November 5, 2007 / 1:27 PM / in 10 years

Henin supports action to keep tennis clean

MADRID (Reuters) - World number one Justine Henin has backed tough action by tennis authorities to ensure the sport stays clean in the wake of growing concerns about match-fixing and doping.

“My tolerance in doping and match-fixing is zero, but we can’t accuse anyone until we have proof,” the 25-year-old Belgian told a news conference on the eve of the WTA Championships in Madrid on Monday.

”It is unfortunately a scourge that appears to affect all sports but we have to make sure it doesn’t affect tennis.

Men’s tennis has been hit by a series of allegations about match-fixing in recent months while the women’s game was rocked by Martina Hingis’s revelation that she tested positive for cocaine during Wimbledon although the former number one denied she had taken the drug.

“On match-fixing the only thing I can say is that I’ve never been approached by anyone about anything and I’ve never heard about anything like it,” said Henin.

”I‘m not saying that doping and match corruption don’t exist but I’ve never been approached.... I‘m sure the ATP and WTA will do everything to ensure we keep a healthy and fair sport.

”For doping it is the same. I don’t want to make any comment about Martina’s situation but the thing is we want to keep a clean sport and a healthy sport because we all give our best when we play.

”Tennis is a great sport and we have to keep the image of the sport pretty good. We want to make sure people keep loving tennis.

“I have been tested around 10 times this year but that is no problem for me. I‘m all in favor of it as long as the authorities respect the private life of the athletes.”

Henin begins the defense of her WTA Championships title with her first round-robin match against 20-year-old Russian Anna Chakvetadze on Tuesday.

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