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2004 Jan 12 - Todd Woodbridge slams Rusedski

Todd Woodbridge - VP of the ATP's Player Council - has (over?)reacted to Greg Rusedski's attempt to clear his name in public before the ATP hearing he is set to face on the 9 February.

The sensitive issue for the ATP is that Greg is resting the blame at their feet as it has been proven that they have previously provided supplements containing the banned substance nandrolone to professional tennis players.

Todd said:

"What he has done is shown the players this isn't the way to go about fighting a drug case.

"I'm a little disappointed that he came out with it. He has made it very difficult for himself.

"The fact is that if he is innocent, he has got an opportunity to prove that. If he can prove that, he won't be given any suspensions.

"He is basically putting himself on trial to the public. I think that was the wrong way to go about it.

"I am sure he would have reasons to combat my explanation. As it is, the process has not been tainted by the ATP or the players, it has been busted by Greg opening up.

"My job is to go into the locker room and ram down the guys' throats that they can't do what Greg has done."

He also defended the drug testing system currently in place as it is identical to that used by the IOC (International Olympic Committee). Although this has absolutely nothing to do with Greg's argument so it serves no purpose other than to cloud the judgement of the public. Todd added:

"Our rules are the rules of the IOC, that is what guidelines we follow. It is not an ATP issue.

"I heard him say he wanted to sue the ATP. Then he may as well sue the IOC, the ITF (International Tennis Federation) and the ATP all at once because it is the same guideline the whole way through.

"We are under the same process as the IOC so we can play in the Olympics, and WADA are testing in tennis also and there won't be any slip-ups from them.

"He has taken something that was contaminated, by what he says.

"He has to prove, if he wants to sue the ATP, that a member of the ATP gave him something.

"If Greg can prove he has taken something that somebody else in the ATP gave him then that's fine, otherwise he is responsible, plain and simple."

A defiant Todd Woodbridge then tried to defend the ATP's position regarding the possibility that they were responsible for providing Greg with the nandrolone contaminated supplement. Although to defend an action the ATP have already been found guilty of in the Bohdan Ulihrach case seems to be rather optimistic. He said:

"The ATP stopped giving out what they think may have had contamination in May (2003).

"There have been strict regulations about what gets given out in the locker room."

The above says it all really, what the ATP "think". Which means other supplements they didn't "think" were contaminated could well have still been circulated by ATP trainers. And as Greg claims his sample shares the same analytical fingerprint to the ATP samples Todd will be making himself look rather foolish if Greg is able to back-up his claims at the hearing on the 9th.

In another brazen attack on Greg, Todd claimed he did not have the support in the locker room that Greg is leading us to believe. He said:

"It's a pretty selfish world in tennis. Everybody is playing head-to-head and they want to have a leg up and be just that bit ahead.

"They know he is going through turmoil and I think they would be trying to use that to their advantage.

"He would have had better support in the locker room if he hadn't broken it the way he did. I think that was unwise.

"As an individual athlete it hurts your own reputation and that is why he needed to go through the whole proceedings before he came out with these accusations."

Todd, what is your problem? Trial by media is the worst kind, and yet Greg is confident enough to defend himself in the public eye. If you do not believe in such actions then why have you bothered to respond to them? Why don't you practice what you preach and wait until the hearing?!

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