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SBD Global/October 31, 2012/People and Pop Culture

Andy Murray Calls For Increased Drug Testing In Tennis

Andy Murray listens to a question at a Paris Tennis Masters press conference Monday.
British tennis player ANDY MURRAY "called for tennis to step up its efforts to ensure it does not suffer from the same drugs-related scourge that has blighted cycling," according to Mike Dickson of the London DAILY MAIL. Murray "wants to see an increase in the unannounced testing" of players in their offseason. He "actually welcomed having a random blood test at his hotel last Saturday night, and would like more players to have those 'surprises' when they disappear for winter training blocks." Murray "joined a growing number of professionals who want to see more done" in a sport that, while still involving a huge amount of skill, "places an increasing premium on strength and endurance." Murray said, "The out-of-competition stuff could probably get better. When we’re in December, when people are training and setting their bases, it would be good to do more around that time" (DAILY MAIL, 10/30).

NOT ENOUGH DONE: In London, Paul Newman wrote that "while tennis is not believed to have a major drugs problem, critics believe that not enough testing is done." Most tests "are carried out during tournaments and most are urine tests, which are not considered as effective as blood tests." Last year only 21 players worldwide -- 18 men and three women -- were blood-tested out of competition by the Int'l Tennis Federation and the World Anti-Doping Agency (INDEPENDENT, 10/29). In Glasgow, Simon Cambers wrote that Murray "believes tennis was in a much healthier position than cycling." He said, "I think there's very little skill involved in the Tour de France, it's pretty much just physical. A lot of the way the teams work now is just science whereas with tennis, you can't teach the skill by taking a drug" (HERALD SCOTLAND, 10/30). Murray said, "It's a shame for their sport, but how they managed to get away with it was incredible, for so long" (MIRROR, 10/30).
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