World no. 2 Novak Djokovic had some harsh words for the International Tennis Federation and anti-doping association WADA, following the continued suspension of fellow countryman Viktor Troicki. He stated that he has lost all faith in the system and in WADA’s drug-testing capabilities.
“It’s very bad news that we got for him, and for me, for all of us who are close to him,” Djokovic said. “But I think it’s just not bad news for him, it proves again that this system of WADA and anti-doping agency does not work.”
When prompted to explain his rationale, Djokovic launched a tirade against WADA and their lack of clearly defined regulations. He also mentioned that there was no accountability for the representative that failed to inform Troicki that he would be suspended if he failed to provide a blood sample at that precise moment. In his opinion, the entire situation was handled incorrectly, and it has cost a player an entire year on the tour.
“Why am I saying that? Because, first of all, as a tennis pro, our job is to play, of course, tennis and respect all the rules and know all the rules of our sport. But when you are randomly selected to go and provide the test, blood test or urine test, the representatives of WADA, anti‑doping agency who are there in the tournament, are supposed to give you the clear indications and explain you the rules and regulations and what the severe consequences or penalties that you might undertake or you might have if you fail to provide the test. The representative, she didn’t do that in his case. So first of all he’s not positive on any banned substance. I’m not saying that it’s completely not his fault, but the way it was is that he had a medical pass where he was fainting, if he feels bad when he provides the blood test. He asked if it’s possible to avoid providing blood test that day and he would come the next day—not because he wanted to hide anything, he just felt bad.”
The Serbian No. 1 admits that this particular scenario worries him about potential negligence in his testing procedure and that he no longer has trust in WADA or their procedures. He would like to follow Andy Murray, who was interested in having an independent laboratory maintain records of his testing to prevent any potential issues.
“She did not clearly present him all the severe consequences that he will have if he avoids that. She told him that he needs to write a report and that he will be just fine. And because of her negligence and because of her unprofessionalism, he is now off the tour for one year. And now it makes me nervous as a player, to do any kind of test. And I heard Andy Murray also said that he wants to take some actions into making sure that he has the independent laboratory also following his tests that he provides to WADA and IDTM. I don’t have trust in them anymore.”