More testing and longer storing of samples among stronger anti-doping measures for tennis

Tennis is to step up its anti-doping programme, with increased testing and more samples stored for potential reanalysis

anti-doping tennis
Tennis is to step up its anti-doping programme Photo: Marianne Bevis

The governing bodies of tennis have approved enhanced measures for the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme from 1 May. These include an increase in the volume of testing and a strengthening of the sample storage policy.

The changes will see a significant increase in the volume of testing up to an annual total of 8,000 samples (from 4,899 in 2016), including:

– collection of more urine and blood samples both in competition and out of competition

– collection of samples across more events

– larger number of players included in the International Registered Testing Pool to approximately 250, with all players subject to testing under the Athlete Biological Passport programme.

In addition, more samples (up to 50 percent for top-ranked players) will be placed in long-term storage, allowing reanalysis of those samples, such as when new or more sensitive detection methods become available.

To fund these changes, the annual budget for the programme will be increased by over 50 percent to approximately $4.5 million in 2017.

ITF president David Haggerty said: “On behalf of the partners in the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme, we welcome this strengthening of the sport’s anti-doping efforts. Protecting the integrity of tennis is an ongoing priority of the governing bodies to ensure that tennis is and remains a clean sport, and these enhancements will make a positive contribution to achieving that priority.”

The Tennis Anti-Doping Programme applies to all players competing at Grand Slam tournaments and events sanctioned by the ITF, ATP, and WTA.

Players are tested for substances prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency, and any sanctions are imposed in compliance with the requirements of the World Anti-Doping Code.

More information can be found at www.itftennis.com/antidoping

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