Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

So many whys in Agassi affair


“I was worried for a moment but not for long. I was actually excited about telling the world the whole story,” Andre Agassi said.

Except this was no ordinary story. One of the greatest players to have graced a tennis court had just revealed that he had taken drugs and then lied to the ATP about the circumstances surrounding his positive dope test in 1997.

The eight-times grand slam champion took the recreational drug crystal meth 12 years ago when his career was floundering – he found himself playing on the challenger circuit after sliding down the rankings to 141st in the world.

Although the substance may not be performance enhancing, the question on every tennis fan’s lips since the news broke is “Why?”

Some kind of justice for Washington at last

washingtonRetired U.S. sprinter Tyree Washington is finally receiving a gold medal — instead of losing one — because of the doping admissions of others.

Washington will be honored with a duplicate gold medal from the 2003 IAAF world championships 400 metres at this week’s U.S. championships in Eugene, Oregon, he told Reuters.

More than just a case of Manny being Manny

BASEBALL/“Manny being Manny” was the shrug-it-off saying coined by Red Sox fans when sweet-swinging outfielder Manny Ramirez would do something flakey on the field, like disappear into the old-time scoreboard built into Fenway Park’s Green Monster wall to relieve himself during a game, or step in front of another outfielder’s throw and cut it off, or decide he needed to take a day off for an ailment and then forgot what specifically was hurting.

There were frustrations and annoyances along the way, but they all seemed to vanish with the next big series, and the next string of clutch hits that invariably rang from the bat of the man considered one of baseball’s greatest hitters.

Manny Ramirez suspended for 50 games – update


Manny Ramirez has been suspended for 50 games by Major League baseball after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug.

This from MLB.com:

“Major League Baseball suspended Dodgers outfielder Manny Ramirez for 50 games on Thursday for use of performance enhancing drugs. Ramirez, who turns 37 on May 30, will begin the suspension with Thursday night’s Dodgers-Nationals game. He would be eligible to return around July 3, depending on rainouts.

Restrospective testing gives pause for thought


Ben Johnson

It has always been an accepted fact that the dope cheats – much better financed and sometimes state sponsored – will always have the march on the testers.

The testers have sometimes therefore been portrayed as barely competent do-gooders blundering around in the dark, while the cheats blithely continue with their cheating.

Greeting scandals with a shrug


phelpsWe have become numb to news that our heroes are not who we thought they were.

Word that New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez had taken steroids in 2003 made the headlines across the United States. It widened our eyes but did nothing to our hearts.

Perhaps we simply do not care like we used to.

Rumors swirled years ago that home run kings Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire had taken steroids and it angered us. Though neither has ever been proven to have taken performance-enhancing drugs, we were shocked, angered and bewildered at the suggestion.