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Men Tennis Players Approve Drug Testing at Two of Next Year's Major Tournaments

November 07, 1985|United Press International

LONDON — Professional men's tennis players will be tested for illegal drug use next year at two of the sport's five major tournaments under a rule unanimously approved Wednesday by the Men's International Professional Tennis Council.

John McEnroe, the world's No. 2 player, competing in the Stockholm Open, voiced his support for the ruling, saying, "Drugs won't help your tennis."

The new policy voted by the nine-member council, which represents the International Tennis Federation, tournament organizers and players, requires mandatory testing of players as well as members of the council and its employees.

The testing will seek traces of cocaine, heroin or amphetamines.

"All us 18 players in the ATP voted in favor of the test," McEnroe said in response to questions at a news conference.

"Doping is not a problem in tennis, but by doing this we will prove it. It will be good for tennis in the long run.

"I think there are bigger drug problems in other parts of society, but everyone's got their eyes on us."

The testing, which is to begin in the 1986 season, will be administered by an independent expert. The rule authorizes testing at any two of the five largest tournaments--the French Open, Wimbledon, U.S. Open, Australian Open and the International Players Championships.

All the male players entered in the two tournaments selected will be tested. If a player refuses to cooperate in the testing or to undergo treatment if drugs are found in his system, he will be subject to suspension, the council said.

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