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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 March, 2004, 13:03 GMT
Shock at Rusedski verdict
Greg Rusedski
Rusedski had to wait a month for the good news
The tennis world reacted with surprise and delight after Greg Rusedski was cleared of a doping offence.

Rusedski said on Wednesday that an ATP-appointed panel had found him not guilty despite testing positive for nandrolone.

But former British Davis Cup player Chris Bailey said it was not the outcome most people were expecting.

"In a straw poll on the tennis circuit I think 99% of people would have said Greg would have been found guilty and given a two-year ban," he said.

But Bailey said he was very pleased by the news and added: "It's the first time a player has gone on the attack after a positive drugs test.

"I think Greg has been vindicated in his stance against the ATP. I think you have to feel sorry for him for what he's been through."

No-one ever believed he was guilty of knowingly taking a banned substance
Andrew Castle
Former British player

Rusedski had also begun to garner a great deal of support from fellow professionals with Guillermo Coria and Alex Corretja amongst those intimating they would support a tournament boycott if he was found guilty.

David Felgate, director of performance at the Lawn Tennis Association, said: "We are delighted for Greg on a personal level and glad that finally he has a verdict.

"We all look forward to Greg resuming his tennis career as soon as possible."

David Lloyd, a former Great Britain Davis Cup captain and a close friend of Rusedski, also reacted with delight at the news.

"It's great news for Greg and great news for tennis," he said.

"He's been living in hell for the last nine months.

"It was his whole career on the line and he has been living with a time bomb.

"All he would like to do would be to get back, get fit and get playing tennis again."

And Lloyd added that with this new lease of life, Rusedski would make the most of it and could even win Wimbledon.

Andrew Castle, another former British player, also said he felt justice had been done.

"No-one ever believed he was guilty of knowingly taking a banned substance. So I am delighted for him and for his wife Lucy," he said.

And he said that the Association of Tennis Professionals must now take another look at its drugs testing procedures.

"They [the ATP] should be proud of the procedure that picked up Rusedski's case.

"But how can you exonerate someone with nandrolone in their system without explaining how it got there?

"This needs to be looked at.

"But tennis can be proud that it has a strong enough testing procedure and strong enough appeals process."


WATCH AND LISTEN
BBC Sport's Jonathan Overend
"The ATP will face some serious questions"


Former Great Britain Davis Cup captain David Lloyd
"He's been living in hell for the last nine months"



SEE ALSO
Rusedski fails drugs test
09 Jan 04  |  Tennis



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