For the past five years, Weston-based tennis pro Wayne Odesnik has been as well known for his ties to illegal drugs as for his backhand. In 2010, Odesnik was banned for two years after getting caught with human growth hormone in Australia. Then, New Times' 2013 investigation into the Biogenesis scandal revealed that Odesnik's name appeared dozens of times in steroid clinic operator Tony Bosch's handwritten notebooks.
Odesnik has denied any ties to Biogenesis ever since — but now he's done playing for good. Odesnik has just been handed a 15-year ban by the tennis authorities after failing a second drug test.
Odesnik's eye-opening punishment comes after three urine samples he submitted in December and January failed tests for banned anabolic agents and peptides, according to USADA, the anti-doping agency that tests tennis pros.
The second failure means "he is suspended from participation for a period of 15 years, back-dated to commence from 30 January 2015, and so ending at midnight on 29 January 2030," USADA authorities say.
The 29-year-old pro, ranked 267th in the world, quickly announced he's retiring from the sport that has now banned him until his mid-40s.
Odesnik blamed the failure on tainted over-the-counter supplements and noted that — thanks to his history — he's been tested far more often than the average tennis pro.
“Upon learning of my positive test results, I was immediately heartbroken as words could not describe my shock and disappointment. Being the most tested American tennis player on tour, I would never knowingly have taken any chance of consuming a banned substance,” he said in a statement.
Odesnik, though, has never clearly explained his ties to Biogenesis, the Coral Gables clinic that New Times linked to selling steroids to scores of professional athletes including Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun.
The tennis pro's name appeared 26 times in handwritten notes from the clinic's founder, Tony Bosch, often next to dollar amounts suggesting payments.
Odesnik denied being a Bosch client, but — combined with his earlier HGH scandal — the links strengthened scrutiny on him. He was tested 14 times in 2013, the New York Times reports, more often than any other player, and ten times last year.
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.