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Saturday 24, Nov 2012

  Anti-Doping Steps Mulled By Tennis

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Anti doping steps mulled by tennis

International Tennis Federation anti-doping manager Stuart Miller has remarked that tennis is evaluating whether to adopt blood-testing measures used by cycling and track to catch drug cheats. Miller remarked that ITF is very carefully looking at an athlete biological passport program in tennis.

In cycling and in track and field, biological passport programs are used for monitoring the blood readings of athletes over a period of time for possible tell-tale doping indications and the governing body of cycling, the UCI, and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), have used doping evidence gathered from these programs to ban athletes and target others for more testing. The ITF Anti-doping manager said “it would be nice” if tennis can establish such a system in 2013 but said he would not like to say it is surely happening until it can be correctly and effectively implemented. He added that the International Tennis Federation is also working towards more of the blood and out-of-competition drug tests it already does on tennis players.

Roger Federer and Andy Murray called for more out-of-competition and blood testing in tennis in the wake of Lance Armstrong doping scandal. Murray termed the Armstrong case “pretty shocking”, Federer said the idea of a lot of blood testing is acceptable to him.

The ITF and the World Anti-Doping Agency conducted just 21 out-of-competition blood tests in tennis in 2011 for detecting the abuse of growth hormone, transfusions using blood from donors, and blood-doping substances CERA and HBOCs and the vast majority of tests — 2,019 of a total of 2,150 — were urine.

Miller said the ITF is working very hard for increasing the proportion of out-of-competition testing, and particularly blood testing and he is hopeful that it will make some inroads into improving that by the end of the year. Miller said Federer was tested by the ITF an average of eight times per year from 2004-2006, 11 times per year from 2007-2009, and nine times per year in 2010-2012. ITF statistics on its website showed it did not tested Serena Williams out of competition at all in 2010 and 2011, years she won the Australian Open and Wimbledon and lost a U.S. Open final though the tennis body did test Williams in-competition at least seven times in 2010 and between 1-3 times in-competition in 2011.

The 2011 French Open women’s singles winner from China, Li Na, was also not tested out of competition by the ITF or WADA in 2011 or in 2010, but was tested in-competition.

The USADA website shows that it had not organized a test on the 15-time major winner since 2008 before one test in the second quarter of this year.

In 2011, 510 of the 642 tested tennis players were not tested out of competition at all while cycling conducts 6,500 more tests than tennis on professional road racers last year and an average of nine tests per rider, compared to an average 3.4 tests per player in tennis and Canadian cyclist Ryder Hesjedal, winner of the Giro d’Italia, has had 22 urine tests and 13 blood controls so far this year.The ITF budget shows it spent $1.3 million on testing in 2011 while cycling says it spent $4.7 million on testing alone in 2011, with teams, riders, race organizers and the UCI all contributing.

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Wednesday 06, Apr 2011

  Beck Wants To Surprise Andy Murray

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Beck Wants To Surprise Andy Murray Karol Beck of Slovakia who was suspended for a period of two years after taking performance enhancing drugs five years ago, drew the fifth seed in the first round of Australia Open and will meet Britain’s Andy Murray.

Beck was a finalist in St. Petersburg six years ago and reached the doubles final with the Czech David Skoch at Queen’s last year.


“I know I can beat the good guys,” says Beck.

Wednesday 09, Mar 2011

  Andy Murray ready to take on Karol Beck

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Andy Murray ready to take on Karol BeckAndy Murray rarely fails to surprise and as soon as he formalized his coaching arrangement with his part-time Spanish tutor, Alex Corretja, he arrives at a grand slam without him.

Murray has a first-round opponent, Karol Beck, with an interesting past. Beck was suspended for two years in 2006 for using clenbuterol, a performance enhancing drug on the banned list.

“I’ve only hit once outdoors since I’ve been here and obviously Perth last week [at the Hopman Cup] was indoors too. We’ve practised on Laver quite a lot but the day I played outdoors with Novak Djokovic the conditions were so different compared to playing indoors,” says Murray.

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