‘Mr Novak Djokovic must be suspended. You don’t have the right to refuse testing’
A former French cyclist has slammed Novak Djokovic for allegedly refusing to take an anti-doping test before one of his matches at last week’s Davis Cup Finals.
World No 1 Djokovic was asked to do a drug test ahead of his singles rubber against Cameron Norrie on Thursday evening, but he refused as the request came through only 30 minutes before the match was due to get underway and he felt it would disrupt his routine.
The 24-time Grand Slam winner provided the urine sample after the match, but he was quite critical about the initial request.
“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,” he told Serbian media.
“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.”
Djokovic also hit out over the behaviour of the anti-doping agency official as he was “followed around for hours”
The tennis great added: “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.”
And Marc Madiot – a two-time Paris–Roubaix winner and current director of UCI WorldTeam Groupama–FDJ – has been hit out at claims that the player didn’t want to do a pre-match test as he insisted any refusal to do a test should result in a suspension.
Speaking on Les Grandes Gueules du Sport on RMC, he said: “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. In cycling, you are subjected to a test and if you refuse, you are automatically positive. If that is the case, you are sanctioned.
“You don’t have the right to refuse testing, that’s the rule.”
The ITIA has since clarified that Djokovic didn’t refuse to take the test, but Madiot added: “In the assortment of doping products there are those that can be detected for a very limited period of time. If you don’t test yourself before the start, during the match, their traces can be erased in the body.
“That is why testing was introduced before the competition. The fact that he was only warned is unreal.”
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