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Beyond the Baseline

Tomas Berdych calls ITF's current anti-doping system 'a disaster'

Tomas Berdych Tomas Berdych lost in the third round of Monte Carlo to Fabio Fognini (Antoine Couvercelle/Icon SMI).

Tomas Berdych has never been one to mince words. In an interview with Reuters last week in Monte Carlo, the Czech laid into tennis' anti-doping regime.

He specifically criticized the ITF's "whereabouts" rule, which requires the ATP top 50, WTA top 50 and top 10 doubles players to provide daily updates on where they can be found for testing.

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"The system right now... I don't know how it works with the others but with me, it does not work at all," the Czech told Reuters in an interview at the Monte Carlo Masters this week.

"You have to say every single day... where you are. I've done this for three or four years already and I had only two tests out of the tournaments," Berdych said.

"So why do I have to do this all the time and then they come twice in four years? It's just like complete nonsense."

Under International Tennis Federation (ITF) rules, players must give their location for at least one hour of each day in case they are required for an out-of-competition drugs test, usually by means of a urine sample.

"If some people were hired to think about that and have come up with this kind of idea, if it was me, I would have fired them straight away," Berdych said.

"This system is a complete disaster. So whatever they're going to do differently, it's going to be good, new or whatever."

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