ATP ready for criticism in doping agency report

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The Independent Online

The ATP Tour is bracing itself for criticism from the World Anti-Doping Agency, which is due to publish its investigation into the seven nandrolone cases prior to Greg Rusedski's acquittal.

The ATP Tour is bracing itself for criticism from the World Anti-Doping Agency, which is due to publish its investigation into the seven nandrolone cases prior to Greg Rusedski's acquittal.

Asked if Rusedski sympathised with Wada regarding its doubts as to where the drug came from, he said: "This is an exceptional case, because the governing body was handing out supplements to the players for years. This is not your normal sort of case."

Mark Gay, Rusedski's lawyer, said: "What we're talking about is not 47 or 50 or 60 nandrolone positives in tennis. It's the fact that that number all have the same common analytical finger print, which makes the odds of it not being from a single source literally billions and billions to one against. It is an exceptional circumstance. I'm sure Greg has every sympathy with Wada's impression of strict liability.

"That's the way the sport and all sports should move. But where you have that circumstance, where a governing body itself may be distributing substances which will make a player positive, it's simply not fair to punish players. If a governing body gives you the stuff there's an implicit guarantee that they're legal."

Rusedski added: "In the game of tennis now, I've never seen so many players that are so good. If you look at [Roger] Federer and [Andy] Roddick and all the new names on the block, we have a great game. We need to get over this and find what the solution is to this [contamination] problem, and get this behind us.

"This is not about a doping situation, this is about a situation of contamination. It's a totally different situation than most. There's no way on the Tour that people are using nadrolone. It's not possible. You've got so many people that are involved."

Asked to comment on the point that there was never any conclusive proof that the products were contaminated, Rusedski said: "I can't take out of my system what I've taken. You can't take out of the system of the other 46 cases what was taken. And the governing body had been handing out things."

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