Coach Jan de Witt thinks Serbia's Viktor Troicki would never take a banned substance but asking for a postponement of a blood test wasn't the smartest thing to do. In 2013, former world No. 12 Troicki was banned for 18 months for a violation of the tennis anti-doping program.
Troicki, who was in his prime at the time of receiving the suspension, failed to provide a blood sample when requested during in-competition testing at the Monte Carlo Masters on 15 April. Coach de Witt, who split with Troicki just months before the ban, now works with three-time ATP champion Nikoloz Basilashvili.
"I would put my hands into the fire for Viktor. While we worked together he never took something forbidden. I was told that he didn't feel well after this match in Monte Carlo in 2013," de Witt said on the Advantage-Podcast.
"And all his life he has hated needles so he has asked for a postponement of the blood test. The doctor took the urine sample (which was negative). The doctor wasn't experienced and took pitty on him -- so she accepted postponement.
"The next day the doctor knew that she did something wrong. They took the blood test the next day (which was negative too). But Viktor relied on good will -- which was dumb and naive. As a pro athlete you just can't postpone a doping test for another day."
The best days of Troicki's career are behind him as he is now ranked at No. 183 in the world.
At @Advantage_Pod I spoke to procoach Jan de Witt (now Basilashvilli)
I asked him about what happened during V. Troicki refused a blood test 2013 (they parted ways months before that) in Monte Carlo and his general view on #Doping (steroids, Blooddoping) and impact on protennis pic.twitter.com/beXHzFLxjr — Jannik Schneider (@schnejan) May 2, 2020