Andy Murray would be willing to release all his drug-testing records if it would clear his sport of the suspicion, rumour and innuendo surrounding the top players and performance enhancing drugs.
Speaking at the start of the Mutua Madrid Open yesterday, Murray backed Rafael Nadal’s call for the anti-doping authorities to release all of the Spaniard’s drug-testing records. But would he follow Nadal’s lead?
Publishing your data and your testing results obviously leaves much less doubt, which I think is positiveAndy Murray
“Yeah, I think so,” Murray said. “I just think that the more transparency, the better for the sport because I think because of what’s happened over the last ten or 15 years, there’s kind of a general mistrust around sports. And when you have that – publishing your data and your testing results – that obviously leaves much less doubt, which I think is positive.”
Nadal is suing Roselyn Bachelot, France’s former sports minister, for claims she made on French television last month. She alleged that the Spaniard’s seven-month absence from the tour in 2012 was not due to his recurring knee problems but was as a result of failing a drugs test. Once he had started legal proceedings, Nadal then turned to the International Tennis Federation and requested that they make public every drug test he has taken and the results. He also wants the ITF to publish all his future test results.
The ITF, in response, issued a statement that Nadal had never failed a doping test but they did not specify when and where he had been tested nor did they provide each individual result. Nadal wants more information to be made public both now and in the future.
“The sport should be clean and must look clean,” Nadal said. “It would be, in my opinion – always, in my opinion – much better for the transparency of the sport in general to say, ‘Rafa Nadal is passing an anti-doping control today and the result is going to be in two weeks’. In the result, you publish the results. The anti-doping control is negative. That’s it.
“This will be much easier for everybody. Should be much easier for the world of sport, and will be easier for you guys [the media], that you don’t have to think.
“Just have to read. For the people, at the same time, too, they don’t have to create opinion. They have the proof.”
Murray was in total agreement with his friend and the man he beat in last year’s Madrid final. Under the current system, only failed drugs tests that result in a player being banned are published; any player who fails a test but escapes sanction remains anonymous.
“But if all the test results were in the public domain, there would be no hiding place for the cheats and there would be no grist for the rumour mill.
“I don’t see any negatives can be taken from that at all,” Murray said of Nadal’s plan. “I think it’s a positive thing to do and we’ll see what happens in the future: if it becomes a thing that everyone does, that he’s taken the lead and everyone follows. But I do think it’s positive.”
Johanna Konta, Heather Watson and Laura Robson all exited the Madrid Open at the first-round stage yesterday.
Konta, one set down to Carolina Garcia of France, retired in the second due to what the WTA described as an “upper-respitory illness”.
Watson went down 7-5, 6-4 to Australian Daria Gavrilova, while Robson lost 6-4, 6-2 to world No 5 Victoria Azarenka.