Sunday, 11 April 2010

Wayne’s World.

Poetic justice has finally (though almost not quite) been served on Wayne Odesnik.

Following all the controversy, the freshly-recycled trowel-fulls of moral outrage and the anointing of fresh-faced Sammy as a Saviour – one who would put right the young blaggard who dared besmirch the face of American Tennis (something acutely poignant, is there not, in the thought of a Samurai dispensing poetic justice?) - 7-6 1-6 7-5 doesn’t seem an especially convincing score line – not when you consider Querrey had previously “refused to lose” to the national pariah.

In any case we thankfully have been spared the bilious outpurings an Odesnik winners acceptance speech would have inspired. I like me some black humour – I like it even more when it’s not humourless.

Except this episode’s been full of that kind of farce, hasn’t it?

When the story first broke I remember thinking which of the two (if either) I found more tragic:

That Odesnik actually thought he’d succeed in getting “seven vials of HGH” past Australian Customs(a country with some of the strictest border controls in the world)?

Or that the recently retired Guillermo Canas (who’d served a controversial doping ban of his own) happened to be associated with Wayne in one of the first ventures of his new found coaching career?

A tragicom in every sense of the word, except of course in that it’s completely unfunny – just plain tragic then. And a little stupid.

“Seven vials” of anything seems to me to invoke the wonderfully colourful (and illicit) world of John Grisham – smoke and mirrors, intrigue, scandal, conspiracy, nationally institutionalised corruption – that sort of thing.

There is of course a precedent for this. There almost always is.

Seven vials? Try forty eight.

However twisted that might seem, I’d obviously (along with everyone else) underestimated how ham-fisted Wayne was intent on appearing, or indeed how hammed-up his burlesque act was about to get.

The subsequent events, from the near-Lewinskian denial of using HGH (issued soon after he’d plead guilty to it’s possession and been fined AU$8000), to his unabashed and somewhat cerebrally-challenged decision to participate in Houston, have already been combed over with all the precision of, well, a Donald Trump comb-over.

Due process (TADP-rules) was, as I understand it, deferred to allow for due process (Aussie-Rules) to take place, which paradoxically allowed for Wayne to play without breaking the restrictions any such due process may or may not have placed on him.

Confused? Welcome to Wayne’s World.

In any case it’s often quite distasteful to witness much of what passes for “moral outrage” these days – I normally steer well clear of it however much I might despise the actions of any perpetrator.

Had Wayne issued some kind of apology (however insincere) and not instead plunged his foot in it quite so deeply by electing to play in Houston, it might still have been possible to argue that most of that outrage would be better directed at the doping authorities, whose vision of “due process” remains confused, misunderstood, bureaucratically-constrained and jurisdictionally-uncertain. A work seemingly forever in-progress.

Viewed less charitably, I might still have said that he’s much too easy a target.

As it stands however, I can’t find the charity to protect him from the consequences of his own folly – especially when he appears so keen to continue digging that hole he’s in.

(Photos: AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, James Nielsen, AFP)

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