Notable Quotes

The media talks as though doping is not a problem in tennis. However, players have talked about it for well over a decade. The press ignores them, too. Here's a list of player that have talked about performance enhancing drugs use over the years:

Doping in General

Guy Forget: "I don't feel our sport is clean. I am sure now as we speak there are some guys that are cheating. You cannot say tennis is not touched by this poisonous thing."

Mike Bryan: "You get blood tested at the slams, usually after you lose, but I've never been blood tested out of competition."

Todd Martin: "There are people out there who don't have the ethics that are necessary for there to be a level playing field, and as long as there are, we're going to have those who are trying to get a leg up."

Jim Courier: "Let's face it, if you're 100 in the world and you think that something illegal will get you to 10 in the world, that's a tremendous difference in the quality of the rest of your life from a financial standpoint."

Nick Bolletieri: "If I said tennis is totally clean, I would be kidding myself [..] I would say there are certainly some short cuts being taken. Not that many, but it would be crazy to think differently."

James Blake: "In tennis, I think, I'm sure there are guys who are doing it, getting away with it and getting ahead of the testers."

John McEnroe: "You can tell when someone has been on steroids… A guy bulks up, has a new body and never gets tired...You see these guys or girls who come onto the tour talking about their new training programs and their diets where they eat this or that new thing…but they’ll never tell you about the drugs they took."

Jim Courier: "I'm much more inclined to have a concern for something that we cannot test for under the current system of testing, which is blood doping..."

Mardy Fish: "This is my 11th year. I've seen a few guys come and go who have cheated..."

Daniel Nestor: "We suspect that there’s always stuff going on. I mean, we watch some of these matches, the guys play five hours and come back the next day and do it again.”

Mahesh Bhupathi: "The tennis players themselves have brought it (anti-doping rules) upon themselves. A lot of players have been cheating."

Jim Courier: "EPO is the problem, I have pretty strong suspicions that guys are using it on the tour. I see guys who are out there week in and week out without taking rests. EPO can help you when it's the fifth set and you've been playing for four-and-a-half hours."

Christophe 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."

Fabrice Santoro: "I can't believe there is a real will to fight against doping...I don't know whether the testing is done to catch the guys or just for show. Sometimes, I ask myself the question, when I see what goes on."

Nicolas Escudé: "They tell me there are files that can't be opened. What can they be, if not files on doping? If these files exploded, tennis would be in bad shape for six months. But it would be a bad thing for a good cause."

Andrew Ilie: "The problem is so bad that you might as well just let them use it and when players see people dying on court and exploding, then it's going to change their minds."

Nathalie Tauziat: "I won't name individuals, but it's clear that doping exists in tennis and needs to be stopped...I have no hard evidence, but all I will say is that you don't have to have a degree in medicine to see that some of the players have transformed themselves almost overnight..."

Andre Agassi

Andre Agassi (1999): "I have absolutely no knowledge of anyone blood-doping whatsoever."

Andre Agassi (2004): "I don't know how you could do it for a short time much less how you would work it long term. I don't know how you'd pull it off...we test so extensively that we have absolutely removed the possibility of somebody taking drugs to obtain a strategic advantage."

Andre Agassi (2008): "When it comes to drug testing, I’ll hold tennis up to any sport in the world...I find myself focusing the most on what our sport is doing to make sure that if you’re cheating, you’ll get caught. And that’s where I take refuge. I believe our sport is on the leading edge, pioneering ways to hold players accountable...Even when I was playing, I was drug tested one year something like 20 times, and I didn’t play as much as many others. If you cheat, it’s not a matter of if you get caught, but when you get caught."

Andre Agassi (in 2009, admitting that he failed a drug test in 1997 and successfully lied to the ATP to get them to drop the case): "Then I come to the central lie of the letter...I say that recently I drank accidentally from one of Slim's spiked sodas, unwittingly ingesting his drugs. I ask for understanding and leniency and hastily sign it: Sincerely."

Michael Stich: "The fact that [Agassi] was using it [crystal meth], escaped drugs tests and said he used it accidentally raises a lot of questions towards the ATP...Why was Andre Agassi not suspended if he tested positive and why was it never brought to the attention of the media and the players? Nobody ever heard about it."

Whereabouts/Out-of-Competition Testing

Andy Murray: "These new rules are so draconian that it makes it almost impossible to live a normal life."

Rafael Nadal: "It's not fair to have persecution like that...They make you feel like a criminal."

Rafael Nadal: "I am the first who wants a clean sport, more than anyone, believe me, but the way it [controls] are being done is, in my opinion, not right [...] I'm always going to be with the players and I will always defend them...I have confidence in my colleagues. I believe they are clean and if the [testing] results don't tell me something else, I will defend my friends."

Bob Bryan: ''It's a little strict. They've been showing up a lot at our house, especially last year before the Olympics, but we want fairness in our sport. We don't want it looked upon like baseball. We want integrity in our sport.''

Mike Bryan: "It's a little strict, but it's the same for everyone. It's gonna really clean up our sport. There will be no questions in anyone's head if anyone's cheating."

Roger Federer: "I feel like this is how you’re going to catch them, right? You’re not going to catch them ringing them up and saying, 'Look, I would like to test you maybe in two days.' The guy’s cheating and they’re smart, right? It’s an hour a day. I know it’s a pain, but I would like it to be a clean sport, and that’s why I’m OK with it."

Gilles Simon: "I think this system is demanding but necessary to ensure that everybody can be tested anytime."

Mahesh Bhupathi: "It is no fun. But to fight cheats I will do it. I am already giving my daily whereabouts to the association."

Janko Tipsarevic: "The fact that we have to report every day of our lives to someone is just a disgrace and a joke."

4 comments:

  1. Murray wants drug tests off his back.


    http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/tennis/andy-murray-left-sick-at-lack-1015020

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  2. Agassi took crystal meth?...That well-known performance-enhancing substance. [/sarcasm].
    There's a lot of contradictions on this website. Players are getting ill from 'roids, or players are feigning illness and injury to avoid tests, yet they can blood dope and flush their system anyway, because tests are forewarned.
    Players missing majors is simply due to over-playing, not because they've poorly organised their PED cycle - you'd have to be pretty stupid to think that they're that poorly organised (yet at other times have the WADA system completely beaten at other times.
    Make up your minds!

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  3. Its pretty well known that there have been major champions that have taken a wide variety of recreational drugs. These drugs generally hurt performance, so I don't think anyone is going call for taking back slams from 70s and early 80s tennis stars. From the mid 80s on it is probably a good bet that some in Tennis were taking performance enhancing drugs. Taking drugs that hurt you is a personal failing, but taking drugs that allow you to fraudulently win money from others is a crime in my book.

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