Odesnik: Comeback from doping ban was difficult
Wayne Odesnik tells the New York Times that it wasn’t easy returning to the tour in 2011 after serving a doping suspension. In 2010, Odesnik was caught transporting eight vials of human growth hormone into Australia. He was given a two-year ban by the ITF, which was eventually cut in half, as Odesnik was said to have provided “substantial assistance” to organization.
“It was probably one of the most difficult things I’ve had to deal with,” Odesnik said. “Just because your reputation takes a bit of a knock and things of that sort when—whatever the case may have been. But just trying to conduct myself in the best way that I know how, and just move on with my life and my career, and try to do the best that I can.”
Odesnik was criticized by number of players before and after he returned to tour, including fellow Americans Ryan Harrison, Andy Roddick and James Blake.
“His situation is openly known to what he did and I think every player can agree that he didn’t serve the sentence necessary for his actions,” Harrison said after he played Odesnik in 2011.
Odesnik told the Times that players’ feelings toward him may have changed. “I think a lot of them maybe respect the way that I came back,” he said. “And that they see me working hard, and see me doing things in the right way. And whether some of them respond well or not I don’t really know. I mean, no one’s said anything derogatory to me. And if a player doesn’t like me, then don’t talk to me. But, you know, I’m pretty cordial with quite a lot of the guys, and I appreciate it.”
Odesnik also gave support for broader drug testing efforts.
“For me, it’s great,” he said. “For me, especially, I’ve had a lot of out-of-competition testing, I’ve already had my biological passport taken a year and a half ago. I’ve already had several blood tests at my house.”