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Murray wants tennis to get tough on doping

ESPN staff
October 30, 2012 « Bairstow keen to be man for all occasions for England | Chartbeat test »
Andy Murray is in action at this week's Paris Masters © Getty Images
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Andy Murray has called for tennis to crack down on doping and urged the sport's authorities to introduce more out-of-competition testing.

The world No. 3, who returns to action at the Paris Masters this week, believes tennis needs to be proactive in order to avoid the possibility of scandal like the one which has engulfed cycling.

While Murray is confident tennis at the top level is "pretty clean", he wants the sport to do more to eradicate drugs cheats.

"I think tennis at the top level has been pretty clean compared to most sports," Murray said in the Daily Mail. "But that isn't to say more can't be done to make 100 per cent sure there are no issues.

"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.

"I've probably had four or five blood tests this year, but a lot more urine, so it's obviously completely necessary when you hear things like about [Lance] Armstrong. It's a shame for their sport but how they managed to get away with it was incredible, for so long.

"The one thing I would say with a sport like cycling is it's purely physical, there's very little skill involved in the Tour de France. It is the power, how many watts you're producing, whereas with tennis you can't learn the skill by taking a drug."

Murray also believes that players caught doping should be punished sufficiently. He pointed to the case of American Wayne Odesnik, who after being banned for two years after being found in possession of human growth hormone (HGH) in January 2010, was allowed to return after just six months.

"The thing that bugged me with it is that if we're going through the testing process, which can at times be frustrating even if it is necessary, don't just let them back into the sport 18 months earlier than when they should be," Murray added.

"We're going through all of this and they're being too lenient with guys travelling with human growth hormone to other countries, it's ridiculous."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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