McEnroe: 'I was given steroids but did not know'

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The Independent Online

John McEnroe has reportedly admitted he unknowingly took steroids during his tennis career.

John McEnroe has reportedly admitted he unknowingly took steroids during his tennis career.

McEnroe was quoted in this morning's edition of The Daily Telegraph newspaper in Sydney as saying: "For six years I was unaware I was being given a form of steroid of the legal kind they used to give horses until they decided it was too strong even for horses." McEnroe did not reveal who gave him the steroids or for what reason.

The three-time Wimbledon champion's admission followed the revelations by Greg Rusedski that he tested positive for nandrolone at a tournament in July, blaming supplements dispensed by tennis tour trainers.

McEnroe said the Rusedski case and the handling of other recent doping cases showed tennis' hierarchy needed an overhaul. "Surely it's now time for tennis to have its own commissioner," he said. "We have enough problems in the sport. It's the last thing we need."

McEnroe was implicated in a doping scandal two years ago when his former wife, Tatum O'Neil, claimed the former No 1 had used steroids late in his career. McEnroe later called O'Neil's statements "ridiculous."

Drug testing in tennis started in the late 1980s, conducted by the Men's International Professional Tennis Council. The testing at that time was for recreational drugs only and not for those that were considered performance-enhancing.

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