Andy Murray has hailed Maria Sharapova's drugs ban and urged authorities to step up to eradicate doping in sport. The current World No 2, who was tested when he arrived for the Monte Carlo Masters 2016 last week, said the fact that Sharapova's failed drugs test was made public was a positive for the sport.
"When someone like Sharapova is banned, I see that as being a positive. If that stuff is happening and you don't hear about it, I have a big issue because it's like the sport is covering up for the big stars," Murray is quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.
The Russian tennis player shocked everyone when she confessed to failing a drugs test at the 2016 Australian Open, where it was revealed that she continued to take the drug Meldonium even after it was added to the list of banned substances by the World Anti-Doping agency.
"If someone is going through that process, the tennis world should let people know and, as far as I'm aware, they are changing that rule now. If someone is serving that suspension period or the period where they are arguing it or trying to come to conclusions what the sentence is going to be, that is going to become public knowledge."
Murray referred to the controversy surrounding Marin Cilic whose self-imposed exile from tennis was not due to injury but because of a nine-month ban imposed by the International Tennis Federation (ITF), for a positive dope test.
"So you're not going to have silent bans or someone saying they were injured. That happened with Croatia's Marin Cilic, where he pulled out of Wimbledon injured. People started talking and then it came out that he had failed a drugs test and that looks terrible."
"There's so much more money in tennis now. Why not invest way more in the doping programme? The winners of tournaments are getting £700,000, yet the anti-doping programme for the year is probably a few million dollars. So to protect the integrity of the sport it makes a lot more sense to invest more into anti-doping rather than putting it all into prize money."