The Norman Transcript

National Sports

March 6, 2013

Sampras says tennis is free of doping

LOS ANGELES — Pete Sampras believes tennis is free of performance-enhancing drugs now, as well as during his 14-year pro career that ended in 2002.

The winner of 14 Grand Slam titles says other than “a random case here and there” he doesn’t see the top players engaging in doping.

All top tennis players are subject to being tested without warning. The admission in January by Lance Armstrong that he used banned substances in all seven of his Tour de France victories has increased the focus on doping in all sports.

“It’s just my feeling,” Sampras said Monday night after playing doubles with top-ranked Novak Djokovic in the Los Angeles Tennis Challenge exhibition.

“I don’t think players are that sophisticated in tennis,” he said, referring to the elaborate system Armstrong used to avoid detection. “It’s not their culture. I don’t think it’s in their nature.”

Last month, the International Tennis Federation banned 124th-ranked Barbora Zahlavova Strycova of the Czech Republic for six months for doping. She tested positive for the stimulant sibutramine at a tournament last fall. She said the drug got into her system through a supplement and denied taking it to enhance her performance.

“It’s a random case here or there,” Sampras said. “I don’t see the top guys messing around with that. Maybe I’m naive.”

— AP

For local news and more, subscribe to The Norman Transcript Smart Edition, or our print edition.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
National Sports
  • Indians trade Justin Masterson to Cardinals

    CLEVELAND — The Indians had little choice but to give up Justin Masterson. The trade doesn’t mean they’re going to surrender the season....

    July 31, 2014

  • Cowboys sign tackle Smith to 8-year extension

    OXNARD, Calif. — Tyron Smith has a new contract that will probably make him the most important blocker for the next Dallas quarterback after Tony Romo....

    July 31, 2014

  • Quarterback questions abound with big stars gone from SEC offenses

    MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Quarterback battles and signal-caller questions abound in the Southeastern Conference going into preseason camps around the league. Big names, not so much....

    July 31, 2014

  • Jones says Brent out of rehab, NFL question next

    OXNARD, Calif. — Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says former defensive tackle Josh Brent is out of rehabilitation and could have his future with the NFL resolved before the team leaves training camp in California in two weeks....

    July 31, 2014

  • Ives to crew chief for Dale Jr. in 2015

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. — There was no shortage of candidates to replace Steve Letarte as Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s crew chief The list of applicants was long, but Hendrick Motorsports has always liked to groom its own talent. So the organization ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Gustafson wants Gordon’s team focused on Chase

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Jeff Gordon viewed his Brickyard 400 win as a turning point for his race team. Confidence had been building with every strong run, but his victory at Indianapolis Motor Speedway pushed his crew to another level. It was ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Mercury not thinking streak

    Brittney Griner and the Phoenix Mercury are closing in on one of the greatest records in WNBA history, the Los Angeles Sparks’ 18-game winning streak. To equal that mark, the Mercury need to win two more games, starting with defending ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Hamlin crew chief out 6 races

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. — NASCAR suspended Denny Hamlin’s crew chief and car chief on Tuesday for six races because the Joe Gibbs Racing entry failed inspection following his third-place finish at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Darian Grubb and ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Bell focuses on every facet of his game

    LATROBE, Pa. — Le’Veon Bell kept watching the tape over and over, equal parts pleased and puzzled by what he saw....

    July 30, 2014

  • Sam factor may ready Rams for sensitivity class

    ST. LOUIS — To guard against another bullying scandal, NFL teams are holding sensitivity sessions during training camp....

    July 30, 2014