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ITTF: Let the Witch-Hunt for Boosters Begin

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zeio View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote zeio Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: ITTF: Let the Witch-Hunt for Boosters Begin
    Posted: 04/01/2021 at 2:06am
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.














Edited by zeio - 04/01/2021 at 2:11am
Viscaria FL - 91g
+ Neo H3 2.15 Blk - 44.5g(55.3g uncut bare)
+ Hexer HD 2.1 Red - 49.3g(68.5g 〃 〃)
= 184.8g
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote zeio Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/01/2021 at 2:38am
A recap of how they got from bounce test to gas chromatography.

https://documents.ittf.sport/system/files?file=documents/2016_BoD_minutes.pdf
Quote 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/files?file=documents/20150207_EC_Singapore_minutes.pdf
Quote 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.

Viscaria FL - 91g
+ Neo H3 2.15 Blk - 44.5g(55.3g uncut bare)
+ Hexer HD 2.1 Red - 49.3g(68.5g 〃 〃)
= 184.8g
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote haggisv Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/01/2021 at 5:53am
Thanks for posting zeio! Thumbs Up

What a waste of money, time and resources... trying to detect something at such low levels, it's going to produce lots of false alarm, which could penalise innocent players, and waste money and time again at tournaments.
What was the official reason for banning boosters again??? Oh yes, it was for health reason...it must be real dangerous if they're worried about these minute amounts!


Edited by haggisv - 04/01/2021 at 5:53am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cole_ely Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/01/2021 at 6:59am
I didn't read all that but I will later. I caught the part about differentiating between boosters. I'm sure whatever kind butterfly patents will be the okay kind
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hans Regenkurt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/01/2021 at 8:48am
Boosting is not the biggest problem, the current ball specification is (diameter, weight). I am not against plastic as a material, I even have come to like the feel of these balls.

In my view the current ABS plastic ball generate an insane need for racket speed due to their playing properties. The whole question of boosting would not matter if the decision makers had the willingness to realise that a somewhat slower ball is needed, perhaps with a little more spin but definitely something that can be controlled better when in a rally.

The current balls pose a lot of problems now that there are at least 8 different kinds of balls. On top of that, they play noticeably differently from table to table. This is the real issue they should scratch their heads about. My theory is that a little smaller and a little lighter ball should be introduced so that it cannot be killed on the third ball basically. Rallies could be properly played out. This also brings into question the existence of 11 point sets.

In summary, they are looking in the worst place: they are trying to control the factor that incurs the biggest costs. I cannot understand why they have not been booted yet.


Edited by Hans Regenkurt - 04/01/2021 at 8:50am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote icontek Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/01/2021 at 12:51pm
Originally posted by Hans Regenkurt Hans Regenkurt wrote:


The current balls pose a lot of problems now that there are at least 8 different kinds of balls. On top of that, they play noticeably differently from table to table. This is the real issue they should scratch their heads about. My theory is that a little smaller and a little lighter ball should be introduced so that it cannot be killed on the third ball basically. Rallies could be properly played out. This also brings into question the existence of 11 point sets.


8 different kinds of balls. On top of that, they play noticeably differently from table to table

This truth leads me to believe that the experiment is ongoing, to shape what professional play will look like. Since the horrific launch of plastic, and the awful growing pains of randomized balls (poor quality control in same batches) all the way to more modern ABS variants, we are seeing much more creativity in pro play than the stagnant 40MM celluloid play. 

The ITTF needs to figure the ball out, and then tackle boosting. 

as an aside:

-I have a set of those DHS D40+ Tokyo 2020 balls (dual logo) that are very good (consistency, spin, performance on a variety of tables). I would not be unhappy if this was the new standard of ball design.

-Nittaku Premiums are only good for a short period of time, and then their surface grip wears off and they spin less. 



Edited by icontek - 04/01/2021 at 12:58pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cole_ely Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/01/2021 at 12:54pm
I feel like as the ball loses it's grit it spins more, not less
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote icontek Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/01/2021 at 1:08pm
Originally posted by cole_ely cole_ely wrote:

I feel like as the ball loses it's grit it spins more, not less

Ah - maybe you are talking about the amount of spin after it hits table?

I was talking about the spin after paddle contact and the resulting arc on the ball.

That's an interesting distinction.

Can we agree at least the the ball playing properties when new should be similar to the ball playing properties after X number of hours?

Where X is a number longer than an 8 hour tournament?

Because Nittaku Premiums seem engineered to have one level of performance for about that term, and then play like a different ball after the outer coating is worn smooth.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mykonos96 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/01/2021 at 2:42pm
Originally posted by cole_ely cole_ely wrote:

I didn't read all that but I will later. I caught the part about differentiating between boosters. I'm sure whatever kind butterfly patents will be the okay kind

If you use rakza 9 your sheet smell like TRF booster..how are you gonna tell if the booster comes from factory? Even if you apply bengay to your arm and your hands is contaminated your raquet will test positive.

I have seen curled edges on rubbers used by japanese players.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cole_ely Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/01/2021 at 10:33pm
Originally posted by icontek icontek wrote:

Originally posted by cole_ely cole_ely wrote:

I feel like as the ball loses it's grit it spins more, not less

Ah - maybe you are talking about the amount of spin after it hits table?

I was talking about the spin after paddle contact and the resulting arc on the ball.

That's an interesting distinction.

Can we agree at least the the ball playing properties when new should be similar to the ball playing properties after X number of hours?

Where X is a number longer than an 8 hour tournament?

Because Nittaku Premiums seem engineered to have one level of performance for about that term, and then play like a different ball after the outer coating is worn smooth.

I just think the grit is heavy and when you have more weight on the outside of the ball it loses it spin faster. Your ball really shouldn't slip off your rubber whether there's grit on it or not

But certainly a new ball with grit will check on the table a ton on short backspin and lose a lot of that spin. But you get more movement


Edited by cole_ely - 04/01/2021 at 10:35pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote smackman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/02/2021 at 1:51am
This new testing may help players to decide/find the best booster Smile after viewing the testing results

will the same machine pickup speed glue?


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote igorponger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/05/2021 at 11:49pm


NIR device ready for use right now.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote vanjr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/08/2021 at 11:05am
The phrase "jumped the shark" comes to mind when I see this kind of stuff. Go Fonzie, Go!!!

Edited by vanjr - 04/08/2021 at 11:06am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stiltt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/16/2021 at 1:45pm
Originally posted by igorponger igorponger wrote:



NIR device ready for use right now.
Is it available for any tournament director?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Baal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/16/2021 at 5:52pm
The number of false positives will be insane.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote igorponger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/16/2021 at 7:57pm
     WOULD-BE PENALTY WILL WORK AS WELL.
This device is expected to work pretty well as a permanent menace to prevent table tennis players and manufacturers from wrongdoings. Something like using Police Breathalysers on the roadways.
Just trumpet rumours all around
--TomCat is coming here,
and the mice all will keep dumb in their subholes.

Edited by igorponger - 07/16/2021 at 8:29pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gekogark1212 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/17/2021 at 4:00am
A better business decision would be just approving boosters. 
Kaching
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pdxhomebuyers Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/23/2021 at 11:41am
Very interesting, good job and thanks for sharing such a good article. Your article is so convincing that I never stop myself to say something about it. You’re doing a great job. Keep it up.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cole_ely Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/23/2021 at 12:00pm
Originally posted by gekogark1212 gekogark1212 wrote:

A better business decision would be just approving boosters. 
Kaching

When you do that, people can buy a can of solvent from ace and a cheap Chinese rubber and make it play as good as any $65 rubber.  That's why it's not a good business decision
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