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SBD Global/March 8, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies
Int'l Tennis Federation To Implement 'Biological Passport' Drug-Testing Program
Published March 8, 2013
OBTAINING A PASSPORT: In London, Eleanor Crooks reported the introduction of the passport "will be coupled with an increase in the number of blood tests." The working group "also recommended an overall increase in testing, especially out of competition." Existing funding for the program has been around $2M a year, which "all bodies have agreed to increase, with the new level to be determined by the number and type of tests carried out." ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti said, "The implementation of the Athlete Biological Passport is an important step in the evolution of the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme as it provides us with a great tool in the fight against doping in our sport" (INDEPENDENT, 3/7). REUTERS' Toby Davis reported figures on the ITF website said that the governing body "carried out only 21 out-of-competition blood tests" in the professional game in '11. The Int'l Cycling Union (UCI) "carried out more than 3,314 out-of-competition blood tests in the same year" (REUTERS, 3/7).
ITF CLAIMS SUPPORT: The BBC reported world No. 1 Novak Djokovic "recently described how the number of blood tests he undergoes has declined." Djokovic said, "I wasn't tested with blood for last six, seven months. It was more regularly in last two, three years ago. I don't know the reason why they stopped it" (BBC, 3/7). XINHUA reported the ITF said that "there was unanimous support for the introduction of the passport." ATP Exec Chair & President Brad Drewett said, "The ATP has always rigorously supported the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme and believes that the move toward the Athlete Biological Passport is the appropriate step for tennis at this time" (XINHUA, 3/7).