Once again, courtesy of our reader Vincent (who was the source of this site's exclusive translation of Yannick Noah's article from last year), we have a proper translation of this interview with Pat Cash from Le Nouvel Observateur.
It is a strange interview. Cash says tennis is "perfect" for doping (Jon Wertheim and Stuart Miller would be surprised by Cash's statement as both assert tennis doesn't lend itself to doping). However, Cash also says the sport is clean because he believes wrongly (like Wertheim) that there are stringent doping controls. It's obvious Cash hasn't looked at the ITF's statistics because he suggests that there's a lot of out-of-competition testing and that the testing is too strict. This is certainly not the case by any means.
Here is Vincent's (thank-you) translation of the relevant section:
Q : A word on doping. It is a word that is never pronounced in tennis.
A : Because it is clean. I think it is. There are so many tests! I even think there are too many. This invasion of privacy is ridiculous. And all those tests during trainings... I really think it is too much.
Q : But isn't it necessary ?
A : It is. But really, they have to tell each day where they are, what they are doing. It is a total violation of their privacy. But if there are few positive tests, this means the sport is clean. In fact this is curious, as it is the perfect sport to dope. With nandrolone for instance, to play those matches every day. But tennis isn't one of those sports where there are drugs. There is no dope culture, I don't think so. Of course, there were rumors on certain players.
Q : Often about Nadal...
A : Often about Nadal, yes. He finished a season really thin and came back two months later... pow ! [He's mimicking huge muscles]. He said he didn't lift weights, so...
Q : Where did it come from then ?
A : I don't know. But people were saying the same things about me when I had thick legs.
Q : In your autobiography, you are talking about your drugs consumption when you were a player. There were also Agassi, Navratilova, Becker... Why ?
A : When I started to play, it wasn't unusual for a guy to propose you a joint, to smoke with four or five others when there was no match planned in the following days. It was like having a beer. And it's the same in fact, I don't know if you smoke or not, but it's the same : you're high for a few hours, you're having fun, you're drinking some and then you come down, and you can train the day after. There was some cocaine going around, I saw that but I only tried it at the end of my career, when I wasn't at the top anymore. We didn't know anything at the time, it was only having fun. It was a recreative drug, no doping. We're not different from the rest of society.