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Beyond the Baseline

WADA chief: Djokovic's anti-doping procedures criticism is uninformed

Novak Djokovic played Roger Federer for the first time this season in the Paris Masters semifinals. (Clive Brunskill/Getty Images) WADA shot back at Novak Djokovic after he criticized their anti-doping efforts. (Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

The president of the World Anti-Doping Agency has slammed Novak Djokovic for his comments regarding WADA's administration of anti-doping controls and procedure. Last week, Djokovic said he had lost all faith in tennis' anti-doping authorities after his countyman, Viktor Troicki, was handed a 12-month ban for failing to provide a requested blood sample at an ATP tournament earlier this year.

"I don't think Novak Djokovic has the faintest idea what we do and if he wants to understand what we do I'm more than happy to pick up the phone and talk to him, if he wants to talk to me," John Fahey, president of WADA, told CNN. "If he wishes to then make a comment I might listen to him but for the moment I don't think that was an informed statement."

Last week, in response to the Court of Arbitration of Sport's decision on Troicki's appeal, Djokovic railed against tennis' anti-doping system. "[The Troicki case] proves again that this system of WADA and the anti-doping agency doesn't work," Djokovic said during the ATP World Tour Finals in London. Djokovic believed it was the responsibility of the anti-doping agencies to provide clear explanations as to the rules and regulations surrounding a player's responsibilities and the consequences of failing to provide a requested blood sample.

"I don't have trust in what's going on," Djokovic said. "I don't know if tomorrow the doping control officers who are representatives of...WADA there at the tournaments, because of their unprofessionalism, because of their negligence, because of their inability to explain the rules in a proper way, I don't know if they're going to misplace the test that I have or anything worse than that."

In addition to Djokovic, Roger Federer also questioned tennis' anti-doping efforts last week. Federer, a vocal proponent of more testing, believes he's been tested less now than he was in the past. Stuart Miller, head of anti-doping for the ITF, disagreed.

"We've got the exact number of tests on Roger Federer and our information does not match what he says," Miller told Reuters. "As far as we are concerned, the number of tests completed have remained remarkably constant."

"That isn't to say that there aren't other organizations that were testing him to some extent previously and now doing so less and we just don't know about those figures, but as far as we are concerned the number of tests remains pretty constant for 10 years or so."

Miller pointed to the Troicki case and the Marin Cilic case as proof that tennis' anti-doping scheme has worked. "To me that shows that the program is successful in catching the people it is supposed to be catching so I don't think it's necessarily fair criticism."

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