Rusedski remains defiant over test as Cash stirs hostility

Greg Rusedski remained defiant yesterday, claiming he had the support of fellow players as he seeks to clear his name after testing positive for the banned anabolic steroid nandrolone.

Greg Rusedski remained defiant yesterday, claiming he had the support of fellow players as he seeks to clear his name after testing positive for the banned anabolic steroid nandrolone.

"I've had nothing but support from people, even in the locker room," the British No 2 said in a statement. "I've been particularly pleased by the players' reactions. They've been very positive and sympathetic towards me."

Rusedski admitted last week to the positive test, which relates to a sample taken at a tournament in Indianapolis in July. He subsequently issued a lengthy defence, claiming the steroid originated in a nutritional supplement handed out by trainers on the ATP men's tour.

The Canadian-born Briton, who faces an anti-doping tribunal in Montreal next month, claimed he was being unfairly singled out. He said 47 other players had been exonerated because their tests showed an unexplained "common analytical fingerprint".

The ATP has admitted that trainers may have unwittingly given banned substances to players, and lifted a two-year ban on the Czech Republic's Bohdan Ulihrach for a nandrolone offence. But the ATP's David Higden said yesterday that trainers stopped giving out supplements last May, two months before Rusedski failed his drugs test.

Asked whether the former US Open finalist would be able to prove his innocence, Higden replied: "We would have to determine whether Rusedski's case occurred before that time [May 2003]." He added: "We feel our drugs-testing programme is stellar and comprehensive, and internationally recognised as one of the top testing programmes."

Rusedski released his latest statement as he prepared to play Argentina's Juan Ignacio Chela today in the first round of the Sydney International, a warm-up event for the Australian Open. Ironically, Chela was suspended for three months in 2001 after testing positive for a banned substance.

Among players expressing support yesterday was Australia's Lleyton Hewitt, the former world No 1, who said: "You can't find a guy guilty until he's actually proven guilty." Hewitt told a press conference in Sydney: "He's playing here and in Melbourne. I'd say hello to him. I'm not that close to Greg, but I wouldn't ignore him or anything."

But that sympathy is not shared by Pat Cash, the former Wimbledon champion who coached Rusedski for six months in 2001 before an acrimonious split over money. Cash wrote in a Sunday newspaper yesterday that his stint as the 30-year-old's coach "did more than any other experience to make me doubt my faith in human nature".

Cash wrote: "There will be few tears shed in the world of tennis over the predicament of Greg Rusedski. Few characters can be as complex. Self- absorbed, yet extreme in his desire to be liked. Hearing his pained insistence of innocence only brings back agonising reminders of the unpleasant time I spent as his coach.

"When something goes wrong in Greg's career, he has to find somebody else to blame," he added. "Loyalty has never been his strong point. Greg has no friends among his fellow players. I found it difficult to get others to practise with him."

The debate about the ATP's contaminated supplements took a new twist yesterday after David Howman, the director general of the World Anti-Doping Agency, said the conclusion that they might be responsible for the flurry of positive nandrolone tests lacked "rigour and scientific certainty".

Howman said the agency was disturbed that the ATP had exonerated players who had two to four times the permissible level of nandrolone in their bodies on the basis of that finding. "Our concern is that the theory they developed, and on the basis of which they have exonerated these players, may be incorrect," he said.

Howman added that if the source was not the supplements provided by trainers, another common source was likely and that source might be more sinister. He said Wada was carrying out its own, independent evaluation of the failed tests, but those results would not be available for about two weeks.

Rusedski, who faces a possible two-year ban, is free to play on until the Montreal hearing. He plans to compete at the Australian Open, which begins in Melbourne a week today. He said he was looking forward to playing in Sydney this week. "I want to concentrate on my game of tennis right now," he said. "That is what I do for a living, and that is why I am in Australia."

In Sydney, he has been taken under the wing of David Lloyd, the former British Davis Cup captain, who arranged for him to stay at his hotel rather than the official tournament headquarters.

Lloyd wrote in a Sunday newspaper: "I would stake my life that Greg has not deliberately taken a performanceenhancing drug. In my experience, he is one of the most honest men I have ever known."

News
The clocks go forward an hour at 1am on Sunday 30 March
news
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor finds himself in a forest version of London in Doctor Who episode 'In the Forest of the Night'
TVReview: Is the Doctor ever going stop frowning? Apparently not.
Sport
footballMatch report: Real fight back to ruin Argentinian's debut
News
Bruce, left, with Cream bandmates Ginger Rogers, centre, and Eric Clapton in 1967
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
news
News
i100
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Architect Frank Gehry is regarded by many as the most important architect of the modern era
arts + entsGehry has declared that 98 per cent of modern architecture is "s**t"
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
arts + entsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker