19 Jan 2013

Djokovic slams Armstrong, feels tennis clean of doping

7:11 am on 19 January 2013

World tennis number one Novak Djokovic easily reached the fourth round at the Australian Open - then launched into a passionate diatribe against disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong.

The top seed and defending champion beat the Czech veteran Radek Stepanek in straight sets before slamming the American, who confessed to doping throughout much of his professional career in a television interview with Oprah Winfrey broadcast yesterday.

Armstrong says he cheated in each of his seven Tour de France victories and Djokovic didn't hold back after his 6-4 6-3 7-5 third round win, saying it's a disgrace for the sport to have an athlete like him.

The Serb Djokovic says Armstrong cheated the sport and cheated many people around the world with his career, and he should suffer for his lies.

Djokovic is confident tennis is safeguarded from the doping that has rocked cycling by the testing measures the sport has in place.

He says he used to enjoy watching cycling but felt that many of the great champions were tainted by the doping.

Former Belgian tennis pro Christophe Rochus made claims in 2010 that drug-taking in tennis was rife and he recently told Belgian radio that performance-enhancing drugs were still used and accused the sport's authorities of covering up chemical cheating.

But Djokovic says results show the sport is clean and he believes drug-testing in tennis is rigorous enough - though he says he welcomes more blood testing if that helped prove the sport was clean.