ITF may change anti-doping rule due to Troicki case

by: Matt Cronin | October 02, 2013

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The ITF may change one of its anti-doping rules because of the now-suspended Viktor Troicki’s contention that when he refused to take a drug test, he was unsure of rules surrounding his responsibilities.

Troicki received an 18-month suspension when he decided not to give a blood sample at the Monte Carlo Masters, saying he was sick. He did provide a urine sample. Troicki claimed the doping control officer on site allowed him to take the blood test the next day, but the officer said that was not the case and the International Tennis Federation agreed with her.

"The tennis anti-doping rules are likely to be changed in 2014 to say that, where a player refuses or fails to provide a sample (as Mr. Troicki did), the doping control officer should try to offer the player an opportunity to speak to the event supervisor or referee to confirm the player's responsibilities under the program," Stuart Miller, the ITF's anti-doping manager, told CNN. "I think it's fair to say that the Troicki case highlighted the issue. Given this only happened in 2013, I think it's looking at the problem pretty quickly and trying to find a solution."

Troicki is taking his case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and is hoping for a reduction is his suspension. In an interview with him released by his manager on Tuesday, Troicki claimed that his Davis Cup teammate, Novak Djokovic, signed a petition asking for new rules at the doping control station.

“The players demand that the tournament supervisor or the ATP Tour manager must be called to the doping control station if there are problems,” Troicki said. “No one should leave the room without providing samples if one of them has not been called. The players are worried what happened to me could have happened to any one of them.”

Troicki said that he has received support from fellow Serbian players and was in Belgrade for Serbia’s Davis Cup semifinal win over Canada, although he was not allowed to attend the tie.

“I was really happy for them, for us,” he said. “I know they all want me back in the team and I love to play with them. They are all great persons first, and then great players. When Janko dedicated the tie to me and Novak took the microphone and got the stadium to shout 'Viktor' I had a breakdown and started crying like never before in my life.”

Troicki will attend his hearing in Lausanne on October 9.

“I am fighting for the truth and I will do it as hard as I can. I feel confident," Troicki said. "Reading all the papers of the previous trial in London, I can’t understand why I have been sanctioned, especially this hard. I have done nothing wrong, apart from following the instructions of the doping control officer. I really put all my hopes in the judges that will decide in Lausanne. I hope they take their time and that they really find the truth. I don't even want to think about anything else."

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