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Jul 12th, 2002, 11:12 PM
WTA Fires Back At Drug Allegations!


St. Petersburg, FL (July 12, 2002) -- “While it is not the policy of the Sanex WTA Tour to respond to baseless conjecture, I feel compelled to address comments made recently by John Mendoza, the Executive Director of the Australian Sports Drug Agency (ASDA), a highly respected and important partner in worldwide efforts to keep sport drug free.

Until now, the Sanex WTA Tour believed its efforts, and those of the Tennis Anti-Doping Program in general, were completely consistent with ASDA’s objectives. However, in light of the irresponsible and damaging remarks attributed to Mr. Mendoza, dismissing the legitimate talent and efforts of our players, we question the validity of ASDA’s own stated goals.

“We categorically reject the claim that the success or physical condition of women’s tennis players today is proof of rampant drug use. In 2001, several hundred anti-doping tests were carried out on more than 140 different Sanex WTA Tour players at various Sanex WTA Tour Tournaments, Grand Slams and Fed Cup competitions. Top players were tested as many as eight different times, and we are proud of – but not surprised by – the fact that no anti-doping offenses were committed in 2001.

“It is a priority and goal, both of the Tour and its players, to increase and expand anti-doping efforts, education and testing in 2002 and beyond and we are committed to making that a reality. Stereotyping our athletes as dopers is simply unfair and unacceptable. We will not tolerate remarks like Mendoza’s and anxiously await the retraction and apology we have demanded from ASDA.