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Murray in favour of increasing drug testing in tennis

Andy Murray has called on tennis to introduce more blood testing and more out-of-competition testing in order to prevent the sport from suffering a doping scandal similar to that which has afflicted cycling.

The Scot believes tennis is less susceptible to doping than a pure endurance sport like cycling but says more players should be tested, especially in their off-season.

Speaking in Paris, where he begins his title bid at the BNP Paribas Masters tomorrow, the US Open champion said he had been blood-tested when he arrived in France on Saturday.

"We're not used to doing that many blood tests in tennis," said the world No.3. "I've probably had four or five blood tests this year, but a lot more urine [tests], so it's something that's obviously necessary. When you hear things like [Lance Armstrong] it's a shame for their sport but how they managed to get away with it is incredible, for that long."

In 2011, only 21 blood tests were conducted in the off-season by the International Tennis Federation, which oversees the process. Murray said he believes the way to catch cheats is to test them when they are training away from competitions.

"We get tested throughout the whole year from a lot of the tournaments [but] I think the out-of-competition stuff could get better," he said. "When we're in December, when people are training and setting their bases I think it would be good to try and do more around that time."

Under the World Anti-Doping Agency code, all singles players ranked among the world's top 50 must declare their whereabouts for one hour, every day for three months in advance. Drug testers can come at any time but if a player misses three tests over 18 months (during that one-hour window), then that individual would be subject to a ban. Murray believes that process should be extended to the rest of the tour.

"There's a lot of testing at the top end but lower down there isn't anywhere near as much," said the Scot. "I think that only the top-50 singles players and the top-10 doubles players have to do it. You need to do it throughout the whole sport."

But Murray believes tennis was in a much healthier position than cycling. "I think there's very little skill involved in the Tour de France, it's pretty much just physical," he said. "A lot of the way the teams work now is just science whereas with tennis, you can't teach the skill by taking a drug.

"Virtually the whole of the Tour de France was taking drugs 10 years ago and in tennis since 1990 [tennis] has had [around] 65 positive tests, 10 of them recreational and 30 to 35 performance-enhancing in that time. In one year of the Tour de France you had more than that so I don't think tennis has been that bad. But that isn't to say that more can't be done to make it 100% sure there are no issues."

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