The American tennis community is shaken tonight with the news of world #114 Wayne Odesnik’s 2 year ban from the game by the Internation Tennis Federation, for being caught with human growth hormone, and for transporting it to Australia prior to the 2010 Australian Open. The ban comes on the eve of the French Open Championships, likely Odesnik’s best chance to make a splash at the majors due to his grinding baseline style of play.
Wayne Odesnik of Weston was banned for two years by the International Tennis Federation for possession of Human Growth Hormone, and will have to forfeit the $90,188 he had earned this year.
The 24-year-old, who was ranked No. 114 in the world, admitted to having eight vials of the drug in his suitcase when he traveled from the United States to Australia on Jan. 2, 2010. He was caught by Australian customs agents.
The suspension is retroactive to Dec. 29, 2009, and will end on Dec. 28, 2011. All his results in competitions this year will be disallowed, and he will lose his ranking points and all the money he earned this season.
Odesnik claims he never used the drugs he possessed, and that he had no idea that using them would constitute a doping offense. The ITF, perhaps the strictest sports association when it comes to PEDs, did not have any failed tests for Odesnik, though it is very possible that Odesnik was taking an undetectable hormone.
As to the claim that Odesnik had no idea the drug was outside of the rules, we would call that defense an obvious, insulting lie. The ITF should be applauded for its strict policies, which have done more to promote a level playing field in tennis than say, the NFL or Major League Baseball does.
Looking at Odesnik’s slight frame must be a lesson to the public that steroids don’t necessarily make a person bulky. We are going to operate under the assumption that Odesnik is dirty, as the proof was in his suitcase, and the burden to us, now lies on Odesnik to prove otherwise.
The most shocking part of this story is that Odesnik is not even a good player. He has a fledgling career at this point and has struggled to make the 128 man field at major tournaments.
Be a clean athlete,