Novak Djokovic may have overcome an inspired Radek Stepanek in the third round of the Australian Open to win in three tight sets, but the Serbian’s post-match press conference commentary held an even more captivating story.
Having recently admitted to systematically doping through much of his cycling career, Lance Armstrong has been front and center in the sports world. And everyone seems to have their own opinion of Armstrong, including world No. 1 Djokovic.
“He cheated the sport,” Djokovic said. “He cheated many people around the world with his career, with his life story … I think he should suffer for his lies all these years.” He continued, “I think it’s a disgrace for the sport to have an athlete like this.”
Djokovic then went on to comment that he has “lost a lot of faith in cycling.” He questioned what other past champions of the sport possibly used performance-enhancing drugs, but also admitted that “there are many cyclists in the world who are training very hard and trying to not use any enhancing drugs for their competition.”
It’s true that cyclists have very demanding schedules, covering hundreds of miles within the span of a few days, and it’s not hard to see why some have been tempted to dope.
But what of tennis? This is also a sport which asks a lot of its athletes physically, so should fans lose faith that the same won’t happen as in cycling?
According to Djokovic, no, “[There have been] one or two cases [of doping in tennis], but those players were more or less outside of the [top] hundred. We are keeping this sport clean. We are working towards it.”
He asserts that aside from the standard urine tests for players, blood tests should continue more strictly and be perhaps even increased in number to battle the possibility of doping.