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Beck denies doping rumour

December 01, 2005 21:42 IST

Slovakia's number two Karol Beck denied failing a dope test earlier this year after being selected on Thursday to play in the Davis Cup final against Croatia.

On Wednesday rumours circulated concerning a possible positive test given by Beck during the semi-final against Argentina in Bratislava, prompting suggestions that 31-year-old Karol Kucera would play in his place.

Beck, the world number 57, had been a doubt for the tie after struggling to overcome a knee injury that has sidelined him since the St Petersburg Open in October.

However, at Thursday's draw inside Bratislava Castle, Slovakia captain Miloslav Mecir picked Beck, who will open the tie on Friday against Croatia's world number nine Ivan Ljubicic.

Asked if he had given a positive test, Beck said: "No!"

Of the speculation, he added: "I wasn't surprised because I sort of expected this kind of issue. I have been dealing with this for over two weeks.

"I am concentrating on the match, I mean, I feel fine. I had trouble with my knee, it was aching quite a lot. But over the last few days things have improved significantly. I'm looking forward to the match and hope we win."

Mecir said he had decided his line-up on Thursday morning, adding that the rumours surrounding Beck had been an unfortunate distraction.

"It's really unpleasant to answer questions like this," the former U.S. Open runner-up said. "I don't know the source of the information.

"Definitely it brings an element of discomfort to the team, to the team spirit, but we try to overcome it with our spirit."

LOSING RECORD

Beck has a 1-3 losing record against Ljubicic and will have to break the Croat's 100 percent record in this year's competition if he is to give the hosts a winning start.

"Ljubicic is a great player, his indoor record is absolutely awesome," said 23-year-old Beck. "I have to play at my best to be able to beat him.

"But we also have to take into consideration that Davis Cup is different. There is the psychological element. I will do my best and we'll see what comes out of it."

Providing his knee injury does not flare up, Beck will play in Saturday's doubles with Michal Mertinak and face Mario Ancic in the second reverse singles on Sunday.

Martyn Herman
Source:
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