get tips on my golf swing. I don’t turn on Mike and Mike to learn how to spike a volleyball or hit a slapshot. Also, in the first four minutes of today’s show, they are discussing Anthony Kim, as he was the subject of a USA Today article this morning. (More poor editing from a paid editor: “Kim said he made a substantial investment, which he made back within months.” I expected something like “which he made back in 1998.” “Recouped” was probably the way to go.) Both Damon “Wyndham is a major” Hack and Chris “I was on TV with Tiger that time, remember?” DiMarco used the occasion to tell stories about Tiger Woods. No kidding. Hack mentioned Woods’s name about ten times. They spoke more of Tiger Woods than Anthony Kim.
But I wanted to discuss Shackelford. In Shackelford, Golf Channel has one of the leading voices for rolling back golf ball distance, and they don’t have a major discussion of the topic? Instead they had Shack discussing… drumroll, please… re-routing holes at golf courses for majors. Wow, that’s certainly riveting stuff.
Okay… time for golf, tennis, PEDs.
Yesterday, when Dr. Suppiah linked Woods and Rafael Nadal together in his segment on blood-spinning, I immediately thought of the Charlie Hebdo cover with the Nadal lookalike. I didn’t know much about Nadal and the rumors and issues with doping in tennis, so I started reading. Fascinating stuff with more than a little intersection with the golf world.
Consider this comment, from Paul Kimmage, the Irish sports writer who has written extensively about doping in the sport of cycling:
“Possibly, and this may sound ridiculous, cycling is one of the cleanest sports left because the controls are full on. But f***ing tennis, I find it nauseating to watch it on TV to see the McEnroes and all the commentators engage in this big love-in. And the bottom line is we are all getting rich here folks, lets not upset the apple-cart.”
Man, did that ever strike a chord. Don’t upset the apple cart. A Tiger Woods love-in. That’s long been the mission statement for Golf Channel and the rest of the Tigerstream golf media.
But there was more. You’ll recall that Terez Hilton reported two years ago that Tiger Woods’s name was on the Biogenesis customer list and that Tim Finchem had possession of that information. The article remains posted; neither Finchem nor Woods has denied the report or tried to force Hilton to retract. Contrast their inaction to the fervor with which they went after Dan Olsen last spring following his radio comments about Woods and a PED suspension. Of course, they could deny an official suspension. Recall that DJ was not officially suspended. But he would have been had he not agreed to sit out for a while. (That same strategy has been used in tennis.)
Okay, well, tennis has their own player with ties to Biogenesis. Check out the reaction there among players and officials. From last spring, “Wayne Odesnik banned from tennis for 15 years after a second doping violation”:
Odesnik issued a statement maintaining his innocence, claiming he had accidentally ingested substances through taking an over-the-counter supplement, but he has little credit in the bank, especially after being linked to the notorious Biogenesis clinic in Florida two years ago.
From the same article, check out these player reactions:
‘Goodbye Wayne … good riddance,’ tweeted Murray, who has been among the more vociferous players calling for an extension of anti-doping measures in tennis.
Andy Roddick joined in the condemnation of Odesnik who, even before 2010, was deeply unpopular in the locker room. He tweeted: ‘My feelings are that he’s a d*****bag and I hate that he has a US flag to his name when he’s cheating, good riddance.’
Veteran British doubles player Jamie Delgado chimed in: ‘Wayne Odesnik cheats again, what a joke. Get out of the sport mate.’
In golf, such condemnation is reserved for the ones who suggest there is anything fishy about Tiger Woods getting 63 visits to his home from Galea and Lindsay, or with Tim Finchem doing nothing about the Biogenesis list of golfers.