More doping tests for tennis stars
The International Tennis Federation says more doping tests will be carried out on professional players this year.
In a joint initiative between the ITF, ATP, Grand Slam Board and WTA, the number of tests this year will increase to 8,000, from 4,899 in 2016. More samples will be placed into long-term storage.
ITF President David Haggerty says "we welcome this strengthening of the sport's anti-doping efforts."
Haggerty says: "Protecting the integrity of tennis is an ongoing priority of the governing bodies of tennis to ensure that tennis is and remains a clean sport, and these enhancements will make a positive contribution to achieving that priority."
HIGH PROFILE DOPING CASES
Andre Agassi made the shocking revelation in his post-retirement autobiography that he failed a test in 1997 after taking crystal meth and then lied to tennis authorities to escape punishment. He told the ATP in a letter he had taken the drug accidentally.
Martina Hingis returned to tennis two years after retiring in 2003 only for her comeback to be abruptly ended in 2007 by a positive test for a metabolite of cocaine at Wimbledon. She was suspended from tennis for two years but made another comeback in 2013.
The Croatian was given a nine-month ban in 2013 after the ITF discovered traces of nikethamide, a banned stimulant in a sample he gave at a tournament in Germany. Cilic claimed the failed test was a result of taking over-the-counter glucose tablets, and had his ban reduced to four months after taking his case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). He won the US Open the following year.
Viktor Troicki refused to take a blood test at a tournament in Monte Carlo in 2013. He argued that he was afraid of needles and that he was feelign ill at the time. He received an 18 months ban which was later reduced to 12 month by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Richard Gasquet tested positive for cocaine in 2009 and was banned for 12 months by the ITF. He was later cleared of any wrongdoing by CAS after arguing that he ingested the substance afer kissing a woman in a nightclub.
Greg Rusedski was one of several players to test positive for the steroid nandrolone in 2003. He was cleared of wrongdoing after a tribunal determined that he, along with the other players, had taken the drug inadvertently in contaminated pills handed out by ATP trainers.
In 2010, Wayne Odesnik pleaded guilty to importing human growth hormone into Australia and was suspended for two years. The ban was later reduced to one year after the ITF said he had fully cooperated with its investigations. He was later banned for 15 years after again testing positive for a number of banned substances.