from New Sunday Times
Rome. World number three Stefan Edberg on Friday gave his support for out-of-competition drug tests on professional tennis players. The Swede stressed that as far as he knew drugs were not an issue in the game but gave his backing to more rigorous testing.
"I don't think that drugs are a problem but I feel they should be able to come down to test us even during practice periods," Edberg said.
A Belgian public health ministry said this week it would take legal action against the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) for refusing to allow officials permission to conduct random tests at the European Community championship. The ATP insisted its own drug testing programme is perfectly adequate. Officials in men's tennis have refused to introduce random out-of-competition testing as exists in most other Olympic sports.
The issue of performance-enhancing drugs surfaced in recent months with doping allegations from players and coaches.
Edberg said he thought the ATP already did a good job in testing and said he had been checked four times in four months. American Pete Sampras, ranked number two in the world ranking, agreed with Edberg that tennis was a clean sport.
The two players were talking at a news conference in Rome ahead of this week end's Big Four exhibition tournament. German Boris Becker and Goran Ivanisevic of Croatia are also taking part in the event.
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