Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Rusedski: Support of Players Inspired Me

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Rusedski: Support of Players Inspired Me

Article excerpt

Byline: CHRIS JONES

GREG RUSEDSKI today paid tribute to the "wall of strength" he has gained from family and friends after victory in his first match since admitting his positive drugs test.

The British No 2 beat Argentinian Juan Ignacio Chela 7-6, 7-6 at the Sydney International tournament early this morning.

Rusedski, who insisted he would not hide in the face of the controversy, knows his high profile will continue at the event with a potential second-round clash with former Wimbledon finalist Mark Philippoussis.

However, he believes the support of his wife Lucy, the rest of his family and friends can help him overcome the enormous mental pressure created by his claim that more than 40 other top players have had similar traces of the steroid nandrolone in their bodies.

Rusedski's clothing and equipment sponsor, Donnay, also today vowed to stand by him A spokesman for Donnay said: "Greg is an outstanding tennis player and the last person who would contemplate taking any type of performance-enhancing drug.

"He has our complete support and in particular for the resolute stand he is taking against the results of these drug tests. We look forward to him being cleared next month and this shadow being lifted from him."

Rusedski will appear before an ATP tribunal in Montreal on 9 February, and he said today: "The support of my family and friends has made it easier for me. All my friends have called me. I'm having text messages left every day.

"That's what drives me on and makes me want to stand up and be counted.

They've been a wall of strength. They've been very supportive from day one.

We all know the truth here and that's all that matters.

"All I can say is I've just been overwhelmed by the support I've had back home and from all the players. They have been really positive in the locker room.

"That gives me a lot of strength.

It makes me feel good.

"I know I'm innocent. I've stated that from the beginning. I'm not going to hide. I'm going to go out here, and I'm going to play. I'm going to do my best. This is what I enjoy doing. …

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