Blake: There are dopers in tennis

by: Matt Cronin | October 18, 2012

Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Email
Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Email

James Blake tells USA Today that he believes there are tennis players who are doping.

“In tennis I’m sure there are guys who are doing it, getting away with it, and getting ahead of the testers,” Blake said. “But I also am realistic with this much money involved, $1.9 million for the winner of the U.S. Open, people will try to find a way to get ahead.”

The newspaper noted that only 37 cases performance enhancing drug (PED) use have been reported in the past 10 years (including wheelchair athletes).

“To think there is no doping is tennis is naïve,” said the ITF’s Stuart Miller. “At the other end of the spectrum, is it reasonable to assume that doping is endemic within tennis? We have no evidence.”

USA Today reported that the ITF’s anti-doping budget is about $1.6 million. From 2008-2011, the ITF conducted roughly 2,000 drug tests annually, both in and out of competition. In 2011, there were only 21 were out-of-competition blood tests.

Major League Baseball is said to conduct more than 15,000 tests per year.

“If we had more resources then we’d like to do more,” says Miller.

Former WADA chairman Dick Pound has said that athletes who are doping are becoming harder to catch because some use a “micro-dosage program” where they can get a PED out of their system in six-to-eight hours, so even if they are tested daily, they still have a chance of avoiding detection.

ITF president Francesco Ricci Bitti said that tennis’ anti-doping program is one of the “leaders” in pro sports.

Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Email