Anti-Doping Policy’s Criticism Unfair, Says ITF

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has labeled recent criticisms of anti-doping programs of tennis by Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic as unfair. The world governing body of tennis said it is confident that its anti-doping programs are working effectively.

ITF’s anti-doping manager Stuart Miller remarked he thinks tennis is doing a good job in the programs it has and we’ve had two fairly high-profile cases recently with Marin Cilic and Viktor Troicki and let’s not forget both of those cases resulted in violations for the athletes concerned. Speaking at the World Conference on Doping in Sport, Miller said to him that shows that the program is successful in catching the people it is supposed to be catching so he doesn’t think it’s necessarily fair criticism.

Miller added that anti-doping programs of tennis includes in-competition and out-of-competition testing, with both urine and bloods samples taken and the recent introduction of the athlete’s biological passport, another tool in the fight against doping. He also remarked the game of tennis has also been increasing proportion of out-of-competition testing.

Recently, Serbia’s world number two Novak Djokovic said he had lost all trust in tennis’ anti-doping program after a ban of 12 months was imposed on his compatriot Troicki for failing to provide a blood sample at the Monte Carlo Masters in April after he complained of feeling unwell. The now-banned player said he believed he could be excused from the test if he provided a reason to the International Tennis Federation.

Djokovic, the 17-times grand slam winner, said he feels like he used to get tested more and said he believes he was tested 25 times in 2003, 2004 and he thinks it’s been clearly going down this season. However, Miller remarked there had been no real change in the number of times the ITF had tested the Swiss and added we have got the exact number of tests on Roger Federer and our information does not match what he says and added the number of tests completed have remained remarkably constant as far as we are concerned.

Miller also added that isn’t to say that there aren’t other organizations that were testing him to some extent previously and now doing so less and we just don’t know about those figures, but as far as we are concerned the number of tests remains pretty constant for 10 years or so. The ITF’s anti-doping manager said he is confident the tennis anti-doping program is using all the tools available to it to maximize its efficiency but we must remember, you also need a deterrent effect and prevention effect and education as well.

Meanwhile, World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) president John Fahey has remarked that he doesn’t think Novak Djokovic has the faintest idea what his organization does. Fahey dismissed the comments of the former world No. 1 that he had lost faith in the system and said the six-time grand slam winner’s comments are unhelpful and it was up to the sport to do more to fight against doping.

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