Tennis Stars Cave in to Hysteria and Jump on Steroid Testing Bandwagon

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The anti-steroid hysteria has spread from professional cycling to the sport of tennis. Several pro tennis players have jumped on the bandwagon. They have called for increased anti-doping testing in the sport. The world’s top three tennis players joined the chorus of anti-doping advocates in the sport. Number one ranked Novak Djokovic, number two ranked Roger Federer and number-three ranked Andy Murray all expressed their support of more steroid testing.

Djokovic affirmed his support for clean competition in tennis. He told The Telegraph that he would be willing to subject himself to more testing to make the sport of tennis free of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs).

“We are trying to make this sport as clean as possible, as fair as possible, and I have nothing against testing,” Djokovic. “Why not? We should do it more.”

Federer complained that he wasn’t tested enough. He claimed to have been tested for steroids fewer times in recent years than he had been earlier in his career. His solution: more testing.

“Whatever number it is, I do not think it is enough,” Federer said. “I think they should up it a little bit, or a lot. It is vital that the sport stays clean. We have had a good history in terms of that and we want to ensure it stays that way.”

Last week, Andy Murray was the first elite tennis player to come out in support of more testing especially in the off-season.

“The out-of-competition stuff could probably get better,” Murray said. “When we’re in December, when people are training and setting their bases, it would be good to do more around that time.”

However, Murray dismissed the idea that steroid or PED use was a problem in tennis. Even Federer implied that the sport was already clean and that any testing would be conducted only to maintain its clean status.

Of course, the main lesson from the Lance Armstrong investigation and scandal is that testing is highly ineffective at catching steroid users. The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) report on Lance Armstrong exposed anti-doping testing as a monumental failure. So, it is ironic that so many tennis players are supporting more steroid testing.

Now that tennis’ top three players have blindly jumped on anti-doping bandwagon, we can only wait to see if fourth-ranked Rafael Nadal will speak out in opposition of additional testing. Nadal had previously criticized the manner in which testing was done including the frequency of tests and the whereabouts requirements. Will Nadal deviate from his previous position and jump on the testing bandwagon too?


Briggs, S. (November 4, 2012). Roger Federer wants to be drug tested more often as worries mount over anti-doping programme in tennis. Retrieved from