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  1. zeio is offline
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    ITTF: Let the Witch-Hunt for Boosters Begin

    Been waiting for this day to post it. Yet, it's no April Fools. The no-booster camp at ITTF is still looking for a way to weed out every last one of them. Note the name Claudia Herweg.

    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aca.2021.338227
    Detection of illegal treatment of table tennis rackets using gas chromatography coupled to ion mobility spectrometry – A feasibility study
    Carolin Drees, Markus Knieb, Annika Fechner, Joachim Franzke, Claudia Herweg, Wolfgang Vautz

    Highlights
    • Ion mobility coupled to gas chromatography (GC-IMS) enables booster control in table tennis.
    • Characteristic VOC patterns of table tennis coverings and from boosters can be differentiated.
    • Quantitative and selective determination of relevant compounds by calibration.
    • Short analysis time (1–2 min) using mobile GC-IMS allows booster monitoring on-site.
    • This analytical tool GC-IMS could help keeping sports fair and equitable.

    Abstract
    In all professional sports, performance pressure is high at the top level. Therefore, rules are defined and controlled to keep sports fair in accordance e.g. with the Agenda 21 of the International Olympic Committee. However, it’s about money and honour and as a consequence it is obvious that the athletes will go to the limits at all levels or even beyond. This is not only true for performance-enhancing substances to improve the physical capacity but – when sports equipment is involved – also for their optimisation. Thus, rules and related controls are necessary with regard to fairness between competitors but also with regard to their health when chemicals are involved. In table tennis, such chemicals (so-called boosters) are used occasionally – but against the rules – to improve the performance of the rackets. In the present study, several boosters were analysed as well as numerous common racket coverings using ion mobility spectrometry coupled to gas-chromatographic pre-separation. After optimisation of sampling with regard to improving reproducibility, characteristic patterns of volatiles for booster compounds and for racket coverings with different characteristics were developed successfully. In particular, signals related to particular softening agents could be identified and detected even in the untreated coverings. The patterns of volatiles were found to be characteristic for the particular boosters investigated as well as for the particular coverings. Furthermore, those patterns enable a differentiation between booster and covering or – in other words – between rule-consistent racket coverings and rule violation by after treatment of the rubber with a booster. After adaptation of the entire procedure to realistic competition situations, the method could be used for proving an infringement against the prohibition of applying such compounds.












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    #2
    A recap of how they got from bounce test to gas chromatography.

    https://documents.ittf.sport/system/...oD_minutes.pdf
    5. Propositions and resolutions (document G):

    Japan TTA made a presentation to explain and illustrate Proposition 13 to introduce a new
    method to detect boosters in racket coverings, the Pyrolysis Gas Chromatography.

    The Board considered the following propositions, which required a simple majority of the
    votes cast:

    13a
    Proposed by Japan Table Tennis Association
    To include following principles in paragraphs 3.2.1 (Approved and
    Authorised Equipment) and 3.2.4 (Racket Control)
    1.1 Proposal 1: Changing the way in Authorising Sandwich Rubber with
    pimples in (we say rubber from now on).
    1.1.1 To authorise a new rubber, ITTF will use Pyrolysis Chromatograph
    Analyser to measure any sort of oil component within the rubber.
    Then, only the product that contains oil component below 10% of the total
    mass of the rubber may be pre-authorised.
    1.1.2 After the rubber has been pre-authorised, ITTF will operate a
    bounce test under certain conditions (temperature controlled room), and if
    the rubber shows higher result than the limit, the rubber may not be
    authorised.

    *Other sports using balls such as Tennis, Baseball and Golf have bounce
    tests with maximum repulsion depending on the material of the equipment.
    Defeated

    13b
    1.2 Proposal 2: New Racket Control for Rubber
    1.2.1 All ITTF approved events (including Olympics) shall apply the new
    racket control test to the following players.
    a) Individual Events: All players who made it to Semi-Finals and Finals,
    or any other player who has been chosen by the referee at random.
    b) Team Events: The Referee shall choose players from the team that
    has made it to Semi-Finals and Finals, and any other players at random.
    1.2.2 The new racket control is to test the rubber of the racket which the
    player will be using in the next match. The test will be carried out using a
    bounce test with ITTF authorised equipment. Any racket that has a higher
    repulsion than standard level may not be used.
    1.2.3 Any racket that has not been tested before the match but has been
    used in the match will be tested afterwards. If the repulsion rate of the
    rubber is higher than the standard level, the player shall be penalised by the
    ITTF.
    1.2.4 If there is any protest to be made against the above 2 sections, the
    player shall hand in the rubber that has been used in the match to ITTF.
    ITTF shall then test the rubber using their Pyrolysis Chromatograph
    Analyser and compare their result against the result from the same product
    authorised by the ITTF which has not been in use.

    ITTF will then conclude, rightfully on this allegation whether boosting was
    conducted by the player or not.
    Defeated
    https://documents.ittf.sport/system/...re_minutes.pdf
    12. Equipment Update
    12.1 Bounce test project status:
    • The Equipment staff continued the work with the Equipment
    Committee to update the T9, however, there is a delay due to the sick
    leave of the key staff member.
    • Together with the Institute for Sports Research (ISR) in Singapore
    they developed 2 versions of the device:
    o Low cost (using the concept of ball hitting the ceiling of the
    apparatus as a reference to determine pass/fail)
    o Premium version (using sensor) – similar to what was presented
    in Tokyo but with more sensors in this improved version. Tests
    are in progress to verify accuracy of readings.
    • Research to improve the accuracy is:
    o Use of membrane on rubber to get more accurate results without
    needing to consider the stickiness of the rubber.
    o Use of platform (steel or acrylic) to ensure racket is fully
    horizontal.
    o Use of release device to ensure a consistent drop.
    • The 3 fastest rubbers and blades were collected from the equipment
    manufacturers to test and determine the acceptable pass ceiling. This
    limit needs to be further developed as recent tests show that
    temperature affects the bounce measured.
    • JTTA explained the rationale behind the bounce test. There is no
    checking system for boosting, except gas chromatography, and the
    control of rubber performance are required to promote a level playing
    field.
    • It was suggested that the Equipment Committee coordinates with the
    Athletes Commission to investigate other ways as well to discover
    boosting.
    • The general feeling was that the bounce test project is not yet ready
    for implementation for several reasons:
    a) Technical problems with the device regarding membrane, platform
    and consistency of the measures;
    b) Changes in environment (like temperature) could influence the
    measures;
    c) Bounce limit is not yet fixed and if the Athletes Commission
    proposition on 4.25 mm thickness is accepted, new calibration
    would be necessary.

    8-EC-02-2015
    The Executive Committee decided to refer the bounce test project back to the
    Equipment Committee for further study and experimentation, and asked to
    conduct tests at an ITTF event once the device and the procedure is ready. If
    successful, the Technical Leaflet 9 has to be updated and be presented to the
    next BoD in 2016 for approval.
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    #3
    If they cannot control the factory boosting of cnt members, it would still be useless. Although, the pro players who boost outside factories will be caught with this.

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    #4
    Was boosting banned since it was dangerous? Can not remember.

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    #5

    Utopia, nothing but lobbying by Japanese manufacturers.
    The ITTF would divide table tennis into two camps.
    It's always about money !!!

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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Lula
    Was boosting banned since it was dangerous? Can not remember.

    Alteration of rubber rule I guess.

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    #7
    Yeah, but why did we remove it then? Speed glue was bad for the health so can understand that.

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    #8

    Like I said, it's about money.
    If the ITTF thinks it will do that, they are very wrong.
    Professional table tennis does not make companies money, only amateur players.
    It seems like a big scam and theft to me ...

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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Lula
    Yeah, but why did we remove it then? Speed glue was bad for the health so can understand that.

    They wanted to slow down the game more aside from the ball change.

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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Lula
    Yeah, but why did we remove it then? Speed glue was bad for the health so can understand that.
    The late speed glue were not much harmful anymore, many brands like Tibhar or Donic released "clean" speed glues using less VOCs or at least less harmful VOCs (well... if it's possible to produce a non-harmful VOC right ?), I stand my words: since ALL the boosters are using hydrocarbon derivative (the famous paraffin example) such as alkane (other name for paraffin) and hexanes, it's actually harmful, that's why it's not recommended to give more than 3 teaspoons of paraffin oil per day to childrens under 6 of age when they are constipated. It's a medicine, ok... but it's also harmful, as... all medicine, all substance.
    Quote Originally Posted by harty

    Like I said, it's about money.
    If the ITTF thinks it will do that, they are very wrong.
    Professional table tennis does not make companies money, only amateur players.
    It seems like a big scam and theft to me ...

    Yeah it's total hypocrisy: while I'm ok with the booster ban, I do think it's a scam too: Claudia Herweg should be excluded from ITTF for having conflict of interest. the JTTA is obviously supporting the Butterfly lobbying, as Claudia Herweg supports the ESN's one. ALL have been made since a decade in order to boost the R&D departments of TT companies:
    - when speed glue was allowed, and the ball being the same for decades, the pro players were conservative, as speed glue solved nearly all the problems for a given rubber. Gatien, Waldner and Persson to name a few were playing with rubbers released at least 2 decades before their big wins with it: Mark V released in 1969, Gatien World Champion in... 1993 !!! with it
    - same goes with booster: it's all about Hurricane III, who plays with a non-boosted H8 as it was supposed to be the DHS answer to people avoiding boostering ? ok for H3 there are differences in the sponge hardness and color, but that's all. With CNT players dominating the world, ESN and BTY do not see the booster fame as a good thing for sure.
    - I do not agree with you about your last point though: in the modern internet era we're living in, pro players actually boost the sells for big companies: it's all about "hey what does this guy use ?" when he wins. Just reading the forum makes it obvious.
    Quote Originally Posted by yogi_bear

    They wanted to slow down the game more aside from the ball change.

    THIS. Period.

    Because it was impossible to market TT for pay per view and to produce higher revenues then. Now that there are ridiculous rallies, with a bigger bal, slower ball, less rotations, it's all about power and rallies... exactly like in tennis. And TT is now being marketed the same way.

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    #11
    If I think about how any olympian sport should be "clean" I had a hard laugh 😅 no one thinks any of the cyclists, sprinters, weiglifters or any other high intensity sport is clean.

    *removed false information*
    The game didn't exactly slow down, but somehow rallies got longer and a lot more entertaining.

    There just will be no way to detect boosters. Just think about how every company will hand out rubbers that full (edit: correct term is soaked) of booster that these aren't even playable. Than every rubber which was boosted hard has less vocs or gas or whatever.This will not change the game - they just try to act "clean" for the olympic committee...

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    Last edited by Short_Pimple; 04-01-2021 at 01:47 PM. Reason: Spelling

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    #12
    You're so wrong man... do you think ABS plastic isn't harmful to the environment either ? it was only a marketing move to boost the R&D's companies too. When ABS burns, it produces carbon monoxide, exactly as a bad maintained chimney does ! and it... kills. It also produces hydrogen cyanide, do you remember why this components is so famous ? --> pesticides, Zyklon B. Ok not that much for one ball... but just imagine if all the baskets full of ABS balls start to burn in a big arena.... during a big TT event. Silent mass killing !

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    #13

    @Short_Pimple
    Celluloid is made from primarily cellulose (wood) and camphor and is biodegradable, unlike ABS plastic which does not biodegrade nearly as readily and comes from oil whose extraction has caused some well known environmental disasters like the ones in the Gulf of Mexico.Tell me again how celluloid is harmful to the enviroment besides repeating Adham Sharara's/ITTFs unsubstantiated lies about celluloid so he can ram the change to cheaper plastic balls through.

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    #14
    Hey,

    I don't want to offend anyone - the process of making celluloid balls just wasn't good for the environment.

    Never said that Plastic or ABS is less harmful, but as I think about it I doubt that the production will be cleaner or better for the environment.

    Wasn't there a problem with the head of the ittf and the holder of the patent for the plastic ball?

    Never the less - in my opinion the new ball was a step in the right direction. But these are just my 2 cents - everybody feel free to disagree with me 😉

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    #15
    Alright people, lesson learned - I was wrong about the ball material and did believe some "facts" from the Sharaha (or whatever is name is)

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    #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Short_Pimple
    Hey,

    I don't want to offend anyone - the process of making celluloid balls just wasn't good for the environment.

    Never said that Plastic or ABS is less harmful, but as I think about it I doubt that the production will be cleaner or better for the environment.

    Wasn't there a problem with the head of the ittf and the holder of the patent for the plastic ball?

    Never the less - in my opinion the new ball was a step in the right direction. But these are just my 2 cents - everybody feel free to disagree with me 😉


    Seriously, I'm tired of people editing their post WAY AFTER they were caught saying BS. And the reason you put for editing is just... wrong : "spelling" ? come on... just say you were totally wrong, BE A MAN AND ASSUME ! when I write something that may be cautious to some people, I assume it, I don't edit anything HOURS OR DAYS AFTER, because it would mean that I'm not assuming anything I'm saying.

    Be a grown-up and adult guy, don't be a child.



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    #17
    Now my 2 cents on this topic is quite simple:
    - anything asked by the pro players is LEGIT, it's not made to please anyone but themselves, speed glue sarted with a... bicycle tire glue trick, exactly like people started using paraffin lamp oil or baby oil, alkane, hexane or whatever hydrocarbon derivative to boost their rubbers.

    - anything imposed by the ITTF is highly cautious, because of the lobbying companies are doing inside the ITTF, therefore Claudia Herweg is INDEED NOT the right person to talk about anything equipment related because of past and present interactions with ESN, there are obvious conflicts of interest to me with her. She can feel free to file me a lawsuit, no problem. I'm a grown up adult.

    - EVERYTHING should be done to protect players health and promote equity: medical doping sanctioned by the CAS is RIGHT, making ALL the sponge and rubber variations, as ALL kind of boosters AVAILABLE to EVERYONE in the world should be a moto.

    - Is boostering the same as putting an engine into a race bicycle like it seems to have been done for Fabian Cancellara when he won Paris-Roubaix in 2010 ? of course not ! is boostering using a chemical component that MIGHT be harmful to players health, specially the younger ones, wrong ? YES

    - If something is harmful, like... booster, then the CAS should legislate, as they do for any kind of material alterations or medical alterations, NOT THE ITTF.

    Period.

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    #18
    Has been wondering for a while. Is this Cologne that Cologne? Sharara and TMS, anyone?

    https://www.ittf.com/2019/09/02/new-...ffice-running/
    As of 1st September 2019, the new ITTF Equipment Office in Cologne, Germany, is up and running under the direction of Claudia Herweg, Head of Equipment, and supported by further staff on site.
    https://documents.ittf.sport/sites/d..._documents.pdf
    CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (Steve Dainton)
    Report to the AGM Document C1
    ...
    Staff Expansion
    ...As well, to further professionalise in equipment we set up a small satellite office and testing lab in Cologne, led by our Head of Equipment Ms. Claudia Herweg.
    https://ultm.org/ittf-hpd-el-mundo-d...ennis-rubbers/
    Are you interested in what’s new in terms of equipment? This week’s webinar is for you! The ITTF High Performance and Development team presents: “The World of Table Tennis Rubbers”, by Claudia Herweg (GER), ITTF Head of Equipment this Wednesday, February 17 at 2:00 p.m. Europe.

    Professional experience:

    Former table tennis player in the 2. Women Bundesliga in German
    02/90– 12/91: Donic Sportartikel.
    01/92 – 12/92: 1001 Holz table tennis shop in Grenzau.
    01/93 – 04/11: ESN Deutsche Tischtennis Technologie GmbH, Managing Director.
    09/12 – today: Claudia Herweg Consulting in Cologne.

    1. LIEBHERR Masters College, Ochsenhausen – Strategy & concept development, from an idea to a real company.

    2. Weener Plastic GmbH – Ball project, entry to the market.
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    #19
    ITTF SEEKING TO GET IN LINE WITH IOC DIRECTIVES.

    ITTF was recently given some formal directives from IOC demanding to exclude any illegal treatments on players' rackets as it is deemed to be a "perfomance enhancing" technique in flagrant contradiction to the "long established principles of fair play generally adopted for all Olympic competitions."

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    #20
    Quote Originally Posted by igorponger
    ITTF SEEKING TO GET IN LINE WITH IOC DIRECTIVES.

    ITTF was recently given some formal directives from IOC demanding to exclude any illegal treatments on players' rackets as it is deemed to be a "perfomance enhancing" technique in flagrant contradiction to the "long established principles of fair play generally adopted for all Olympic competitions."

    it can't turn out well !!!
    So let there be one manufacturer and that's it.
    Someone likes girls, some muffins again.
    I definitely consider it lobbying, where there is money, there is no morale ...
    If professional players are not subsidized by companies, the situation would be completely different.
    It's just a power struggle.

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