Former WADA Official Says Djokovic Is Wrong

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Copyright © 2016. No duplication is permitted without permission from Bob Larson Tennis.

Dick Pound Tennis News

World Anti-Doping Agency founding father Dick Pound, still thought by many to be the most eminent authority on the threat of drugs in sport, delivered a damning assessment of Novak Djokovic’s insistence that tennis is clean by saying: “That’s a Lance Armstrong approach.”

Djokovic made his comments earlier this week at the Laureus World Sports Awards in Berlin, in response to Andy Murray’s admission that he was still suspicious of some opponents who managed super-human acts of endurance and recovery.

Asked if Djokovic’s remarks were naive, Pound told Scottish TV: “Yes. That’s a Lance Armstrong approach. ‘I never tested positive therefore I am clean.’ Wrong.

“I think it goes deeper than most people expect, and certainly deeper than they are prepared to acknowledge.”

Pound remains insistent there are numerous sportsmen slipping through the anti-doping measures imposed than the current numbers suggest.

“Let’s assume it’s double digits and let’s be really charitable and say it is only 10%,” he said. “Our level of positives is 2%. Why is the testing not more effective than that?

“The science is pretty robust and the system is good for whatever it does. It’s the people that don’t want it to work.”

Pound, aged 74 and succeeded by John Fahey as WADA chief nine years ago, is still very active on the subject and recently chaired a commission investigating Russian track, field and athletics doping.

And he is adamant that not enough is being done by most of the big sports to eradicate the threat performance enhancing drugs pose. He includes the International Tennis Federation that administers the Tennis Anti-Doping Program, in his criticism.

“A lot of the resistance we get comes from the sports organizations themselves who don’t want to find people in their sport are using drugs because they think it reflects badly on them,” he said.

“As far as the sponsors are concerned, I think they buy into sport because of the values. They should be looking more, could be looking more, to the organizations and say ‘listen, we’re putting in a lot of money to support this vision of sport that you have marketed to us. Now we want you to deliver it’.”

Copyright © 2016. No duplication is permitted without permission from Bob Larson Tennis.