Murray Defends Tennis From Provocative Doping Allegations

Scottish professional tennis player and ranked World No. 3, Andy Murray, recently defended tennis from guilt by association in the wake of cyclist Lance Armstrong making a confession that he used banned drugs to stay on top of the sport.

The US Open champion went on to dismiss the Belgian player and serial alarmist Christophe Rochus’s claims that “it is inconceivable that you can play five hours in the sun and run around like a rabbit the next day”. “I would say that is far from the truth,” Murray said and added that it is for everyone to see the amount of hours of training and practice that go into what we do. He also remarked that he discussed the Lance Armstrong doping scandal at the end of last year and don’t want to get into again as it caused more questions and every sport will take note of what has been said, what has happened and improve their doping controls. Murray acknowledged that tennis is nowadays a fierce proving ground and players have to adapt to survive at the top and said Rafael Nadal was the first one to have a physique that looked like a true world-class athlete across any sport and he thinks he looked like he could do any sport. Andy Murray added that tennis has changed for sure physically in the last few years and it is much more demanding than ever. He also remarked that he himself has reduced the amount of tournaments he play and spend more time to prepare and getting himself ready for events.

Tennis is seen by many as the perfect sport to take performance enhancing drugs, with the recovery, strengthening etc., but the lack of positive results somehow shows that it is a clean sport.

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) now leads a unified Tennis Anti-Doping Program applying across all tennis events and is even planning to introduce an athlete biological passport (ABP) which allows officials to collect and compare biological data and spot variances that suggest doping.

In another development, Dick Pound, the former head of the World Anti-Doping Agency, has remarked that he is “sure” tennis has a drug problem. The former WADA chief remarked the contrast between the players’ physiques today and those from the 1980s is itself enough to create doubt. Pound added that if the tennis authorities don’t believe there is EPO or HGH use now, they are not paying attention.

While HGH (human growth hormone) is used by some sportsmen to repair damaged muscles quickly and promote dramatic gain of muscle bulk when used with anabolic steroids, EPO – or erythropoietin – is the hormone that regulates red blood cell production and plays an important role in the brain’s response to neuronal injury besides also being involved in the wound healing process. In addition to this, EPO has a range of actions including vasoconstriction-dependent hypertension, stimulating angiogenesis, and inducing proliferation of smooth muscle fibers and can enhance iron absorption by suppressing the hormone hepcidin and it could improve the outcome and quality of life when used as a viable treatment of heart attack and stroke patients.

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