Criticism of anti-doping policy unfair, says ITF

Thu Nov 14, 2013 1:40pm EST
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By Mark Gleeson

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - The International Tennis Federation (ITF) is confident its anti-doping programs are working effectively and labeled recent criticisms of the system by Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic unfair.

"I think that 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," the ITF's anti-doping manager Stuart Miller said on Thursday.

"To me that shows that the program is successful in catching the people it is supposed to be catching so I don't think it's necessarily fair criticism," he told Reuters at the World Conference on Doping in Sport.

"Our program 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. We have also been increasing our proportion of out-of-competition testing."

Serbia's world number two Djokovic said he had lost all trust in the sport's anti-doping program following compatriot Troicki's 12-month ban for failing to provide a blood sample at the Monte Carlo Masters in April after complaining of feeling unwell.

Troicki said he believed he could be excused from the test if he provided a reason to the ITF.

Last week, Federer said he felt players were not being tested enough.

TESTED MORE   Continued...