Sports doctor weighs in on Novak Djokovic drink controversy

Novak Djokovic in action

Novak Djokovic and his team have sparked controversy and speculation over a drink prepared for the former World No 1 during the Paris Masters.

A member of Djokovic’s team was caught on film furtively mixing the drink which has sparked wild speculation in online circles.

However, a prominent sports doctor believes that there was likely nothing untoward with the drink.

According to Dr Mark Kovacs, PhD the mixture was probably Djokovic’s personal blend and its possible that it was mixed secretly as the team member didn’t want to reveal what the product is.

This might not be because the product itself is untoward but it may be supplied by a company that have not paid Djokovic for promotion.

“It’s very normal,” said Dr. Mark Kovacs, Ph.D., a performance physiologist and researcher.

“If a match is going long or that’s their schedule, most players over the course of the year do what Djokovic did multiple times. It’s just like racquet strings. How many times do they hand a racquet mid-match to the ball kid?”

Djokovic appeared to be suffering with cramp during the Paris Masters final, which was not the match during which the team member mixed the drink.

Kovacs doesn’t believe that members of his team would be doing something untoward even if the activity does appear suspicious.

“This did look weird,” says Kovacs. “But they could’ve been trying to hide a product they’re not sponsored by, or simply didn’t want anyone to know what’s in the drink. It could’ve been one of a thousand ingredients, but in Djokovic’s mind that’s his secret weapon.”

Djokovic is meticulous in his management of his diet and supplementation and has attributed much of his success to radical changes in what he consumes early in his career.

“But as an athlete, it became something more—the fuel that determines how I play, how I recover and how alert I am on the court. I attribute a great deal of my professional success to my diet,” Djokovic said about his diet.

He has noted that at first his family were deeply concerned about how he would support an active lifestyle on a plant-based diet, but insists they have since come around.

Djokovic is among the eight men competing for the ATP Tour Finals Crown in Turin, where he can also beat a march back up the rankings.

“[The] world Tour finals is the pinnacle of the ATP season,” said the 35-year-old. “The best eight players in the world on the Race, the best eight guys that made the best results in that season are competing against each other in a group format.

“It is highly competitive from the first match, and that’s why it’s of course very much wanted and useful to have a couple of the lead-up events to the World Tour Finals, indoors, with some success, so that you can adjust and adapt to the environment and conditions.”

READ MORE: Novak Djokovic plays down injury concerns ahead of ATP Finals and ‘likes his chances’ for Turin title