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Murray: I would accept less prize money if it meant more spending on anti-doping

Andy Murray has called on players to forego some of their prize money in an effort to eradicate doping from tennis.

Murray: essential that names of tennis players come out in Fuentes' case
Murray: essential that names of tennis players come out in Fuentes' case

In the wake of the Lance Armstrong scandal, the Scot says there needs to be more investment in anti-doping to avoid tennis going the same way as cycling.

"A lot of it, unfortunately, comes down to money," Murray said yesterday. "Maybe it's down to the ATP [which runs the men's Tour], to invest some of our own money to make sure we get more testing done.

"If it means taking some of the money out of the players' earnings then that's what we have to do because not just tennis [but] all sports need to look very closely at this stuff.

"I think a lot has been learned from the Lance Armstrong situation and you don't want that happening ever again. I don't want that happening for my sport because it would be terrible."

The anti-doping programme in tennis is administered by the International Tennis Federation, the body that runs grand slam events, under the code of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

Of the total 2013 investment of $2m, the ITF contributes around 30%, with the ATP Tour, WTA Tour and the four grand slams sharing the rest.

"The only way you can improve your testing procedures is by having more of them and more blood testing and you need more money to do that, it's a cost thing," Murray said. "But in the long term, I think you save a lot of money. I think more people would come to watch sports, rather than reading all the time about doping scandals, or match fixing, or whatever. Every single week, there's something different, and it's bad for sport."

At the Operacion Puerto trial in Spain last week, the man at the centre of the case, Dr Eufemiano Fuentes said he had worked with tennis players, footballers and boxers.

Murray said insinuations about tennis players being on drugs were tarnishing those who were clean. "I think it's essential that the names of whoever was involved with him come out," Murray said.

"I've been asked a lot lately, especially, if tennis is clean. I don't know any more how you judge whether a sport is clean. If one in 100 players is doping, in my eyes, that isn't a clean sport and we need to do everything we can to ensure that we have everyone that's competing at the highest level, and below, is clean. I think that comes with the biological passports and with more blood testing. I know the training that I do and I know what goes in and out of my body, and I know from my side that I'm clean, so that's all I can comment on. I would hope that that's the same for the rest of the players."

During the Australian Open, the ITF said it is considering the use of the biological passport, which detects changes in biological markers in the blood, rather than looking for specific drugs. Of the 2150 tests carried out in 2011, the last available figures, 131 were blood tests and only 21 were out of competition.

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