Professional sports have been scarred with numerous doping controversies, tennis included. The downfall and eventual confession of Lance Armstrong has changed the sporting landscape forever. Fans can no longer be assured that their favourite athlete isn’t using or contemplating the use of prohibited substances. In sport like tennis, where doping cases have been minimal, authorities must do everything in their power in order to avoid major catastrophes.
As Andy Murray suggested, decreasing a players prize money in order to finance more testing is one way. This would eliminate those who are on the wrong side. Implementing lifelong bans for the most serious cases is another solution. This would serve as a warning to those who wish to illegally enhance their performance. The most notable case of doping on the ATP Tour has been that of Mariano Puerta, a former top 10 player.
The Argentinian failed a doping test after reaching the 2005 French Open final. However, it was discovered later that he had unknowingly ingested the substance (etilefrine), leading to a lighter penalty. However, he was forced to forfeit ranking points and prize money earned from June that year. But why wasn’t he caught earlier? This is because disciplinary procedures last up to six months. These should be shortened and investigations should be accelerated in order for the sport to move forward.