Roger Federer Wants More Drug Testing In Tennis
by Tom Gainey | November 6th, 2012, 12:57 pm

In light of the Lance Armstrong doping scandal, several of the top players in London have weighed in on the topic of drugs in sports. Top seed Roger Federer offered his thoughts on Monday and the Swiss called for more blood testing in tennis, a position Andy Murray took earlier.

“Well, I feel I’m being less tested this time now than six, seven, eight years ago,” Federer said. “I don’t know what the exact reasons why we are being tested less. At this moment I agree with Andy, we don’t do a lot of blood testing during the year. I’m okay having more of that. I just think it’s important to have enough tests out there.

“I don’t like it when I’m only getting tested whatever number it is, which I don’t think is enough, sufficient, during the year. I think we should up it a little bit or a lot, whatever you want to call it. So I think it’s key and vital that the sport stays clean. It’s got to. We have a good history in terms of that and you want to make sure that it stays that way.”

Over the weekend, Murray had re-interated his stance that more blood testing was needed. “There could be more,” Murray said in regards to blood testing. “But a lot of it has been urine, not so many blood tests. I think it’s important to make sure we have all of those bases covered. I think tennis is a clean sport. But the more we can do to improve that all the time is good.”

In search of a seventh ATP Finals title, Federer began his campaign by thrashing Janko Tipsarevic 63, 61 in his first round robin match. Federer’s win was his 40th of his career, a new record for the event besting the previous mark held of 39 held by Ivan Lendl.

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43 Comments for Roger Federer Wants More Drug Testing In Tennis

trufan Says:

Wow, no comments on this forum, ha? Where ARE the Nadal fans??

Humble Rafa Says:

I believe that we are being tested enough. If needed, the Arrogant One can hire his own drug testers (and wear the “RF” tag).

Sienna Says:

This will be his ultimate revenge for Nadal.

Nadal wanted to attack Roger at the beginning of the year with criticism on Roger’s presidency of players council.

This will be Roger’s gift for Nadal. He will put his team on the backheal with more and stricter tests.

skeezer Says:

Way to go Fed! Taking the lead to help keep the sport CLEAN. Great to see the support from Murray also.


What no write up on ATP of the year awards?

Brando Says:

‘Where ARE the Nadal fans??’

YOU are here trufan, we don’t need any more rafa fans, when you are there fighting the good fight- as ALWAYS!


Ben Pronin Says:

Federer isn’t really taking the lead on this. Murray was the first one to say it since he was the first one to be interviewed (I’m assuming). Federer then agreed, and so did Djokovic. The ITF retaliated against Fed citing statistics that show Federer has been tested, on average, as much, if not more, in recent years than in the past. Hard to argue with statistics but also kind of hard to argue with Federer himself, as I’m sure he has a good idea. But he might also be including tests from other organizations since the ITF isn’t the only one that tests these guys.

But seriously, though. Why do they even bother with urine tests? Drugs are so advanced that blood tests are barely catching them and they want to see how urine tests fair? Ridiculous, as usual. Waste of time and money, as usual. Good to see the players, who I’m still suspicious of, are at least saying the right thing. Blood tests are obviously worse for the players, too, but they’re necessary.

nadalista Says:

Thank you Ben Pronin for stating the FACTS. Not the jingoistic “Fed-taking-the-lead” nonsense.


nadalista Says:

Btw, not surprised the usual suspects pounce to bring Rafa into the discussion……..they don’t disappoint.


the DA Says:

“Murray was the first one to say it..”

Yep, several days before Fed and Nole were asked about it.

skeezer Says:

But Fed IS the leader, prez of ATP. Kudos for both him and Murray.

Notice the usual Rafa fan suspects post when PEDs are brought up.

Where is Rafa’s comments and support? Oh, that’s right he quit

skeezer Says:

“who I’m still suspicious of…”

same here! Keep the sport clean. Fed is not afraid to bring it up and suggest “CHANGE”.

Michael Says:

Somehow Tennis Authorities are not serious on the drug issue in Tennis as in atheletics or many other sports. This careless outlook should change for the better. In this age of competitive, taxing and brutal Tennis, you can allow no other player gain undue advantage by adopting crooked methods. Ofcourse just strength alone cannot win Tennis matches, for this sport requires lot of skill, touch, elegance, agility and speed. Yet consuming drugs will give an undue advantage in terms of stamina which makes the difference in hard fought matches. It is good that both Andy and Roger have brought this issue to the table for the Tennis Authorities to be more serious than they really are. Hope the Tennis Authorities turn a new leaf and make drug testing more stringent and punish the guilty.

alison Says:

Skeezer sometimes it could just be a case that the usual ANTI RAFA FAN suspects drag his name into every conversation,always the same people looking for an argument,typical of some posters,not meaning you though.

Ben Pronin Says:

I don’t get why Nadal’s name is being dragged into this at all right now. It’s not like he’s come out and said Federer and Murray are wrong or something. Maybe if he says something that you don’t like you can criticize but seriously this has nothing to do with him right now.

But in the same light, I don’t think saying they want more testing should take them off the list as possible offenders. They could easily still be confident that they’ll beat a more stringent system.

subo Says:

rafeal nadal is not hurt he got what is a called a so called silent doping banned at wimbledon by the itf who is protected him the players know this it is a cover up in tennis right now do your job vermin in the press

alison Says:

Subo just wondering out of interest, whos your favorite player,we all know who you dont like,but none of us have any idea who you do like,just curious to know?

TJ Says:

Why are rafa fans so jumpy when the word drugs is mentioned? cool it, people!

Rafa is on record saying, that the drug testing is too inconvenient and what not.

He never seems to support drug testing as enthusiastically as other players do. If you say a top player in tennis is doping, most people’s 1st guess would be nadal. Nobody cuts corners as much as nadal does – time violation, on-court coaching, suspicios time-outs, you name it, the dude’s got it.

He seems the more “win by hook/crook” player of the top 4. such players are most likely to dope than players like federer/djokovic who seem more to pursue perfection and the joy of the sport than nadal. Nadal is one of the least joy-ful person on a tennis court. I mean you are doing something you are so passionate about, but the joy you take in tennis as a sport doesn’t come through. You look at federer/djokovic – yes they also love to win, but they also love to play – trick shots, innovation in their shot-making and trying to play it to the galleries! they just got a great balance in their game. they can without giving up this joy of experimenting.

Ben Pronin Says:

What a bunch of fluff. Trick shots and innovation mean they’re not doping but Nadal is? That makes so much sense. Especially when you have Federer grueling out a 4 hour 3 setter against Del Potro, on grass no less. And Djokovic outlasting Murray and Nadal in back to back 5 setters each lasting 5-some hours. That’s not trick shots, that’s endurance.

Nadal’s saying it’s inconveniant is a tiny flag. Doesn’t mean anything. And as far as the silent ban theory, it’s interesting, but doesn’t make sense. I’m pretty sure it’s more likely that positive tests are covered up. So if Nadal was caught with something, why would they ban him? They probably told him to take a vacation so that Murray can win some big titles for a change. He’s clearly benefitted the most from Nadal’s absence.

jamie Says:

Start by strictly and regularly testing Ferrer who is clearly on PEDs! A 30 year old with the stamina of a 20 year old. Fishy.

grendel Says:

jamie – 30 year olds tend to have more stamina than 20 year olds, look at long distance running. 20 year olds are more explosive.

jamie Says:


Not in tennis.

jamie Says:


This guy predicts Federer will win the AO 2013!

grendel Says:

jamie – stamina is stamina, and is not sports dependant. It can be tested in a lab. In any case, it is becoming a commonplace that tennis players a)mature later these days and b)last longer. And in any case, what goes first is not stamina but rapidity of reflex response. Roddick retired at 30 not because his stamina was giving him problems but because he was getting bored and had other things to do,

jamie Says:

When a tennis player of a *certain age* has amazing stamina it looks fishy. Ferrer is the perfect example. If Nadal next year pulls a Ferrer than it will look fishy as well.

jamie Says:

If Nadal next year pulls a Ferrer then it will look fishy as well.

grendel Says:

“When a tennis player of a *certain age* has amazing stamina it looks fishy”

What, like a 100 or something? Agree with you there.

jamie Says:

Federer is different because he relies on skill and talent and not on grinding like Ferrer/Nadal…

jamie Says:

Grinders are not supposed to still be winning at 30. Period.

jamie Says:

Federer is a genius with a tennis racquet. If he is still winning at 31 it is not a surprise.

grendel Says:

“Grinders are not supposed to still be winning at 30. Period”

The new law of nature propounded by jamie. Any man caught transgressing this law shall be arrested, questioned, tried and punished.

b.t.w. didtinction drawn between Federer and Ferrer/Nadal not relevant in terms of stamina, only in terms of body wear, which is not what is under discussion.

jamie Says:

The likes of Wilander, Borg, Courier, Kuerten, Hewitt, Chang, etc. stopped winning big titles in their mid-20s or so. That is what happens to grinders without juice.

grendel Says:

“Federer is a genius with a tennis racquet. If he is still winning at 31 it is not a surprise.”

If it is the case that stamina is severely impeded by the age of 30, then in a long 5 setter genius will not do the job. Nature will hold up a restraining hand and declare:”Halt! Thus far and no further!”

But it is not the case that stamina is severely impeded by the age of 30. Therefore, Nature says:”Genius: you may carry on, although, genius, it is only fair to warn you that there are certain other little obstacles which I have in mind to throw your way, and let us see how get along with these….”

jamie Says:

Federer is an attacking player with great serve, he does not rely on grind fests to win matches. He has his amazing serve to bail him out. The likes of Ferrer/Nadal don’t.

jamie Says:

Look at Serena. Even at 31 she can dominate the slams because of her wonderful serve.

jamie Says:

When you have God-like serve, attacking game, can finish the points quickly, avoid grind fests, come regularly to net, etc. you can still be successful in your 30s. Grinders are usually finished in their early 30s. Unless PEDs come to the rescue.

grendel Says:

“The likes of Wilander, Borg etc…” What, the glorious Kuerten a grinder!

Once again, we see what a fiddly little subject logic can be. We have this model: by about the age of 30 or even less, certain types of tennis players stop functioning at their very best without illegal supplements. And it is the case that if stamina has deteriorated, tennis players will be unable to deliver. Therefore: those top players no longer functioning well must have become short of stamina.

A child can see where the fault lies. Before this argument can be valid, it has to be assumed that the said tennis players are lacking in stamina. In other words, we have a conclusion without even an argument – bad logic. Or no logic at all, in fact. You cannot argue backwards and say: because Wilander, Chang etc failed at a certain age it was because of a lack of stamina. It could be for all kinds of reasons – boredom, lack of will, ambition sated, body wear, slower reflexes etc etc. To prove lack of stamina, you need – evidence.

jamie Says:

Kuerten was basically a clay court specialist.

jamie Says:

Clay court specialists don’t have long careers.

jamie Says:

Viewpoint: Kuerten the game’s colorful grinder

It’s quite a time to be a men’s tennis fan. You’ve got a classy No. 1, a ferocious No. 2, and a Djoker at No. 3. Add to that a strong supporting cast of characters such as a petulant Scot, a brash American, an Ali look-alike, and a mental midget from Russian. But there’s been one player sadly missing from this colorful mix, and he’s about to take his final curtain call.

That’s right, it’s curtains for Kuerten. This week, the 31-year-old from Brazil began his last season on tour in front of his home fans in Costa do Sauipe, getting off to an inauspicious start by losing his first-round matches in both singles and doubles. “It’s sad to see your career come to an end,” he said. “But I can no longer play. I’m sorry, but I can’t.”

Guga, as he’s been affectionately known almost since the time he turned pro in 1995, has been hampered by a chronic hip injury that required surgery in 2002 and 2004. Tennis’ long-forgotten but much beloved surfer is scheduled to play just six tournaments this year, a farewell tour culminating with the major that solidified his place in the record books, Roland Garros.

As the International Tennis Hall of Fame continues to induct one-Slam wonders (not naming names, but suffice to say the latest inductee, who gets his props in July, did not receive my vote), Kuerten is a legitimate all-timer. He won three French Open titles (1997, 2000, and 2001), along with 17 other singles titles, reached No. 1 in 2000, and pocketed over $14 million in prize money. As of the end of last year, he had a 358-191 singles record. While Kuerten failed to get past the quarterfinals of the other three Grand Slams, he proved his hard-court prowess by winning Masters Series titles in Indian Wells and Miami.

It’s a shame that Kuerten’s best years didn’t overlap those of the current crop of stars. Kuerten has a 2-1 record against Roger Federer – their last meeting, the 2004 French Open, Kuerten won in straight sets, and he also beat Federer in 2003 at Indian Wells. Guga never played Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic—and I hope he doesn’t during his last few events, which could get ugly. These farewell tours are always a bit of a farce, if not downright sad, as former greats struggle to beat the Mardy Fishes of the world (no disrespect).

I prefer to remember Kuerten at the peak of his powers. It was a pretty dark time in tennis, when Pete Sampras was on his way out, and guys like Lleyton Hewitt and David Nalbandian were competing for Wimbledon gold. The courts were fast, the rallies boring. Kuerten, his hairdo changing by the season, from military crew to crow’s nest, stood out as a beacon, a compelling figure with a stylish attacking game that demanded your attention.

Back then, Kuerten cultivated the vibe of a laid-back surfer dude. Hardly the look of a world-beater, he had a pencil-thin body. When he walked, his arms and legs swung jerkily back and forth, and his head rocked side to side. He was the embodiment of a bobblehead.

Which made what happened next such a surprise. With his long, roundhouse strokes, Kuerten unleashed powerful shots that belied his almost comedic appearance. Indeed, Kuerten’s relaxed demeanor was more image than reality. Larry Passos, his long-time coach who brought Guga to prominence, once said that while Kuerten brought his surfboard virtually everywhere he went, he rarely surfed. Unlike Brazilian soccer players, including Ronaldo, who are famous for their flair and infamous for their aversion to training and even running on the pitch during a game, Kuerten was a grinder.

Many fans will point to Kuerten’s run to the French Open title in 2001 as his crowning achievement. After defeating Alex Corretja, Kuerten showed his appreciation for his fans by drawing a heart in the clay. The moment perfectly captured Guga’s charisma—his winning smile and playful attitude. But it was another tournament that showed his mettle and sealed his fate as one of the best players of his generation.

In 2000, the year he won five titles, Kuerten qualified for the season-ending Tennis Master Cup in Lisbon. In front of rabidly supportive Portuguese fans, Kuerten, who almost pulled out early in the week with severe thigh spasms and back pain, played three amazing matches in the span of 48 hours. After beating Yevgeny Kafelnikov to advance to the semifinals, Kuerten out-aced No. 1 Pete Sampras, then recovered to defeat Andre Agassi in straight sets. No one had beaten Agassi and Sampras back-to-back in a decade (Stefan Edberg did it in 1990). The win, which came on a hard court, propelled Kuerten past Marat Safin to become the first South American to finish a year at No. 1.

For all that Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic have accomplished, each of them is still waiting for their gut-check moment where they are pushed to the brink with lots at stake. (Maybe Federer’s came against Nadal in the Wimbledon final last year, but I suspect we’ll see more from Federer as he chases Sampras’s record.)

So as Kuerten takes his final bow, all smiles and bobbling head, remember that this isn’t just some laid-back goofball. Lisbon proved that. It was the finest act in Kuerten’s stellar 13-year-long career.

grendel Says:

“When you have God-like serve, attacking game, can finish the points quickly, avoid grind fests, come regularly to net, etc. you can still be successful in your 30s”

Now you are repeating yourself. Always better to avoid “grind fests” if you can, no doubt. To repeat – for the last time, unless something new comes up: if a grinder tends not to do so well after the age of 30, this does not necessarily mean it is because he no longer has the stamina. It might be that, or it might be a number of other things, such as body wear.

Given that there is not the slightest proof that Ferrer, for example, no longer has the degree of stamina he had as a young man, and given also that we know his health is good, his mind is good, he still posseses love of the game and his motivation remains high – it is a huge leap to declare that Ferrer is taking drugs because he is lacking in stamina.

It is also foolish and, what is worse, it is scurrilous and unpleasant.

Giles Says: Andy Murray wants more drug testing but the timings have to suit him!!!

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