MELBOURNE: Andy Murray yesterday backed a tougher anti-doping regime for tennis, including biological passports and more blood tests, to keep the sport drug-free after the Lance Armstrong scandal.
As Serena Williams called the Armstrong saga “sad” and women’s number one Victoria Azarenka said the disgraced cyclist “deserves everything he gets”, Murray said he would support tighter controls for tennis.
“I think it’s something that all sports are now trying to improve their doping controls and make it better, you know, make sure that every sport’s as clean as possible,” the British major-winner said at the Australian Open.
“If that’s more blood testing or the biological passports, that’s something we need to do and improve in tennis, as well.”
Drug cases are rare in tennis but its anti-doping system has been criticised as outdated.
Men’s number one Novak Djokovic Friday said he had not been blood-tested for six or seven months, although Murray said his blood was examined between four and six times a year.
Biological passports are used in some sports including cycling to provide a running record of each athlete’s test results, to detect unusual variations.
After Djokovic said Armstrong should “suffer for his lies” following his long-awaited doping confession, Azarenka also had harsh words for the seven-time Tour de France champion.
“I think he deserves everything he gets. You know, you cannot go through the stuff and be a hero in the end of the day. You cannot lie. You cannot cheat,” said the Belarusian.
Williams said that the Armstrong case would now bring many top athletes under suspicion.
“I think as an athlete, as someone that works really, really hard since I was four or three, you know, I think it’s a sad day for all athletes in general,” she said.
Williams added: “Unfortunately, I think a lot of people now look and are like, OK, if somebody that great, what about everyone else in every other sport?” AFP