'Be tough on drug cheats'
London - Wimbledon ninth seed Nathalie
Tauziat has called for the introduction of tougher measures to
stop women's tennis being blighted by drugs cheats.
"I won't name individuals, but it's clear that doping exists
in tennis and needs to be stopped," Tauziat said on the eve of
the grasscourt Grand Slam tournament in an interview with the
Independent on Sunday.
"I have no hard evidence, but all I will say is that you
don't have to have a degree in medicine to see that some of the
players have transformed themselves almost overnight," the
33-year-old Frenchwoman added.
"It's time people stopped taking us for a bunch of fools.
"I don't care how much training or gym work you do, there
is no way anyone can suddenly become stronger and faster in the
space of a couple of months.
"How is it that some girls disappear for a few weeks and
then return looking totally different?"
Tauziat said tougher action was needed from the WTA Tour to
root out the cheats.
Currently, random tests are carried out at some events in
the men's and women's game, although only a handful of positive
results have been discovered.
The International Tennis Federation, which controls Grand
Slam events and the Davis Cup team competition, has also just
launched a campaign to discourage the use of steroids by
"I think the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) should
introduce random drug-testing at every tournament," Tauziat
"We also need more blood-testing if we are to get to the
bottom of this growing problem.
"I'm particularly concerned for the younger players.
"They're often the victims of unscrupulous people who try
to sell products which allow them to recuperate more quickly.
"It must stop."