Andy Murray famously said, and then of course famously retracted, that the Tour de France was 'just science,' and "with tennis, you can't teach the skill by taking a drug." Well, that's not what Pat Cash thinks.
In a candid interview, Cash said that the sport was clean, but that it would be ideally suited to dopers.
He said: " It’s the perfect sport to take performance enhancing drugs, with the recovery, strengthening etc, but I think the lack of positive results shows that tennis is a clean sport."
Much like Michele Ferrari, the go-to dirty doctor for Lance Armstrong and his associates, it would take impeccable medical expertise, the Australian tennis star went on to say.
"The other thing is you’ve got to have great knowledge about medicine and bio-medical – the way your body reacts – to be able to get away with this.
"I don’t know too many tennis players that are medical geniuses, to know what drug to take, and to find them and to get them and to pay for it and not to be caught.
"The prime people would be top, top players, who could have a laboratory for themselves and be able to stay a step ahead of the game. Absolutely. But they’re the ones who seem to be tested a lot anyway."
But in fact, in August, when former US Postal Service team doctor Luis Garcia del Moral was handed a lifetime ban by the United States Anti-Doping Agency, the International Tennis Federation acknowledged that he had worked with “various tennis players.”
But like Murray, who said that since 1990 tennis had seen around “65 positive tests, 10 of them recreational and 30 to 35 performance-enhancing in that time," Cash is convinced that despite the perfect storm of effectiveness and lack of testing (in 2010, Murray did not undergo a single out-of-competition test), it just doesn't happen.
He said: "Performance-enhancing drugs were never heard of; we didn’t know about that stuff. I never came across it.
"I was in the sport 20 years, I’d never heard of nandrolone, until it popped up with people being caught (in 2002/03), so I believe that it’s a clean sport as far as performance-enhancing drugs go."
<p>After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.</p>