<
>

Does finding lack 'scientific certainty'?

1/12/2004

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.