Andy Murray backtracks over comments about cycling

Tennis star admits he didn't think things through before anwering press conference question

by Simon_MacMichael   November 5, 2012  

Andy Murray, US Open 2012, Francisco Diez, Wikimedia Commons

Tennis star Andy Murray has admitted that he was wrong last week to state that there is “very little skill involved in the Tour de France.” The Olympic and US Open men’s single champion had made the claim at a press conference ahead of the Paribas Paris Masters tournament after calling for drug testing to be stepped up in tennis.

The 25-year-old’s remarks provoked a storm on Twitter as well as in the comments to our story here on road.cc, though Murray says that his off-the-cuff remarks, made in response to a question, don’t reflect his real feelings.

“What happened in cycling is pretty shocking and you just want to make sure you can completely rule anything like that out in your own sport, because I love tennis, so you’d hate for anything like that to happen,” he explained ahead of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London. 

“A lot of things you can say may come across the wrong way. It’s not always easy when you’re in a room filled with people and you get asked a question you have to answer straight away,” continued Murray, quoted in The Scotsman.

“One or two words can make something you meant in the right way come across badly. I try my best to not make any silly comments or say anything jokingly that may be taken out of context. It’s unfortunate it comes across that way sometimes. I’ll just try better to not make any more mistakes like that.”

Murray is of course entitled to his opinion and it shouldn't be forgotten that his original comments on skill were shared by many of the cyclists who commented on our original story. On the flip side comparing the skill levels of sports in which different skill sets are required is like comparing apples with pears.

17 user comments

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"What happened in cycling is pretty shocking and you just want to make sure you can completely rule anything like that out in your own sport"

Bit late to think of that isn't it? Now which sports were 40% of Dr Fuentes' clients involved in...?

posted by JohnS [198 posts]
5th November 2012 - 22:41

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Fair play to him for having the decency to say it. I wonder if any pro cyclists 'leaned' on him.

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [1698 posts]
5th November 2012 - 22:58

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Now let's see if he has the balls to apologise for that pathetic attempt at a beard

posted by georgee [105 posts]
5th November 2012 - 23:23

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I think in the fight back against the Armstrong outfall other sports should be highlighted for their pathetic records on dope testing and held to account on their drug failures. Some chap put on a link to 'Tennis has a problem with Steroids' which has a 'Hamilton and Haven on the kitchen floor moment' which involves Serena Williams, a drug tester and a 'panic room', but no false test. Lets also not forget that Human Growth Hormone (HGH) has been found in possession of tennis players (and who wouldn't want a faster serve to go with all that skill Andy?). HGH as we all know causes buckling of the teeth in some cases. I always wondered why Carl Lewis took up braces at such a late age. Does anyone remember the Williams sisters wearing them.

I would also point out that both Edgar Davids and Jaap Stam were caught taking EPO back in the day. Least we not forget Rio Ferdinand's absenteeism when the testers came around. No sport is free of this, but some are more honest and determined than others.....or at least some organisations. McQuaid and Verbruggen should step down, if I'm to have my two cents.

posted by Colin Peyresourde [902 posts]
6th November 2012 - 0:36

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Takes a lot of guts to admit you were wrong.

(I still think he's miserable though)

Velotastic !

Too many hills, but too little time.

badback's picture

posted by badback [241 posts]
6th November 2012 - 7:44

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guy's a twat, plain and simple.

posted by Karbon Kev [626 posts]
6th November 2012 - 8:40

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He's faced up and apologised. He's okay in my book.

mingmong's picture

posted by mingmong [165 posts]
6th November 2012 - 9:51

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Now if only the Daily Mail would come up trumps and apologise for all their misdeeds! Angry

Tripod16

posted by Tripod16 [101 posts]
6th November 2012 - 9:59

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Back-pedals surely?

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posted by Joselito [105 posts]
6th November 2012 - 10:15

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"A lot of things you can say may come across the wrong way. It’s not always easy when you’re in a room filled with people and you get asked a question you have to answer straight away”.

You don't have to answer straight away, Andy. You could always say that your expertise is tennis, not cycling. Engaging brain before gob has its benefits.

posted by Sadly Biggins [259 posts]
6th November 2012 - 10:35

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I like Andy Murray and I think he gets bad press from the English media for all the usual reasons us Scots have to put up with ignorant comments. A colleague of mine whose opinions I respect has met him several times and says that he is down to earth and unassuming in real life, as well as having a sense of humour, all of which is a lot more than can be said for certain prominent sports stars.

His biggest mistake if you ask me, was criticising drug use in cycling. I think sports people in tennis and many other sports have questions to answer. The problems about performance enhancing drug use in cycling are now well known but a lot less so in other sports where testing regimes are somewhat less than rigorous. The secret footballer column in the Guardian has alluded to drug use amongst footballers and I'm pretty sure drugs are widely used by a lot of rugby players.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [1846 posts]
6th November 2012 - 10:51

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I would like to see all drugs testing and enforcement, bans, hearings, kept completely independent of sport governing bodies, with only WADA and national agencies in charge. Test, if positive, hearing, ban if appropriate, then publish all results.
By all results I mean everyone who was tested, in every sport, totals, names, and results. Clean competitors would have nothing to fear, and the sports bodies could not "bury" bad publicity. Then we would perhaps see where the problems are, and be able to compare.
Same rules for everyone. And criminalise doping so that police can be involved, and prosecute the filthy suppliers.

Doc

posted by doc [167 posts]
6th November 2012 - 10:57

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Whew! Phew, I was worried that I was going to have to hate Murray.

Sir Velo

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posted by Raleigh [1715 posts]
6th November 2012 - 11:14

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There's one guy whose comments always stand out on road.cc at the moment. Comes across as a right pillock. I'll let you work out who that might be from the comments above.

posted by phazon [21 posts]
6th November 2012 - 11:29

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OldRidgeback wrote:

His biggest mistake if you ask me, was criticising drug use in cycling. I think sports people in tennis and many other sports have questions to answer. The problems about performance enhancing drug use in cycling are now well known but a lot less so in other sports where testing regimes are somewhat less than rigorous. The secret footballer column in the Guardian has alluded to drug use amongst footballers and I'm pretty sure drugs are widely used by a lot of rugby players.

His biggest mistake was knocking another mans trade. Bad news in any profession, but in front of the media....

Velotastic !

Too many hills, but too little time.

badback's picture

posted by badback [241 posts]
6th November 2012 - 11:54

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Stick him on a bike, and then send him down a mountain in the Alps trying to follow Cancellara, or on the cobbles of Roubaix when it's pissing down and covered in mud and try to follow Boonen, Or on a downhill MTB in Fort Bill and try to follow Steve Peat, or on an XC MTB in Dalby and try to follow Liam Kileen. Then ask him again if there is any skill involved...?

posted by Wozzer [28 posts]
6th November 2012 - 13:28

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phazon wrote:
There's one guy whose comments always stand out on road.cc at the moment. Comes across as a right pillock. I'll let you work out who that might be from the comments above.

Nope you've lost me...way too subtle.

posted by Lacticlegs [124 posts]
6th November 2012 - 13:37

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