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Daily Bagel: Tennis officials reportedly looking into biological passport program

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Stanislas Wawrinka

Stanislas Wawrinka made the front of Switzerland’s Le Matin on Monday, alongside Justin Bieber’s behind. (h/t twitter.com/bryanagraham)

The Daily Bagel is your dose of the interesting reporting, writing and quipping from around the Internet.

• Photo: Stanislas Wawrinka may have lost a five-set thriller to Novak Djokovic, but he still earned front-page praise back home in Switzerland, along with Justin Bieber (top right).

USA Today‘s Doug Robson reports that tennis officials are looking into implementation of a biological passport program to monitor and prevent doping.

The ITF’s [Stuart] Miller could not put a dollar figure on a passport program for tennis but said “cost is an issue across all of anti-doping.”

Besides funding and informing stakeholders in the sport, Miller said establishing a passport program would require a period of sample gathering and an expert panel to review results.

“It’s not just go and collect samples,” he said. “We have to get all the pieces together before we’re fully operational.”

• Incredible story here about Kim Duckhee, a 14-year-old Korean junior, who’s deaf.

Lip-reading, then speaking through an interpreter, Lee told reporters at the Australian Open that, in fact, he would rather not even mention his deafness to opponents or officials.

“The one thing that’s difficult is the communication with the umpires, both chair umpires and linesmen,” he said. “I don’t hear the calls, especially the out calls, so sometimes … just continue. That’s kind of difficult but it’s nothing special.”

• Does Bernard Tomic have a case of the yips? Will Swanton of Fox Sports Australia thinks so.

It is the yips on the two-handed backhand. It is the shot that he lost complete confidence in last year. It should be his bread and butter, as it is for every other pro worth a Babolat contract, but in New York last year, right before everything went to hell in a hand-basket against Andy Roddick, Tomic acknowledged the gremlin.

“It’s amazing in practice,” Tomic said in New York. “I hit my backhand, like, top four, five in the world when I want to. But all of a sudden I get into a match and I start slicing it and I lose my backhand. I get into this mode where I slice it a lot.”

• Speaking of Tomic, his younger sister, Sara, a 14-year-old junior player, won her first match at a Slam over the weekend. She says she’ll beat her brother to the No. 1 ranking. Those Tomics sure do like talking, don’t they?

• This is a must-read by Bill Dwyre of The Los Angeles Times on the friendship that helped Gussy Moran until the end.

• Bob and Mike Bryan talk marriage, fatherhood and tennis. They also requested a downgrade on their rankings points in order to allow the twins to remain co-No. 1. The request was denied.

• Ben Rothenberg of The New York Times checks in with lower-ranked ATP players to see how the new no-let rule is playing out in the Challenger circuit.

• Former ATP doubles specialist Andrew Florent has been diagnosed with cancer. The tennis community is rallying behind him. You can help here.

• Non-tennis: I absolutely cannot get enough of this GIF of Jim Harbaugh during the Niners’ win over the Falcons in the NFC Championship Game.

  • Published On Jan 21, 2013
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