- Novak Djokovic was accused of refusing to submit to a drug test.
- ITIA has publicly endorsed Djokovic, stating that he did not refuse the test.
- Djokovic was informed of the test 90 minutes before his match.
Following reports that the 36-year-old Serbian player, Novak Djokovic, had declined to submit to a drug test prior to his Davis Cup match against Italy, the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) publicly endorsed Novak Djokovic.
According to a number of media sources, Djokovic broke the regulations. However, the ITIA affirmed that players at the Davis Cup last year had the option of submitting their blood samples either before or after the competition in a statement that was published in France’s premier news outlet, 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,” the ITIA confirmed.
“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.”
The player has the option to do so before or after a game, the regulatory authority further revealed.
“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, a member of the organization told us. 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.”
It should be mentioned that Djokovic voiced his displeasure at having to undergo a pee test only ninety minutes prior to his Davis Cup singles match.
“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,” Djokovic said.
“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.”