Human Growth Hormone smuggler and ATP ranked #103 , Wayne Odesnik, is into the second round of this week’s U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championships in Houston. Odesnik, who pleaded guilty to charges that he carried the WADA banned substance into Australia this January, is allowed to play until the ITF finishes its investigation, which will likely end in a two year suspension for the American. Odesnik made it to the finals of this tournament last year, losing to Lleyton Hewitt.
Huh? Why is this cheater playing? Pride? Money? The same idiocy and lack of self-respect that led him to carry HGH in his luggage to begin with? Reporters in Houston asked him to explain himself on Monday (via ESPN):
“I’m doing the only thing I can do right now, and that’s to focus the best I can on my tennis,” Odesnik said. “I’ve worked extremely hard and I’m looking forward to the clay court season because that’s where I usually excel.”
Here’s some free advice, Wayne, not that you deserve it: after being caught hoarding a performance enhancing drug in your luggage, don’t talk about how “extremely hard” you’ve been working. It just rings false for some reason.
Odesnik will reportedly release a statement about his situation Tuesday, after his lawyers have taken a look.
I have no sympathy for Wayne, but I do feel sorry for the guy he beat on Monday – 19-year-old wildcard Jerzy Janowicz of Poland, currently ranked just inside the top 300. Here’s Jerzy after the match via SkySports:
“It’s a misunderstanding for me, he [Odesnik] shouldn’t be playing at this moment,” Janowicz said. “He should be suspended.
“There are bad feelings right now. He shouldn’t play right now and I’m playing with this guy. It’s tough to play.”
Andy Roddick, who is not playing this week, called Wayne a “jackass” and said his actions could hurt the perception of American tennis: “To have it be one of our guys and for us to lose a guy in the top 100, it makes me a little angry, you know,” Andy commented during the Sony Ericsson Open. “I don’t want that stigma attached to our country and to our players, so it really pisses me off.”
The Houston tournament is loaded with Odesnik’s countrymen. He could play Michael Russell (my personal fave in terms of scrappy, clay court loving American journeymen) in the next round, John Isner in the Round of 16 and Sam Querrey in the quarters. Mardy Fish, Taylor Dent, and four other Americans made the draw. That’s a lot of cold shoulders in the locker room.
Click here for the US Men’s Clay Court Championship website.