A second doping violation caused the International Tennis Federation to carefully consider Wayne Odesnik’s career and in the end, a 15-year-long ban was issued for the 29-year-old player. In 2009, Odesnik reached the 77th position among the best tennis players of the world.
Wayne found himself in a media firestorm in December when, during checkups, he tested positive for a plethora of banned substances (steroids included). Another test in January confirmed December’s results, so that the Federation had no choice but to issue a back-dated ban spanning over 15 years, from the 30th of January to the 29th of January 2030. Additionally, his results from three different tournaments (all played this year) will also be disqualified. Odesnik will not only be forced to forfeit his ranking points but he must also return the prize money.
The tennis player’s interactions with illegal substances were a known fact, especially since he was sanctioned before for possessing Human Growth Hormone. The 29-year-old pleaded guilty to having imported the substance and was sanctioned between April 2010 and August 2011. This particular sanction should have been a two year long ban, however, the Federation reconsidered its position after Odesnik showed full cooperation with the anti-doping program he had been enrolled in.
Odesnik is a South African native who only became an American after his family moved into the US while he was still young.
The Federation’s decision was welcomed with open arms by many tennis players, including well-known player Andy Murray who tweeted “Bye bye Wayne… Good riddance,” soon after the Federation made its announcement. Andy Roddick, 2003 US Open champion also voiced his content with the ban:
“I hate that he has a US flag next to his name when he’s cheating. Good riddance.”
Odesnik currently ranks 267th in the world, however, a 15 year long ban is reason enough to consider retirement and surely enough, within minutes of the Federation’s announcement, Wayne also made his retirement public.
In fact, countless tennis players felt that the federation’s decision was more than opportune, especially since cheating is cheating no matter how well concealed it is. James Blake, a retired US player voiced his concerns back in 2011, noting that Odesnik did not deserve the respect that other players had earned, especially since he never went out of his way in support of his compatriots. And when such athletes attempt to play such a sport on a seemingly fair playing field, illegal ways of getting ahead make the situation unbearable.