In recent days, Novak Djokovic has been at the center of a scandal after he allegedly refused to take a doping test 90 minutes before the start of a Davis Cup match. This behavior caused a media storm. Some people demanded that the Serb be suspended for violating the doping protocol. Now ITIA, the institution responsible for doping control, is taking a stance on the matter.
Novak Djokovic is at the center of another scandal. We recently wrote about his nervous exchange with British fans during the Davis Cup. Now we are reporting on the doping test scandal. The incident occurred during the Davis Cup quarter-finals between Serbia and Great Britain.
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic refused to submit to a doping test 90 minutes before his match against Britain’s Cameron Norri in a Davis Cup quarterfinal match in Malaga last week. After the match, Novak Djokovic explained his attitude, saying that he saw no need to disrupt his pre-match routine when he was still present at the facility immediately after the match and could then undergo testing. According to reports, a doping controller followed the 36-year-old for hours before finally conducting blood and urine tests.
– It’s the first time it’s happened to me. It doesn’t make sense to do it when I’ll be there after the match. They gave me an hour and a half’s notice. I have my pre-match routines and I don’t have to think at that point about donating blood or urine. I argued with him because that hasn’t happened to me in my 20-year career. He sat in a corner and followed me for hours. It was outrageous. I’ve always defended controls, but not before matches. There’s nothing to hide, but there have to be certain limits. – said Djokovic.
Part of the public opinion did not accept Serb’s explanation and is demanding a temporary suspension of Serb for breaking the protocol.
The case gained notoriety in other disciplines. Former cyclist and current UCI WorldTeam Groupama-FDJ team principal Marc Madiot believes tennis authorities should draw the line by suspending the sport’s biggest star for breaking protocol.
– There are rules of testing before and after competition. If the anti-doping body is doing its job, Mr Novak Djokovic must be suspended. He refused a test before the match and did it after. – Madiot told Les Grandes Gueules du Sport on RMC.
Now the anti-doping institution is speaking out and correcting all reports.
Several reports later stated that Novak Djokovic refused to follow the rules. However, the ITIA has now concluded that he did not miss the test and that players in last week’s Davis Cup had the option to provide a blood sample before or after the match.
An ITIA spokesman told l’Equipe:
– The first thing to say is that Djokovic did not refuse the test. The rules state that when a player is notified, they must provide a sample as soon as they can. In team competitions such as the Davis Cup, players may be informed before a match, whereas in other competitions testing usually takes place after the match. The procedure has not been changed, either for this event or for the player. In Davis Cup, teams are notified before the start of the match. This allows players to choose if they prefer to do it before their match, otherwise it will be after. They have a choice. Some players prefer to do it before, it frees them up after the meeting, which is also not bad, they avoid staying on site too long after the end of a meeting. – an ITIA spokesperson said.
The statement of the ITIA spokesman ends the discussion on this matter and the Serb will not be suspended.