The AP reports that 24 year-old American tennis player Wayne Odesnik is facing a ban from the tour after pleading guilty on Friday to importing Human Growth Hormone into Australia. Australian customs officers found eight vials of the WADA-prohibited substance in his bags as Odesnik entered the country ahead of January’s Brisbane International tournament. He’s been fined over $7,000 by the Australian government and is now at the mercy of the ITF’s anti-doping program. Odesnik will probably be handed a two-year ban for possession of a prohibited substance.
The ATP is not amused:
“We are extremely disappointed in the behavior of this individual, which is in no way representative of the sport of tennis.”
In a strange coincidence (?), Argentine player Guillermo Canas – who the Sun-Sentinel reports has been coaching Odesnik since December – announced his official retirement from the sport on Friday due to ongoing wrist problems. Canas, of course, was kicked out of the sport for 15-months from 2005-06 before being eventually cleared of a doping charge.
Here’s Canas’s reaction to Odesnik’s troubles via the Sun-Sentinel:
“I’m helping him [Odesnik] when he’s here,” said Canas, who admitted the doping scandal was the worst moment of his career. “It’s tough for me to speak because I don’t know nothing.
“I want to try, if I can, to help him.”
Sports Illustrated reporter John Wertheim offers this additional press conference snippet via Twitter:
Q. So this was news to you? You didn’t know (Odesnik) had an issue in Australia?
GUILLERMO CAÑAS: Yeah, yeah, nothing
Hmm. Whatever Canas knows or doesn’t know, this isn’t an ideal way for him to launch his coaching career. As for Wayne, uh, perhaps we’ll be treated to a “I was duped into smuggling by my pregnant, drug-dealing girlfriend, who french kissed me after drinking a cup of “dumbass” juice.” This case can’t really end with a simple “guilty” plea, can it?