Tennis Players Dope Too, Says James Blake

By McCarton Ackerman 08/29/12

The veteran player says many in his sport get away with using performance enhancing drugs.

James Blake isn't pointing any fingers,
Photo via

Cycling certainly doesn't have a monopoly on performance enhancing drugs. Veteran tennis player James Blake—who has been ranked as high as No. 4 in the world—said in a press conference after his first round US Open match that even though the doping system in place for tennis players is world-class, some pros still find ways to beat the system. "I'm sure there are guys who are doing it, getting away with it, and getting ahead of the testers," said Blake. "With this much money involved, $1.9 million for the winner of the US Open, people will try to find a way to get ahead. It's unfortunate, but I hope tennis is doing the best job of trying to catch those guys trying to beat the system." Players on both the ATP and WTA Tour are subject to random, unannounced drug testing throughout the year, even during the off-season, and most notify doping authorities if they plan to go on vacation. "Of course at times it's inconvenient to me when I get woken up at 6 am to pee in a cup. It's their job. I know they're doing it," said Blake. Doping scandal in tennis include US player Wayne Odesnik getting caught trying to import Human Growth Hormone into Australia in 2010, which led to a one-year suspension from the tour. Canadian Simon Larose retired in 2005 after testing positive for cocaine, while Spaniard Lourdes Dominguez Lino was suspended for three months in 2002 after she also tested positive for cocaine.  

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.