Roddick slams Odesnik as ban looms


Originally published on: 29/03/10 14:59

Wayne Odesnik has been slammed by fellow American’s Andy Roddick and James Blake after the world No.98 admitted to importing human growth hormones into Australia ahead of the Aussie Open in January.

The 24-year-old was fined $8,320 in an Australian court on Friday and now awaits the conclusion of an ITF investigation that could hand him a two-year ban from tennis.

Speaking from Miami where he has booked a place in the fourth round of the Sony Ericsson Open, Roddick was adamant that Johannesburg-born Odesnik deserves every second of his likely two-year ban.

“That’s just plain cheating and they should throw him out of tennis,” Roddick said this weekend.

“I was shocked. We don’t need stories like that. That’s the minority. If that’s the case I have zero sympathy.”

The world No.8, who has practiced with Odesnik in the past near his home in Austin, Texas, became more and more riled by the situation as he pondered the implications for 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,” Roddick said. “I don’t want that stigma attached to our country and to our players, so it really [angers] me.

“I take a lot of pride in what we have to do on a daily basis and how responsible we have to be for one…. jackass to ruin it for the rest of us.”

Compatriot Blake, who defeated Odesnik in their only encounter in Houston in 2004, was equally unforgiving.

“It’s the same thing you hear about the criminal next door — he seemed like a nice guy until they found something going on,” Blake said.

“People look for a way to get ahead, and that’s unfortunate. It’s something that’s frustrating. You want to feel like you’re playing on a fair playing field. I’m glad they caught him.”


Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.