ITF president speaks out on drug testing in tennis


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ITF president speaks out on drug testing in tennis

ITF president Francesco Ricci Bitti has said that top players have a habit of changing their mind in the wake of recent comments by Roger Federer and Andy Murray that more drug testting needs to be done in the sport. Bitti has already said that the ITF is planning to do more tests next year, espcially out-of-competition testing.

"You know the players, they like to talk. A few years ago, the same players were complaining because they were being tested," Ricci Bitti told dpa in an interview. "But I don't think they are right. Still, they help us by saying that, because it allows us to move in the direction in which we want to move.

But it's a bit strange. They change their minds a lot." "Over these few weeks we have been working on creating a program that retains the same quality and has a few more tests, especially out of competition.

Defining 'out of competition' in tennis is harder, because 'out' is rather before or after competition. But anyway we'll try to increase the percentage of tests done out of competition, blood tests and the number of tests in general.

We think our program is absolutely good. In terms of quality, our work is highly appreciated. I am not as pretentious as to think that we can catch all cheats. But I am confident that tennis is a clean sport. We need to improve our program, but knowing other sports I am reasonably confident that we cannot have an Armstrong case.

That was a highly organised and scientific system. That is not the case with tennis."
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