ITIA defends itself over pre-match doping test of Novak Djokovic that left the Serb furious 

The ITIA has explained why it was right in sending an anti-doping officer to collect samples of Serbian players before their match against Great Britain.


ITIA defends itself over pre-match doping test of Novak Djokovic that left the Serb furious 

ITIA defends itself over Novak Djokovic doping test controversy (Images via Mint, Hindu)

The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) has defended itself over a pre-match doping test of Novak Djokovic that had left the Serb furious. The body has defended its decision to send an anti-doping agent to collect samples of the Serbian players before the team’s match against Great Britain. ITIA has said that it has all the right to inform a team in a competition like Davis Cup that they will need to give their samples. 

The ITIA further specified that the players can choose to submit their samples as and when they are ready. This comes after the governing body was thrashed left, right, and center by Novak Djokovic for seeking to conduct a doping test before a match. The Serbian was frustrated to the core as he refused to provide the samples before the match. 

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Novak Djokovic gave away his urine and blood samples only after his match against Cameron Norrie. This entire doping test episode fueled a debate with the ITIA receiving lots of flak and criticism. Meanwhile, the organization issued a statement clarifying its stance on this entire episode. 

Due to the format of team competitions, including the Davis Cup, teams may be notified that they have been selected for testing before matches begin and then provide samples when they are ready. Between notification and providing the sample, they are chaperoned by a member of the anti-doping team.
An ITIA spokesperson said. (via: The Times)

What do the ITIA doping test rules say?

The basic rule of the ITIA anti-doping test says that “testing can take place in-competition at events, or out-of-competition, in training venues, or even at an athlete’s home. Testing is intelligence-led and risk-based, however, it will always be conducted with ‘no advanced notice’.”

world anti doping agency
WADA poster (Image via The Quint)

Also, according to Spanish news publication Marca, who first reported on the Novak Djokovic doping controversy, each of the team captains was informed a week prior to the start of the Davis Cup finals that World Agency staff can arrive unannounced to undergo surprise tests during the course of the tournament. The practice is usual for ITF competitions, as opposed to ATP or Grand Slam tournaments.

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Nevertheless, Djokovic was not okay with the fact that he would have to undergo a test before a match. The Serbian had his reasons when he explained that these sorts of things are disturbances that affect his pre-match routine and work as a distraction. The 24-time Grand Slam winner also said that he has no issues with undergoing a test after the game even if he is asked hundred times.

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