the authorities defend the controls, in the face of criticism from Djokovic

The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) defended its anti-doping procedures on Saturday, two days after Novak Djokovic criticized the fact that he was notified of a test shortly before a Davis Cup match

The world No.1 and his Serbian teammates had to comply with this control on Thursday evening at the end of the second and final meeting of their quarter-final won 2-0 against the British. After his decisive victory in the second singles against the Briton Cameron Norrie 6-4, 6-4 in Malaga, Djokovic criticized Thursday evening at a press conference the fact that agents came 90 minutes before the match to inform him that he had to undergo an inspection.

I was notified that I was selected for doping control as I was getting ready to go onto the field an hour and a half later“, he lamented, in Serbian, pointing to an anti-doping control agent in the room who he said was following him “for several hours already“. “They informed me after the warm-up“, he continued. “Now, I have a routine, I just have to prepare to go into a match, and I don’t need that distraction», added the 36-year-old player, denouncing a situation “completely illogical» which he had never been confronted with.

I don’t need anyone to come and take my blood, take my urine, or think about whether I will be able to donate my urine at this time or not.» He added that it had been explained to him that such a check, before the match, should allow us to avoid disturbing his team after the match, an argument which he brushed aside.

On Saturday, shortly before Serbia began its Davis Cup semi-final against Italy, the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) defended anti-doping procedures to AFP. “Due to the format of team competitions, including the Davis Cup, teams can be notified that they have been selected for doping control before matches begin and provide their samples when ready.», Explained to AFP an ITIA spokesperson. “Between notification and delivery of the sample, they are monitored by a member of the anti-doping team.»

Djokovic reaffirmed the need for controls on Thursday evening: “I have always supported controls, for myself or for everyone else. If you have to do it a hundred times, you do it a hundred times, no problem, but never before a match.»

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