Pat Cash: tennis is “the perfect sport to take performance-enhancing drugs”

...That's not what Andy Murray said!

by Sarah Barth   November 11, 2012  

Australian Open Tennis (picture pfctdayelise, Wikimedia Commons).JPG

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."

11 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

Perhaps Pat could explain if tennishasasteroidproblem or not.

It's a website folks, go see for yourselves...

posted by crikey [273 posts]
11th November 2012 - 16:52


Hmm. Interesting - no failed dope tests = no dope problem. So that's Lance acquitted then...

Not so much a six pack as a barrel!

posted by Bigfoz [76 posts]
11th November 2012 - 17:45


Absence of evidence is not the same as evidence of absence. Another sport with head in sand.

If I was only half as good as I am in my own mind.

posted by JulesW [27 posts]
11th November 2012 - 19:18


Don't I remember Greg Rusedski testing positive, it was finally accepted he had unknowingly drank an energy drink with drugs place within by a coach, something like that anyway.


antonio's picture

posted by antonio [1018 posts]
11th November 2012 - 19:25


Rusedski testing positive for nandrolone, a steroid. Wasn't he was acquitted on the basis that it was "inadvertantly" administered by the tennis authorities?

Make mine an Italian with Campagnolo on the side

posted by monty dog [387 posts]
11th November 2012 - 20:22


Yeah, Rusedski was given something by officals and then tested positive for it.....

But from the little I know about tennis, the testing isn't very strict and most players who are caught with drugs in their system and receive bans, seem to be "recreational" drugs. Not doping substances.

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [9040 posts]
11th November 2012 - 20:33


at last, some honest quotes from a tennis player and not bs ... refreshing

posted by Karbon Kev [682 posts]
12th November 2012 - 8:36


Bigfoz wrote:
Hmm. Interesting - no failed dope tests = no dope problem. So that's Lance acquitted then...

What he said. Can we have our Texan hero back now please?!

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3476 posts]
12th November 2012 - 9:06

1 Like

From my understanding, it would be far easier to catch tennis players as it would be easier to find them for testing whereas a cyclist could legitimately be anywhere on a training ride.

posted by Jerm [39 posts]
12th November 2012 - 10:39


I hear Djokovic sleeps in one of those tent / chamber things to simulate altitude, just like a certain disgraced cyclist whose name I seem already to have forgotten (thanks UCI!). Strongly suspect that's not all he's been getting up to on the performance enhancing front... Thinking


posted by pastaman [222 posts]
12th November 2012 - 22:14


A good and regular regime of testing would prove any assertions made by either side of the argument. Evidence is required. To gather that evidence a stringetnt testing programme is required.
Is this in place? If not, everything is assertion or hearsay. Which could probably do with being corrected, as if a sport is clean (or as clean as any big money professional sport can be - there is always a possibility of people doing the wrong thing), then there is nothing to fear from extensive testing both in and out of competition, and as a sport, it would appear there is plenty of money in tennis to fund a programme.


posted by doc [167 posts]
13th November 2012 - 17:51