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.
just my feeling," Sampras said on Monday night after playing doubles with
top-ranked Novak Djokovic in the Los Angeles Tennis Challenge
"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
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."