Does finding lack 'scientific certainty'?

Updated: January 12, 2004, 9:53 PM ET
Associated Press

WELLINGTON, New Zealand -- An ATP finding that supplements provided to tennis players by tour trainers might be responsible for increased positive nandrolone tests lacks "rigor and scientific certainty," the World Anti-Doping Agency director-general said.

David Howman said Sunday that WADA was concerned that the ATP had exonerated players whose drug tests revealed between two and four times the permissible level of the banned steroid on the basis of that finding.

"Our concern is that the theory they developed and on the basis of which they have exonerated these players may be incorrect," Howman said from Montreal.

"We have always been concerned that that might have been the case and that, in fact, the nandrolone came from another source. It would seem that the explanation the ATP has accepted might lack a little rigor and lack real scientific certainty."

Canadian-born British player Greg Rusedski revealed Thursday that he had tested positive for nandrolone in Indianapolis on July 23. His case will be heard in Montreal on Feb. 9 and he could face a two-year ban, although the ATP has said the 30-year-old left-hander can compete until then.

On Friday, Rusedski insisted that supplements he received from ATP trainers were responsible for his failed drug test. He said more than 40 other positive tests had been dropped by the ATP because an analysis had shown an unexplained "common analytical fingerprint" in all of them.

"I would invite the ATP to drop this case as it is clear that the source of this problem is tennis rather than anything I did or took," he said in a statement released by his lawyers.

The ATP said it couldn't comment on pending drug investigations.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press