Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Justine Henin To Return

I just threw up.

I haven't read a link, so someone will have to drop one in the comments. But hubby just called to deliver the news.

"You were right all along about Justine," he said.

He read a few sentences from whatever outlet had the story.

"Did she give a date for her return?"

"Uh. Nope. Sometime next year is all she said."

"Didn't think so. I would expect it to be sometime between Rome and Paris."

"I can't believe no one in the tennis media leaked the truth."

I'll have a tirade about all this later in the week, if my stomach settles down.

And I'll be calling out the propagandists.

By name.



Ben Rothenberg said...

As you probably know I don't sign on to most tennis conspiracy theories, but this girl was totally juicing.

Dapxin said...

I saw something to that
effect on my blogfeeds about 60minutes ago.

I quickly pressed the mark-all-as-read button.

As someone who liked to diss her, as the-one-that-ran-away (refereces to the fact that a modicum of proper rivalry was being setup between her
+ Serena), I dont know
how it all works in Tennis,

but the manner she ran,
and the manner she returns,
to me,
just stinks!

As we say in Nigeria,
something is fishy!-ing...

Anny said...


Scott said...

She'll be back for the Australian. Plus a couple exhibition tourny's in Belgium and Dubai.

Michael Wilhelmsen said...

What's so bad about her missing tennis so much she wants to continue playing?

I don't get you, and why you need to say so much bad stuff about everyone?!

Dapxin said...

Michael Wilhelmsen,
Can you enumerate the bad stuff?
If anything, *I*
+ I hope *we*
miss her.

Noel said...

It would be great to have Henin back. After she retired one could see the gap in talent between the top four or five players and the rest of the field.
Hummmmm.... I had no idea there was talk about her juicing... I just thought she was having some personal problems (failed marriage, etc.) and they were affecting her game. When an athlete's personal life is in turmoil it is difficult to stay motivated, especially when they can walk away knowing they'll never be in need of anything material/financial again.
In any case it will be great to have her back.

Mad Professah said...

As I said in my blog, she will NOT be playing a competitive match for more than 18 months, which just coincidentally is the duration of a ban for a doping violation.

She retired May 14, 2008 and will not play a tour match until 2010 (I don't think exhibitions count).


traceyd said...

How does the duration of a doping ban have anything to do with the length of her absence? If she had tested positive it would have been announced. If anything, the length of time a drug stays in the body would seem more relevant. Are there any legitimate reasons to suspect doping?

tangerine said...

I like Tom Perrotta's article "Henin faces tougher road than Clijsters"


Kim made her comeback look easy but I hope Justine faces a ruder awakening and gets kicked to the curb. After a few bad losses she'll be back in retirement in no time.

kraa said...

What was it about innocent until proven guilty?

And a ban for doping offenses is 2 years (24 months) not 18 months as some here are stipulating.

Not a fan, but glad to see her back. Serena and now Kim need to see some proper competition. Safina, Jankovic, Kuznetsova etc. aren't it.

BayouPeach said...

Oh bloody hell. I thought I was done with her. I suspected the doping issue for a while. Again, I'm not a conspiracy theorist either, but things were a little fishy in Henin's case. Now my least favorite player of all time is back on tour. Guess I can ease up on Sharapova now.

Michael Wilhelmsen said...

Sorry Dapxin, but I think you know what I mean. I don't mean to be rude, but since reading this blog every day for several months now, i just think there's a tad too much shit throwing about people. Especially "the monogram", if you catch my drift..

(sorry about writing, i'm not English) :)

rabbit said...

I remember that Hingis was banned for 24 months, not 18. But I'm not sure what the rule is.

Craig Hickman said...

Micheal, my tagline ought to tell you what to expect when you come here.

But let's be clear: I don't call Raja "the monogram". You have me confused.

As for Justine, I'll really turn you off if and when I get to writing what I'm going to write.

If you read this blog everyday, then I suppose there's something about the "shit throwing" that attracts you, no?

I'm always going to call it as I see it.


Craig Hickman said...

rabbit, Hingis wasn't banned for any length of time.

She announced her retirement.

Yes, she would've faced a 2-year suspension had she stayed around to fight it, but she didn't.

A distinction with a difference I think.

Henin is another story altogether.

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Christopher Crocker said...

Yes, kraa is right, according to the ITF anti-doping rules (see below), haters-be-damned!!!

Imposition of a Period of Ineligibility for Presence, Use or Attempted Use, or
Possession of Prohibited Substances and Prohibited Methods:

The period of Ineligibility imposed for a Doping Offence under Article C.1
(presence of Prohibited Substance or its Metabolites or Markers), Article C.2
(Use or Attempted Use of Prohibited Substance or Prohibited Method) or
Article C.6 (Possession of Prohibited Substances and/or Prohibited Methods)
that is the Participant’s first offence shall be two years, unless the conditions
for eliminating or reducing the period of Ineligibility (as specified in Articles
M.4 and M.5) or the conditions for increasing the period of Ineligibility (as
specified in Article M.6) are met.

rabbit said...

Craig, true, wrong wording on my part.

But according to the the 2009 anti-doping program, it seems that the WADA-administered ban for doping is for 24 months, not 18, as kraa said. I can't find a source for what it was before 09. It was probably also 24 months back then, based on the Hingis case, but I don't know. Are there other circumstances where the ban is for 18 months?

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Matt said...

Is there any possibility that Henin has an immune disease?? I recall she was off the tour for months a few years back with CMV (cytomegalovirus) - usually this virus only presents in persons with immune deficiency, commonly in patients with HIV. It's also an AIDS defining illness...

Just saying... but I've also noticed that Henin has had pretty bad cold sores on a number of occasions. Another sign of immune deficiency.

Is there any chance that she has been really unwell at stages throughout her career?

BayouPeach said...


Henin also has a lot of acne, all the time, which is symptom of steroid use. Just sayin'...
I don't know what's up with the cold sores though.

BayouPeach said...


I can't wait to read what you have to say on this.

Craig Hickman said...

unless the conditions
for eliminating or reducing the period of Ineligibility (as specified in Articles
M.4 and M.5) or the conditions for increasing the period of Ineligibility (as
specified in Article M.6) are met.


I don't feel like reading the fine print of the articles, but suffice it to say that if a ban is imposed on a player, but it hasn't been made public, well, then, the punishment can be whatever it's been agreed to be. Also remember that Justine's absence began in 2008 not 2009 as rabbit points out.

On a related note, there are plenty of 18-month doping suspensions dished out by WADA to athletes in many sports.

Just Google it.

Christopher Crocker said...

I'm not definitively saying that Justine Henin didn't use anything. Maybe she did, maybe Maria Sharapova did, maybe it wasn't really the shoulder, maybe Rafael Nadal did, he was never injured, he blew the French Open because he knew that he had failed a test, and that he was about the suffer a suspension. In both these cases there were unknown circumstances which shortened the standard penalty.

If one goes through life moulding the circumstance to fit their own conclusions, one will never really learn anything. Maybe Justine Henin did us something and was suspended, I don't know. She was out of the game for - they say - 15 months. There was never a positive test releases, nor any statement by the anti-doping governing body, which in normal circumstances would have doled out a 2-year suspension. If you want to hate on the girl, hate on the things she has done, not speculation, or better yet, don't hate on her at all, just ignore her, or watch her play tennis.

Beth said...

Wow, my husband is always commenting on my naiivte and I guess he has it right....I never knew that there was speculation Henin was suspected of juicing. I have to say I agree with Crocker....if we don't know any facts, then leave it alone. She was never a favorite of mine but if nothing was ever proven, tested, documented then it is all speculation. That being said, I can go with the immune-system thing. Indeed, she did look as though she was always nursing a cold sore and that is often a sign of weakened immunity. I never really noticed the acne as much but more the cold sores. At any rate, it will be very interesting to see what comes of her return.

Write on Craig and let the shit fly. ;-) We love your posts!!!!

Craig Hickman said...

Christopher Crocker, you throw around the word hate as is you have an intimate relationship with it.

I don't hate.

I observe. The word speculate comes from the Latin verb speculor, which means to examine, to observe, to watch, to explore, to look at.

I say what I see. If you want to call that hate, that's your prerogative, but it doesn't apply here.

I make no claims that all athlete's absences from the sport are involuntary.

Dapxin said...


Its all speculation - for no one of us, in a billion years,
will be in a position,
to know for a fact,
cos then, we will need evidence!

when a little kid,
that we even, were once,
tries to outsmart you,
hopelessly attempting that
agenda of out-stepping you,

there is that thing,
feels like a signal most times,
complicated as ever,
sometimes in your mind,
sometimes, rooted in experience,
or just instinctive guts...

that mental gong,
screaming at the tendermost,
corners of your brain...

"something" "dodgy"...

Its oft-times specualtive. until you go there

Nothing usually stops,
should stop you,
from going there.

Christopher Crocker said...

I used the word hate according to the modern, slang definition - as I see it anyway. Something along the lines of vaulted criticism, sometimes unjustified, but not necessarily so. I apologize if I offended you in any way, though I don't imagine you would be deeply offended by any comments posted to your blog, by people you don't even know.

If one were in fact examining the situation, it would seem to me that the revelation that the standard suspension for illegal substance use is two years, and not the 18 months, as assumed, would force one to lean to the story of a legitimate retirement, rather than some hidden suspension. I don't know, that is my perspective - which is the only one from which I can direct my gaze.

Craig Hickman said...

Christopher, I am, in fact, examining the situation.

I just see it differently than you do.

edma1022 said...

I was working in HK at the time of the Australian Open in 2006. I fly back to my home country once a month to be with my family. On one trip, I was totally exhausted and zonked out but managed to wait for and finally watched the women's final at 2-3 am (timezone difference).

I should have slept. I felt robbed. I felt the women's champion was also robbed of her much awaited first slam win.

This is not speculation.

JH's actions oncourt speak much much louder.

HoiHa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
HoiHa said...

I was not reading your blog Craig when Henin retired but all of a sudden after today her "retirement" makes sense ... people forget that she quit weeks before the French Open where she was defending champ and heavily favoured to win ... none of it made any "sense" at the time ... but now it does.

Let's not forget that Henin was a known cheater and decidedly bad sport on the court - that is just a fact (remember the "hand"? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bb8w5_i6wms).

You can argue that she really was ill at the OZ Open (uh huh) but the hand you cannot defend ...

So, given her behaviour otherwise, Craig's and Savannah's assumptions make total sense to me.

I hope she gets her head handed to her on a platter. The one thing I cannot stomach is a cheat which is why I have always disliked her as player and a person.

MMT said...

I disagree with the contention that Henin is a cheat. The only incident that I can recall where it could come into question was the French Open semi-final with Serena.

This was an incident in which Serena saw her hand up and served anyway - that for me is far from conclusive.

I think it's obvious that his would be great for the women's tour - just like Clijsters return.

BayouPeach said...

Henin is not only a cheat, but a liar. Her behavior after that French Open speaks volumes.

Helen W said...

MMT if I recall correctly, Serena began her serve but when she saw Justine's hand up she completed her service motion but didn't really serve. So I don't think it fair to say that she "served anyway." Just my opinion.

I don't particularly like Henin, but I do feel it is premature to call her a :juicer" until there is more info.

Des said...

I normally have a feel-good sense of moral-superiority whenever I visit this blog (cause, um, lol...), but this post is so out there I actually feel like I need to shower after reading it. The amount of disgust someone can work up for a person they've never even met is stunning, isn't it?

HoiHa said...

Des - sorry, but "so out there"? Don't get that one - do some research - there have been questions raised about Henin's use of PEDs for much of her career - this is not something out of the ether - these allegations have dogged Henin since they were first raised by Kim Clijsters side ...

One of the consequences of engaging in unsporting behaviour is that athletes lose the benefit of the doubt - the way it works in my mind goes like this ..."well, if he/she is willing to cheat doing X, then it is no stretch to assume he/she would be willing to cheat doing Y".

If Henin did not have the history she does have in respect of bad sportsmanship - a fact - I would never ever engage in this sort of supposition ... but at the end of the day Henin (like all of us) reaps what she sows ... and her past behaviour makes her fair game for anyone questioning her sporting integrity.

lilac said...

This girl was on the juice. My opinion. She's a cheat and bad sportsman. Why does the establishement love her so?

sykotique said...

Doping is a serious accusation that is thrown around far too often by people, both knowledgeable and otherwise, who ignore the physiology of the human body.

I, for one, attributed Henin's return to her jealousy of Clijsters' success...I don't see why the WTA would protect Henin anyway. I'm not a fan of hers, and many aren't to be sure, she's not a golden girl and she's not very pretty...why protect her, of all people? Because she has a nice backhand?

Despite the accusations of increased muscle mass, Henin remains one of the smallest women on tour. Weight-training and the right supplements can do wonders. Raising a hand in a match and lying about it is one thing...doping is a WHOLE 'nother level of accusation and one which I think is best reserved for those who are either proven beyond to be guilty of it, or at least are some way materially linked to usage, either by the people they associate with or by materials found in their control or possessionl

Simply saying that someone has more muscles than they used to just doesn't cut it.