SBD/Issue 37/Leagues & Governing Bodies

Retiring Tennis Player Believes Doping Is Taking Place In Sport

Rochus Claims Use Of PEDs In Tennis Takes
Place Despite Increased Drug Testing

Retiring tennis player Christophe Rochus in an interview with Belgian newspaper La Derniere Heure said that he "believes doping takes place in tennis and that he 'would not be against' the legalization of performance-enhancing drugs," according to TENNIS.com. Rochus: "There's a lot of cheating. Simply, people don't like to talk about it. I simply would like to stop the pretending. This hypocrisy is exasperating." Rochus noted that he "received a warning letter from the ATP after speaking out on the issue in the past." Rochus also "addressed past speculation that some sort of doping suspension was behind Justine Henin's sudden retirement in May 2008," from which she returned in January '10. Rochus: "I found it surprising, her sudden stop without apparent reason. Usually, champions like this announce several months in advance and do a sort of farewell tour" (TENNIS.com, 10/31).

PASSING THE TEST? In Portland, Douglas Perry wrote, "Does tennis have a problem similar to the one that has upended baseball over the past two decades? I have no idea. What I do know is that tennis has one of the most rigorous testing programs in all of professional sports, to the point that players like Rafael Nadal have complained about it being overly intrusive." Perry added, "Is it a perfect system? No. ... But it appears to be a serious system, and tennis' powers-that-be have been straightforward" (OREGONLIVE.com, 11/1).

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