SBD/October 31, 2012/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Andy Murray Calls For Expanded Drug Testing Program, Tougher Penalties For Tennis Players

Murray says he would like to see more testing during training in December
Tennis player Andy Murray believes that the sport "needs to do more out-of-competition drug testing and would like to see sanctions against players who fail tests applied more stringently," according to Paul Newman of the London INDEPENDENT. While tennis is "not believed to have a major drugs problem, critics believe that not enough testing is done, particularly out of competition." Generally, tests are "carried out during tournaments and most are urine tests, which are not considered as effective as blood tests." Murray said, "I think the out-of-competition stuff could probably get better. When we're in December, when people are training and setting their bases, I think it would be good to try and do more." Newman noted there have been "around 60 drugs cases since tennis started testing 22 years ago" (London INDEPENDENT, 10/29). In London, Mark Cue wrote Murray is "under no illusions as to the need for the governing bodies to remain ahead of the game in the fight against drugs." Murray believes "stiff sanctions are required." He said, "When somebody fails a test, don't just let them back into the sport 18 months earlier than they should be" (LONDON TIMES, 10/30). Murray: "The other thing with tennis is that there's a lot of testing at the top end. But lower down there isn't anywhere near as much" (London TELEGRAPH, 10/30).

CROWDED CALENDAR: FOXSPORTS.com's Richard Evans wrote, "It was obvious, from the moment the decision was made to close off the free week between the ATP Masters 1000 event here in Paris and the ATP World Tour Finals in London, that one or both tournaments would suffer." The decision was made by former ATP World Tour Exec Chair & President Adam Helfant, "who cast the deciding vote as chairman of the ATP Board." It would be "harsh to lay the blame solely at Helfant’s door because at least two of the player reps were in favor of it, but it was a decision doomed to failure from the moment it was made." Evans wrote of the ATP Masters 1000, "A tournament of this stature, which has built a fine reputation since coming onto the calendar in 1986, deserves better." By taking away the one-week "breathing space before the ATP World Tour Finals, the tour made one of its worst decisions and is now having to live with the consequences." Evans: "No wonder this Paris Masters event is thinking of moving to February" (FOXSPORTS.com, 10/29).

COMING UP ACES: For the second consecutive year, attendance for the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships at the Sinan Erdem Arena exceeded 70,000 fans, reaching 73,072 to mark the highest total since '00. Meanwhile, the official WTA website (www.wtatennis.com) set a record during championship week with approximately 4.8 million page impressions and nearly 500,000 unique visitors (WTA).
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