The Tennis Anti-Doping Programme Working Group, comprised of representatives of the ITF, ATP, WTA and the Grand Slam tournaments met on 5 March 2013 as part of their regular review of the programme, and expressed unified support to implement an Athlete Biological Passport Programme from 2013. The Athlete Biological Passport provides an individual, electronic document for athletes in which profiles of biological markers of doping and results of doping tests are collated over a period of time that can be used to detect variances from an athlete’s established levels that might indicate doping.
The introduction of the Athlete Biological Passport will require the TADP to increase the number of blood tests every year. In addition, the Working Group also recommended an overall increase in the amount of testing, especially out-of competition testing, with additional funding provided by all the governing bodies in tennis and administered by the ITF.
The Tennis Anti-Doping Programme is a comprehensive and internationally recognised drug-testing programme that applies to all players events sanctioned by the ITF, ATP, and WTA, and at Grand Slam tournaments. Players are tested for substances prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency and, upon a finding that an Anti-Doping Rule Violation has been committed, sanctions are imposed in accordance with the requirements of the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme and World Anti-Doping Code. More background information on the Programme, sanctions, tennis statistics and related information can be found at www.itftennis.com/antidoping.
STATEMENTS FROM TENNIS GOVERNING BODIES
“The Grand Slam tournaments have taken an active role in the sport’s anti-doping efforts since the inception of the programme and continue to make this a priority every year,” said Bill Babcock, Director, Grand Slam Committee. “We are proud to work with the other governing bodies as part of the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme which we believe is essential to ensure that tennis remains a clean sport for the future.”
“The WTA is proud of its long-standing efforts in anti-doping and believes that it is in the best interests of our sport to adopt the Athlete Biological Passport and to increase both blood and out-of-competition testing,” said Stacey Allaster, CEO, WTA.
“The ATP has always rigorously supported the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme and believes that the move toward the Athlete Biological Passport is the appropriate step for tennis at this time,” said Brad Drewett, Executive Chairman and President, ATP. “The players have been clear that they support increased investment in anti-doping and we feel that this is the most effective way to show the world that tennis is a clean sport.”
“The implementation of the Athlete Biological Passport is an important step in the evolution of the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme as it provides us with a great tool in the fight against doping in our sport,” said ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti. “We also hope to have increased support from the National Anti-Doping Agencies around the world who need to do their part if we are to win this battle and make our programme more effective. Our thanks to the Grand Slam tournaments, the ATP and WTA who have recognised the need to increase the investment of tennis in anti-doping and to the players who asked for more testing, especially blood testing, over the next few years.”