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Andy Murray happy to pay way to cleaner sport

By Paul Newman

Andy Murray believes tennis needs to put more resources into drug-testing, even if it is at the expense of prize-money.

 The 25-year-old Scot, speaking yesterday at Queen's Club in London at the launch of this summer's Aegon Championships, said tennis needed to act to avert the crisis cycling is facing following Lance Armstrong's confessions.

"A lot of it unfortunately comes down to money and maybe it's down to our governing bodies and the ATP [Association of Tennis Professionals] to invest some of our own money into WADA [the World Anti-Doping Agency] and make sure we get more testing done," Murray said. "If it means taking some of the money out of the players' earnings then that's what we have to do."


On a day when football was dealing with remarkable match-fixing claims, Murray said all sport would benefit from greater efforts to stay clean. "I think more people would come to watch sports rather than reading all the time about these doping scandals or match-fixing or whatever it is," Murray said. "Every single week right now there's something different and it's just bad for sport."


As for the current "Operation Puerto" trial in Spain, Murray believes it is wrong that the doctor at the centre of the alleged doping ring does not have to name his clients, who include tennis players. "I think it's essential that the names of whoever was involved with him come out," Murray said.


He added: "All sports - not just tennis - need to look very closely at this stuff because I think a lot has been learned from what's happened with the Lance Armstrong situation and you don't want that happening ever again. And I don't want that happening for my sport because it would be terrible."


The world No 3 said he had been asked regularly whether tennis was clean. "If one in 100 players is doping, in my eyes that isn't a clean sport and we need to do everything we can to ensure that everyone that's competing at the highest level - and below - is clean," he said. "I think that comes with the biological passports and with more blood-testing."


Murray also explained his decision not to play in Britain's Davis Cup tie against Russia in April, which comes a week before he starts competing on clay, his most challenging surface. "I believe I have a chance of winning the French Open, but to do that I need to prepare and use every single day as best as I can," Murray said. "That's why unfortunately I decided not to play Davis Cup this time, but I will play the match in September."

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