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SBD Global/April 3, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Many Top Tennis Players Left Out Of ITF's Random Drug-Testing Program

Laura Robson was one of many players not drug tested by the ITF last year.
Tennis player Laura Robson "was among several top players not to have been given an out-of-competition drugs test by the International Tennis Federation last year," according to Ben Rumsby of the London TELEGRAPH. The news "may come as a surprise" to many following calls from the likes of Andy Murray, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic for more rigorous testing in tennis. Men’s player Juan Martin Del Potro and women’s player Jelena Jankovic "were also not tested by the ITF out of competition," according to figures it released on tests conducted on individual players. Those figures show Murray, Djokovic and Serena Williams "were tested between four and six times out of competition," while Federer and Rafael Nadal "were tested seven or more times each." It is also "highly unlikely the ITF made no attempt to test them outside of tournaments." Had it tried to do so during the one-hour period in which players are obliged to make themselves available for testing every day, their failure to attend "would be classed as a missed test" (TELEGRAPH, 4/2). In Bangalore, Pragya Tiwari reported the Int'l Association of Athletics Federation, "in a surprise move, has removed all the Indian athletes from its current Registered Testing Pool (RTP) despite the country sharing the top spot with Russia in the list of dope offenders." Both India and Russia have 53 athletes who are serving bans for doping offenses. This is the first time since Oct. '10 that the Indians have been left out of the IAAF’s RTP. The RTP "allows an international federation to keep tabs on top-level athletes or those with abnormal improvement graph to test them unannounced at their training bases and residences anywhere in the world" (DECCAN HERALD, 4/1).
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