Swiss tennis star Roger Federer believes too few players get tested for doping in the game. Reacting to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) criticism of Russia this week, Federer said he was surprised at the low frequency of tests.
“It's very important. Players need to feel that they're going to be tested,” the 17-time Grand Slam winner said at a London press conference on Friday. “So they will shy away from any silly thought they might have.”
“I'm always surprised when I walk off court after a final and I'm like 'where is anti-doping?'” he added.
Monday’s hard-hitting report from WADA’s independent commission pointed to a culture of drug cheating in the Russian athletics scene with alleged state support. The accusations have caused a global stir, leading to calls for Russia to be kicked out of international events.
The WADA report also hinted that other sports could be affected by the issue.
Speaking to the media ahead of the ATP World Tour Finals in London, Federer endorsed a tougher stance in tennis. “Whenever you make the quarter-finals of a tournament, when the points are greater, the money is greater, you should know that you will be tested,” the world number three said.
He also defended Swiss doping testers whose competency has been questioned in some quarters following WADA’s revelations. WADA said it was not satisfied with explanations of why the Lausanne-based laboratory had destroyed urine samples of Russian athletes in 2012.
Federer defended Switzerland’s record when it came to dope testing tennis players. "I feel like the Swiss programme is tough and strict but out-of-competition testing could definitely increase as well," he said.
“I still think that should happen more frequently and I'm sure the Swiss do things [the way they] should be done, so you can try to imagine how others do it.”
swissinfo.ch and agencies