Leading Anti-Doping Expert Questions Tennis' New Drug-Testing Program
One of sport's most respected anti-doping experts "has issued a damning indictment" of tennis' attempts to step up its drug-testing program, "questioning whether it has the money or the desire to make it work," according to Simon Cambers of the London GUARDIAN. Tennis last week "announced it is to adopt the athlete biological passport" but Anti-Doping Research President & CEO Don Catlin, considered to be one of the founders of modern drug-testing, said that "it is wasting its time." Catlin: "I would tell them not to bother. They're better off to increase the number of tests they do rather than spend it all on the passport. Doubling or tripling urine tests would be of more value than starting a passport because you need such a long lead-in. You need data over four or five years." Catlin, who ran the UCLA Olympic Analytical Laboratory for 25 years, believes that "tennis is reacting to pressure rather than tackling the big problems for the right reasons." Catlin added, "It seems it's because there's so much flak in the newspapers that they're trying to do something. A lot of it looks like grandstanding -- whenever there's pressure, sport wakes up and looks to do something but then they realize later that it's not really [changed] anything. It's always hard to be critical of someone when they're trying to do something that's worthwhile. But if you're only taking two steps when 100 are needed, it's not going to work" (GUARDIAN, 3/12).