Wimbledon Jr. Champ Quinzi Questions Djokovic’s Recovery Abilities; Asks Why Top Stars Like Federer, Nadal Don’t Get Caught
by Staff | July 27th, 2013, 10:18 am

Adding further fuel on the already-smoldering doping fire, Wimbledon junior champion Gianluigi Quinzi told an Italian media outlet that he wonders why top stars like Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer never get caught for violating the tennis anti-doping rules. He also question the ability of Novak Djokovic to recover so quickly after playing long matches. The Italian 17-year-old made the remarks to Sport Mediaset during an interview released yesterday.

“Doping in tennis? When you see players such as Djokovic play 5 long sets and then walk back onto the court the next day and play with the same intensity as the day before, it’s difficult to not think the worst,” the 17-year-old was quoted as saying by La Gazzetta dello Sport. “I’m not saying that Nole or certain other tennis stars make use of doping. I don’t know. But you do start to question things when you see certain recoveries.”

He went on say, “Just look at Nadal and Federer. I never see them getting caught, while some 30-40 around the world are. I believe that on the tennis circuit everyone has to be treated in the same way when it comes to doping. Even if your name is Nadal or Federer. If they have to pull them up, then they have to pull them up. It’s not as if it would be the end of tennis were they to be pulled up. I don’t know whether they or anyone else make use of doping, but in my opinion everyone has to be treated the same way.”

If Quinzi was hoping to make friends on the tour, especially with the top players, this wasn’t the way to do it. The teen is currently ranked a career-high No. 384 this week on the ATP computer and No. 3 in the ITF juniors.

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57 Comments for Wimbledon Jr. Champ Quinzi Questions Djokovic’s Recovery Abilities; Asks Why Top Stars Like Federer, Nadal Don’t Get Caught

tennismonger Says:

Kids say the darndest things…

WTF Says:

Shots fired.

This is going to come back to haunt him.

Ben Pronin Says:

I think I just found my new favorite player.

WTF Says:

There can be no other interpretation to his comments than “they’re all cheats.”

He tries to sugar coat it by saying about Djokovic “I’m not saying he’s doping, but you have to ask questions”, but when he refers to Nadal and Federer and asks, why haven’t they been caught? or it’s not the end of the world if they are pulled up and they have to be treated the same way as everyone else, there’s no way to sugar coat that one. You wouldn’t ask why they haven’t been caught UNLESS you think they’re cheats. If you don’t think or know they are cheats, you wouldn’t ask that. If you don’t believe they cheated then obviously they haven’t been caught because they didn’t cheat. So why would you ask that?

Maybe they’re able to rebound from a 5 setter because they’re just fitter than you? Djokovic I admit has gotten seemingly inhuman recovery powers and fitness levels post 2010 (in stark contrast to pre-2010), but it’s innocent until proven guilty.

wow Says:

Wow this kid just said rafa was his idol, and now accusing him doping…

Ben Pronin Says:

Why isn’t he allowed to think they’re cheating? It’s not like he’s in charge of WADA or ITF and his opinion will somehow implicate them.

Giles Says:

@wow. I don’t think Rafa will be practising with him anytime soon or indeed Fed or Joker.Lol

wow Says:

@Giles, saying that out loud certainly doesn’t make him popular with the top guys…but of course he can voice his opinion. Just, isn’t it conflicting to say your idol is a doper lol

Giles Says:

I think this junior champ is just an attention seeking kid. Hope these statements don’t blow up in his face!

Anna Says:

I think it’s really sad that 5-10 years down the road that the tennis world could be saying, “well, they were great champions, but they were all doping”. I’m pretty sure that’s not the legacy they want to leave. WADA has to find a way to put a stop to this. Nadal outlined a way to do that. It doesn’t have to be his way, but they need to do something to make this right so that at the very least the sports up and coming players have a belief that their sport is clean. I definitely think that if Roger (and I say Roger because he is the most elite player) were to have a dirty test, it would be devastating for tennis.

Dan Martin Says:

I think he can first off say what he wants. Secondly, with Berdych making some interesting claims about drug testing being too porous in tennis at Wimbledon and 2 fairly recognizable players having some sort of doping issue pop up even if guilt or severity have not been determined, that more of these sound bytes will be forthcoming. Tennis has a reputation for being pretty clean and the ATP, WTA and ITF would be smart to keep it that way by broadening testing as well as testing more randomly.

James Says:

Ben Pronin Says:

I think I just found my new favorite player.


Based on his personality/outspokenness, Ben?

WTF Says:

Ben Pronin Says:

“Why isn’t he allowed to think they’re cheating? It’s not like he’s in charge of WADA or ITF and his opinion will somehow implicate them.”

No one says he isn’t allowed to think they’re cheating. But unless he has evidence, he shouldn’t go around pointing fingers. Accusing people of cheating is quite a serious thing to do. The ATP or ITF would never say something about someone until they have conclusive damning evidence, because it will completely destroy a player’s career. If they turn out to be innocent, no will even believe them.

It’s not going to reflect well on him.

What gives him the right to assume the top players are not being tested? Or if they are tested positive for the testers to cover it up for them? Is there any foundation for this?

WTF Says:

Dan Martin Says:

“I think he can first off say what he wants.”

Of course he can. That’s what free speech gets you. Just as long as you don’t expect your words to come without consequence.

“ITF would be smart to keep it that way by broadening testing as well as testing more randomly.”

They already do that. You have to report to WADA every day for a certain designated period where you are going to be, and they can at any time show up and take a urine sample. This has been the policy for at least 5 years now.

When you get tested, they have to actually see you pissing into a jar. You can’t turn around to protect your modesty. It’s quite degrading in my opinion.

Ben Pronin Says:

Pissing in a jar is virtually pointless considering how advanced the drugs have become.

They need to BROADEN it. Have you seen the numbers for last year? They’re pathetic. And the way the numbers are displayed, we have no idea whether the tests came positive or negative, just that they happened. Again, Troicki, in his 8 year career, has had 5 blood tests. Is that enough for you?

James Says:

“Troicki, in his 8 year career, has had 5 blood tests.”

This is really disturbing, Ben. I don’t understand how could this happen. How many times exactly do they test an athlete or a player in a year? Any idea?

As for the Jr champ, I can see some ATP/ITF guys having a chat with him soon. You don’t wanna talk to the media about this whole thing, pointing your finger at Novak’s quick recovery between matches or name Nadal and Federer as players protected by the ATP, all this without any evidence. Esp when you’re just starting your career.

KissMyGrits Says:

who cares about doping. people are so weird. just enjoy the show.

KissMyGrits Says:

and the recovery is a result of ice baths, massages, stretching, and nsaids. the next day u are good to go. short cut artist probably never tried it.

Wog boy Says:

Hang on a minute, we are talking about 17 years old who is yet to play pro matches and probably still needs his mum to wipe his bum who is questioning credibilety of Roger, Rafa, Nole … What is next, Prime Minister of Nauru lecturing Obama or Putin on world politics.
You cannot be serious?
Italian dude just got out of nappies, yet to taste real life …

Before you say anything, of course he is entitled to his opinion, but so am I.

Graham Says:

Quinzi looked very impressive at Wimbledon in his match with Edmund. Got great ability and obviously hes a bit of arrogant kid as well. Good because th

Graham Says:

Because thats whats required to reach the top. Everyone says silly things when theyre young. I remember Djokovic at the 2006 French Open saying after losing 6-4 6-4 rtd to Nadal “I dominated the match”. How people laughed. Quinzi will be top 50 for sure and hopefully a lot higher.

Steve 27 Says:

this kid, probably wil be right, but as the lawyers said: You are innocent until proven guilty.
First Troicky and now Cilic. Mmm…

hawkeye Says:

Look at how many players have suddenly upped their game well into their careers including drastically improved stamina in their late 20s and early 30s.

PEDs/doping or not, until the ITF/ATP get their act together, suspicions will continue to arise.


WTF Says:

Ben, they don’t need to tell you their numbers or how to interpret them until there is a positive test. As long as they know it’s done and who’s positive, they are doing their jobs.

The system serves its purpose as a deterrent. If you know you can be tested, you won’t do it even if you don’t end up being tested.

And if the drugs are too advanced to be detected, keep in mind that they keep all your samples for 8 years, so that if in future they develop ways to test what was previously undetectable, they can retest your samples. 8 years is a long time in an arms race. It’s enough time for them to find a way to detect it. And as you saw with Lance Armstrong, they can strip you of your titles and prize money.

What more do you expect from them really? Daily testing? If as you say, the stuff is too advanced to be detected, what’s the point? They’re doing all they can. They’re never going to be perfect, but they’re doing as good a job as one can reasonably expect from them.

roy Says:

nadal and federer are less suspicious than djoker.

nadal is less suspicious than djokovic because there was no huge change in his performance.
he was known for his stamina from a young age.

federer was unfit but then made specific efforts towards better stamina and also he is more of a quick kill player and has always seemed a little vulnerable as matches go on and his errors start flowing.

but it is true that djoker suddenly seemed to even surpass nadal in stamina terms. i couldn’t believe what he did in the oz final after playing 5 hours with murray 2 days earlier, the fact he seemed more robust than nadal after almost 6 hours of brutal rallying was amazing.

if somebody like djoker got caught people would look back and say the signs were obvious, the spike in endurance, the performance feats, and the ”gluten-free” diet reasoning would clearly seem the flimsiest excuse in the world.

there is a pattern in modern sport, and lance armstrong is a perfect example, where if something seems incredible in terms of sheer endurance or power, and by incredible we mean the sudden change or the level compared to peers, then there is often drugs/doping involved.

but who knows. maybe djoker is clean, maybe he doped and stopped, maybe something is going on still.
i give him the benefit of the doubt more or less.
but i simply don’t think too many people would be surprised if he was busted.

but recent investigations into football show there are also a ton of supplements out there which are not technically banned but have not been properly investigated either.
you could theoretically be gaining significant advantage chemically but still be ”clean”.

on top of that, sporting bodies can’t exactly be trusted after the tour de france, mlb, athletics etc. and the agassi affair shows what the atp is capable of.

Jimbo Jones Says:

we all know some doping is going on & the changes in tennis ie no teens breaking through when Sampras, Chang, Wilander, becker did means something is different now

WTF Says:

roy, I don’t think djoker is doping. He is too smart to take such risks.

But he has this CVAC pod that he rests in which simulates training in high altitude. It produces an effect similar to blood doping, but is not actually doping. It’s one of those grey areas. It isn’t actually banned because it’s not doping. But it follows the letter of the law, not the spirit of the law.

If WADA/ITF/ATP decided to ban it, they would need to justify why it should be banned when no drugs are being imbibed or injected. Can something be banned for being too good and innovative a product in spite of being perfectly legal?

That AO final against Nadal was very impressive to say the least. He just came off a 5 setter against Murray and had one day less of rest than Nadal who had an easy 3 setter and 2 days rest. For most of Nadal’s career he was far fitter than Djokovic, but when they played the longest AO final ever, it was Nadal who ran out of gas first. What Djokovic did was mighty impressive, but I will stop short of calling him a cheat.

If Quinzi wants to be the one asking questions, OK. But I think the guys he’s pointing the finger at are going to be extra motivated when they finally meet him on the court.

Ben Pronin Says:

WTF, I’ll address you first. No, they’re not doing as good of a job as one could reasonably expect. I don’t think they need to do daily testing, I think they need to up their game in out-of-competition testing. It’s an absolute joke. 1-3 times a year? What does that mean? What were the results of those tests? Don’t give me BS that we are told when there’s a positive test. No we’re not. Why are we finding out about Cilic’s test so late? It should be made public as soon as they know. Cilic knew at Wimbledon, we’re told a month later. That’s not transparency. The tests also aren’t as “random” as you think. More often than not, the players are tipped off and know when to cycle off or take masking agents. Also, at least at the slams, only the losers are tested. The only time a winner is tested is when he wins the entire event. Please tell me what the point of that is. Wouldn’t it make more sense for the winner to be tested since he’s winning and PROBABLY more likely to be doping than the guy (or lady) he beat? Wouldn’t it make more sense to have random tests during the 2 weeks instead of allowing for the POSSIBILITY of in-tournament doping? It’s an absolute joke.

And really? Djokovic is “too smart” to dope? Why would doping make him dumb? The chances of him being busted are minuscule. And even if he is, he’s a God in Serbia, they’ll pay off WADA and the ITF with everything they have to cover it up.

Roy, you are a funny guy. Djokovic is more suspicious than Federer or Nadal? No he’s not. Not even a little. They’re all of equal suspicion. First of all, Nadal hasn’t always been a staple of stamina. In 05 Miami, Federer wore him down physically. And even if was, so what? How is that an excuse to say Nadal isn’t doping? Maybe some players started later in their careers, maybe some started right away. What about 2009 Australia when Nadal played 5 hours against Verdasco and still recovered to beat Federer in another long match? That’s not suspicious to you?

And what “specific” things did Federer do to become more fit and how do you know they’re not substance-enhancing related? The guy has been the greatest iron man tennis has ever seen. It doesn’t matter if he plays a quick style. It’s only quick compared to guys like Nadal and Ferrer. He still plays a lot more physical than the guys did 20 years ago. His opponents have often commented on how physically difficult it is to keep up with Federer even if he does play quick-shot tennis (BY TODAY’S STANDARDS). Recall the amount of 4 and 5 set matches he played to win the French Open. Especially the semi where he barely scraped by.

And what about Murray? Why is no one mentioning this guy? He went from scrawny twig who couldn’t last 2 hours to perhaps the fittest guy on tour right now and he’s got the physique to show it. Or does everyone just accept this possibility?

Point is, no one is more or less suspicious than the next guy since they all have a million red flags. You can choose to believe whatever you want, blindly defend your favorite, shit on everyone else, that’s what being a tennis fan is all about nowadays. But the doping issue is always going to be prevalent. It’s 2013, you have to be the most naive person in the world to think this isn’t going on.

And WTF, by the way. How good of a job can the ITF possibly be doing with their oh-so-tremendous budget of $1.5 million for the ENTIRE anti-doping system? Even Murray came out and said he’d personally hand over his own earnings to help the system. That’s as clear of an indicator as it gets to know how pathetic this whole charade is.

Alex Says:

In my opinion it’s rather dumb from a junior to point his fingers at players who have been successful for a long time. Does anyone ask himself why these claims always come from rather unknown or low ranked players? Until he actually plays pro matches he has no right to talk like that. And pointing your finger at certain people isn’t helping anyone. It only angers the ones that are involved. If he wants to wonder about people, he can stay in his country. He could ask himself why Fognini is all of a sudden winning like he is. There is no need at all to point to the top.Personlly I don’t believe the top players are dumb enough to help themselves with doping.

rick Says:

why don’t they get caught? uh, so, according to him, their cheating, they just haven’t been caught yet.

i’m not sure why people think playing a 5 set match and coming back the next day and playing well requires doping. tennis players have been doing for decades.

why can djoko? because he’s 26 frickin years old. according to this buffoon (and so many more like him) every single person that is a special forces soldier is on drugs. because in training they sure as hail go through far worse than any tennis player ever has, and they do it day after day after day. that surely must raise a lot of questions.

Hawkeye Says:

Ben Pronin, extremely well said.


Giles Says:

Ben Pronin. “And even if he is, he’s a God in Serbia, they’ll pay off WADA and the ITF with everything they have to cover it up”. ( Hope you havn’t said this to joker!).
So, in effect what you are saying is that the relevant Establishments are corrupt!

namcor Says:

“roy Says:
nadal and federer are less suspicious than djoker.

nadal is less suspicious than djokovic because there was no huge change in his performance.
he was known for his stamina from a young age.”
Ok. then read http://tennishasasteroidproblem.blogspot.co.uk/2011/02/curious-case-of-rafael-nadal.html

Novak had strong allergy on gluten. He had discovered that. He was no one of 100, he was 3rd on ATP for 3 years. What is there suspicious? He had game before, but not stamina. Just that.

laslo Says:

Excellent points you make.God in Serbia,Novak had a great 2011 winning everything and we can campare this with Rafa winning everything in 2010. Some might say Delpotro winning over both Rafa and Fed at USO could be suspect, especially with his injury afterward. Murray has had a great 2012-2013 and that could mean something. The AELTC would pay off/protect their man at all costs too.
We don’t really know what anyone is doing.

courbon Says:

Laszlo, you said perfectly in your last sentence-We don’t really know whats anyone doing.
So why then talking and accusing great sportsman?(all 4 of them)
Also, the notion, that Serbian government would pay of WADA and ITF is completely ridicilous…
Why then America did not pay off to cover Amstrong?
Right, America does not do that, but corrupted Serbia would do?
Did anybody heard ever then some government paid money to protect sportsman? ( in all history of the world?)Right…
I blame Hollywood movies about conspiracies. But hey-they are just movies, people,..Zombies also do not exist, just to let you know…

Giles Says:

^^^ I think Ben went just a little OTT there.

Tennis x hippy chic Says:

I have often wondered how Roger was able to sustain his amazing run,or Rafas amazing year in 2010,likewise Novak in 2011,and their powers of recovery so quickly,and now Murrays looking quite beefy,and Fognini is having such a great run at the moment,Ferrer seems so fit and never seems to get injured for a guy whos 31 etc etc,so i suppose you could make a case for any player been under suspision,in one form or another,i would be shocked and rather dissapointed if any player were to be caught out doping,especially if its one of the top players,but not entirely surprised as its the kind of world we live in unfortunatly.

courbon Says:

@ Giles: I little bit…hey, but we all do that sometimes.No harm done. By the way, what you think Nadal will do at the HC season and specially US Open?

Giles Says:

@Courbon. I think he will do well in Montreal, he likes playing there. Not sure about Cincy though, conditions are not the best. I have good feelings for him in the USO and hope he stays healthy – that is the key.

Ben Pronin Says:

I wouldn’t say the governments are corrupt (although really what government isn’t). But the tennis federations would go to great lengths to protect their players. Spain, US, Switzerland, etc. Why didn’t the US pay to cover Armstrong? The US government? Who were they gonna pay? The USADA are the pricks who investigated Armstrong in the first place. And do you not recall the stories that Armstrong and his team would pay off the UCI or whoever to cover up a possible positive test?

The establishments are surely corrupt, just how corrupt is really the question.

Either way, it doesn’t even matter. Here’s another thought: what about substances that will probably be illegal in several years but aren’t now? Giles, you’re always attacking Djokovic for using the CVAC pod. But it’s legal, so what’s the problem? Although a lot of people think WADA will ban it eventually. What about all of the other substances that are currently legal but will currently be banned. Is it cheating then? Is it just unsportsmanlike? Do you really think that everyone recovers with simple ice baths and bananas and protein shakes?

Ben Pronin Says:

Courbon, what’s the point of accusing great sportsman? Well, I’m not trying to accuse, I’m just suspicious. And why shouldn’t we discuss suspicion? Armstrong was considered a great sportsman until everything came out. Lots of people defended him blindly, too. If we don’t consider the possibility, we’re all gonna cry about how “betrayed” we were. I won’t feel betrayed if one of my favorites gets busted. Relieved, if anything.

Giles Says:

Ben Pronin. The Pod is legal but “not in the spirit of the sport”. Why did the ITF choose to add the words in inverted commas? What is the point? Are they going to deter sports people from using the Pod by adding those words? The answer is “No”. My next question is why is Novak always on the defensive when questioned on the use of the Pod?

courbon Says:

@ Ben Pronin: Don’t get me wrong-I also have a suspicion sometimes.They maybe talking dope-who knows? But recently it looks like we are all the time discussing that…Spanish or USA tennis federation maybe powerful, but belive me, Serbian one is shambles.
I agree with you point about substances that are legal now and possibly not in the future.But here is a thought-With the doping being in the focus right now I think if Novak, Nadal or Murray did take-they probably stopped now. Maybe that’s why |Novak could not recovered after Delpo match? Maybe that’s why he is in little slump-lack of concentration? Maybe that’s why Nadal took prolonged 7 months ( I’m sure he had injury but maybe was Ok after 4-5 months?)Another thought regarding recoveries-they could be just be taking natural products.Did you ever took high dosage of Korean ginseng?It really makes difference-I tried.
I guess we will never know.

laslo Says:

Courbon, sorry. I suppose I should have said my last sentence first. We don’t know what anyone is doing. If!! we were to look at the top four to try to find something suspicious, a place to start would be 2010 Rafa, 2011 Nole, 2012-2013 Murray, long shelf life of Roger. That doesn’t mean it’s true though.

Oh and Ben, I agree about the cvac. It’s not illegal–even the US Olympic Committee doesn’t think so. Any athlete should use it freely.

courbon Says:

@ Laszlo-Agree. Actually we should look more at the Ferrer.Doctor that he worked with got caught and Spanish court ordered all papers to get destroyed.Now, that is quite suspicious…

laslo Says:

When is Novak “always defensive” about the pod? Can you site passages where he is? If he is, he shouldn’t be.

courbon Says:

@ Giles: I also think Nadal will do very well at US Open .Just a hunch.

laslo Says:

Courbon, agree on Ferrer.

Tennis x hippy chic Says:

Maybe Novak recovered in the AO final in 2012 because he was that good?maybe he didnt recover in time for the Wimbledon final because he wasnt good enough?maybe his little slump is simply a little slump,and nothing more or nothing less?maybe they are all human beings that have their good days and bad days?and nothing more sinister that that?but unfortunatly things are not always black or white,i for one dont suspect anyone player,no matter how snow white they appear to the media,on a court,or in a press conference etc etc,i live with the notion that they are all under suspicion.

courbon Says:

@ Hippy Chic: Like Laslo said-We don’t know.
Buy the way, how is Liverpool shaping for this season?same manager, new players? ( I did not follow football news for a while )

Dan Martin Says:

What if they did universal blood tests at all 4 slams, the 1000 series events, the WTF and maybe random players get tested at 250 and 500 events as well as the out of competition testing? Players would know urine and blood would be tested often.

Skeezer Says:

“budget of $1.5 million for the ENTIRE anti-doping system?”

Is this true? If so, there is the answer. That is pathetic amount of $ in trying to regulate fairness in the sport!

Tennis x hippy chic Says:

Courbon exaclty i have myself indeed suspected them all at different times,and i dislike myself for feeling that way,anyway i havent really given football or LVC much thought either,still basking in the glory of Murrays Wimby win(sorry),although i hear that they want 50 million for Suarez,although i dont know who they are kidding as i dont believe hes worth that much,season starts next weekend,and im looking forward to it,pretty excited about the HC swing and the USO too,hope both of my favs can do well there.

courbon Says:

@ Hippy Chic:Suarez is good but not that good.
Yeah, can’wait for next Friday when it comes Montreal draw.
Off to bed, speak to you soon.

Harry Says:

Serena Williams….in her 30’s. Having such a very strong comeback? Again…its pure conjecture…but the youthful Sharapova, and Azarenka gave her more trouble when they were immature…than they do now..when their games improved. She seems now only to get “upset” by those unexpected..she has no focus on. Again…all circumstantial evidence. In baseball..we are seeing players late in their careers..suddenly better than they were when young…who had shown a decline…then boom better than before. MVP candidates at 40.

SG1 Says:

I don’t really know to what extent there is a drug problem in pro tennis. It does seem logical that as the game has become more and more physical that players will look for an “edge”.

I say test everyone as often as you can. Someone with nothing to hide won’t care.

As for Quinzi, I agree with Ben. He has the right to say whatever he wants. He’ll have to live with the consequences of making unsubstantiated claims. He’s behaving like a young guy who doesn’t fully realize what he’s saying. One thing’s for sure. He won’t be getting any X-mas cards from the top 4 players in the world any time soon.

Martyn Collins (@MarTennis) Says:

Tennis problem is that more and more of its fans don’t care if the players are doping. The non player fan base is into personality, body shape, looks.

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