Bjorn Borg: ‘Tennis is one of the cleanest sports’

Bjorn Borg Stockholm tennis

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Bjorn Borg: Tennis is "one of the cleanest sports"

"Tennis has been very protected for many years," adds Borg

Spoke to CNN Open Court's Pat Cash

Swede is an 11-time grand slam winner

CNN  — 

It’s been a trying start to the year for tennis, with match-fixing allegations and Maria Sharapova’s failed drugs test putting the sport into the headlines for all the wrong reasons.

Despite these controversies, in a rare interview with CNN Open Court, Swedish tennis great Bjorn Borg said the game still shapes up to be “one of the cleanest sports.”

“Sooner or later [this] would come up in tennis too,” the 11-time grand slam winner told CNN’s Pat Cash on Tuesday. “I think tennis has been very protected for many years.”

“Slowly it’s been coming … [there have been] illegal things in other sports. I’m not surprised that this happened in tennis,” he said.

Bjorn Borg and CNN's Pat Cash

One sport mired in doping allegations is athletics. Last week it emerged the FBI and federal prosecutors are investigating allegations of widespread doping by Russian athletes.

“When it comes up it’s always a big question mark. But I think it’s good; I know that they check the players regularly,” added Borg, referring to tennis’ anti-doping program.

“All these question marks, they have to solve those, but I think tennis is one of the cleanest sports anyway.”

‘It’s good it came up’

Widely considered to be one of the greatest tennis players of all time, Borg said these issues offered the sport an opportunity to look at its regulatory policies.

“We want to protect our sport,” he said. “We love our sport, so we want it to be clean. In one way it’s good it came up so they can solve the problems [that] are in the sport right now.”

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Borg dominated tennis during the 1970s, winning five consecutive Wimbledon championships and six French Opens before retiring at the age of 26. Now 59, he spoke to fellow Wimbledon champion Pat Cash in Stockholm for CNN Open Court, due to air in June.

Visit CNN’s Open Court page for more tennis news