It started with Rafael stillWhich, after winning the last match, Roland Garros admitted that almost every day he needs injections into the nerves that numb his foot. I didn’t feel pain, but I didn’t feel the feet either. He let me perform,” said the 35-year-old, who withdrew before the final.
French cyclists Thibaut Pinot and Guillaume Martin reacted to the Spaniard’s words. They argued that if they would have benefited from such assistance as stillThey will be excluded without a doubt. In this way, they wanted to emphasize the difference in the treatment of cyclists and tennis players in terms of doping.
The journalists decided to investigate the matter.daily Mail“Who examined how doping tests were actually conducted in tennis today? The results of the British investigation were shocking. According to the English-language ITF newspaper (ITFIt allows top tennis players to choose when and where they want to take doping tests. This, as we know, contravenes the rules introduced by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
– According to the International Standard for Tests and Investigations, in exceptional and justified circumstances, the testing authorities may notify the player of certain tests related to the biological passport. This applies to situations where it is strategically advantageous. However, the vast majority of tests are carried out without prior notice – WADA spokesperson James Fitzgerald explains in an interview with Sport.pl.
As the Polish Anti-Doping Committee reports: “The International Standard for Testing and Investigations (ISTI) for World Anti-Doping Law is the binding international standard developed under the World Anti-Doping Program.” The most recent version of this document entered into force in January 2015.
ISTI establishes, among other things, mandatory standards for testing distribution planning, notifying athletes, preparing and conducting the sampling process, securing and ordering samples and post-test documentation, and transporting samples to laboratories for analysis.
A spokesperson for the World Anti-Doping Agency told us: “WADA will follow up to ensure that there is no violation of World Anti-Doping Act.” The World Anti-Doping Agency announces that the Daily Mail’s investigation will not be silenced, and that anti-doping activists will share the findings of the British newspaper’s journalists.
Anti-tennis and doping
The director of the ITF Anti-Doping Program is Nicole Sabstead, former chair of the UK Anti-Doping Committee. The Daily Mail says it has come across information indicating that Substead called the tennis players in March to tell them they would be tested in the days leading up to this year’s Miami Open. The Florida party started on March 21.
– One of the messages sent by Sapstead prior to the Miami Open was: “Sampling meetings will take place every day between 09:00 and 18:00 (March 19-22, 2022) and will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis. Best”, we read in the Daily Mile.
Tennis players have also been warned about inspections carried out during Roland Garros 2019 and US Open 2021. Doping experts agree that these are highly beneficial solutions to fraudsters.
It appears to be a violation of the spirit, if not the letter, of the WADA Code. It certainly gives the impression of an anti-doping scene, Professor Roger Belk, founder of the University of Colorado Sports Management Center at Boulder, said of press information about notifying tennis players of test dates.
The topic of doping in tennis has been controversial for years. Six years ago, Roger Federer admitted that in 10 years he had only tested once during off-season preparations, when steroids are most common. In turn, the ITF announces, for example, in 2021, Federer, Rafael Nadal Novak Djokovic has been tested out of competition 9, 12 and 13 times, respectively.
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