April 14, 2011
Wayne Odesnik recently finished his one-year suspension for possessing illegal growth hormone. In his first in-depth interview about the case, the American player opened up to USA Today about how he dealt with the ban, what his plans are for the future and that fateful afternoon last January in Brisbane, when he was caught with eight vials of HGH.
Let's take it point by contradictory point:
"I did not know that the sole possession of any banned substance at that time was a violation. I know if you take something and test positive it's a violation, but seeing as I've never taken it, I never thought that with a doctor's consultation or whatever that it would be a doping violation."
As anybody who's ever told a cop "but officer, I didn't know the speed limit was 35" knows, ignorance of the law isn't a defense. It's not like Odesnik was caught by tennis authorities, he was detained at customs because he was bringing illegal drugs into a country. It's like trying to bring crack into an airport and after the drug-sniffing dogs go crazy, claiming that you're not aware having a few rocks in your pocket was illegal.
He said he consulted with a couple of doctors that recommended HGH as a "necessary step for me to take," he said.
He did not provide the names of those doctors.
He restated, as he did in court documents, that he intended to get clearance for the HGH before using it.
In Odesnik's defense, maybe by "doctors" he meant "the spam email I saw in my inbox." Or maybe he really did consult with a number of doctors, none of whom he could name months later. His dog must have eaten those documents.
"The question I always get asked by everyone is, 'Why did you say (the HGH) was yours being that my bags were lost?' " he said. "I think that right there shows my honesty. If I was aware I was breaking a rule by doing all these things of course I would have said it wasn't mine. At that time, I didn't know. Maybe it was me being naïve. I don't know. But at that stage I didn't think I was doing anything wrong. That's why I said 'Yes, those are my bags, that is mine.' That's the only reason why I had admitted to it."
Look, nobody loves circular logic as much as I do, but the "clearly I would have lied had I known I was doing anything wrong" defense isn't one that makes you trust somebody more. Odesnik already proved he isn't of sound mind or else he wouldn't have had to plead guilty to a criminal case of importing illegal drugs into a foreign country. He also changed his story about the origin of the HGH a number of times in talks with investigators. If he didn't think he was doing anything wrong, why did he feel the need to lie? (Boom. Lawyered.)
"I think it will help my career in the long run," he said. "I feel like I'm in much better shape than I was. Mentally, I'm stronger."
Yeah, but physically he's probably not, because I'm guessing they confiscated that HGH.