By Chris Oddo / Thursday, October 10, 2013
Roger Federer came out in favor of strong doping control during a press conference earlier in the week in Shanghai.
Photo Source: AP
Speaking at the Shanghai Rolex Masters on Wednesday, Roger Federer gave his views on tennis' anti-doping program. The 17-time Grand Slam winner thinks that the inconveniences that players face from having to submit to multiple random tests and making their whereabouts be known at all times is far worse than the alternative: an environment where players feel comfortable skirting the rules of the system.
“I want it as tough as possible, as many tests as possible,” Federer said.
Statisfaction: 12 Things You May Not Know About the ATP's No. 1 Ranking
Alluding to the suspension of Viktor Troicki, who was handed an 18-month ban by the ITF for failing to take a drug test this spring, claiming that he was given permission by anti-doping personnel to skip the test, Federer showed no sympathy. “You're not allowed to skip tests,” he said. “I don't care what the circumstances are, except if they're super extreme, you're in the hospital already, whatever.”
Federer advocates that players need to fully submit to the system in order for it to achieve its purpose of keeping dopers out of the sport. “I mean, when you get tested, you show up, you do it, you move on,” he said. “Doesn't matter what time of the day, where it is. It's got to be human, not criminal in a way. That they treat you nice, not unfair but tough. That's fine, you know. They always know where we are.”
In the last 10 years, Federer said, the program has become stricter, and he feels that's a good thing. “It has already increased so much ever since I came on tour. Things were much more mellow. I remember one day they were waiting in front of my house at 10:00 in the morning. I left at 9:00. I came back at 10:30 and they were still waiting there and about to leave. I did the doping test then. For their sake now I think it's better and easier for them to come and find us and test us. That's the way it's supposed to be.”
Federer's Hilarous Twitter Q & A Creates a Buzz
In the last few days, both Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have come out in support of Troicki, saying that he was given mixed signals from anti-doping staff. Federer didn't specifically comment on Troicki's case, but clearly is in favor of stopping anything that casts a shadow or leaves a grey area.
“I don't know exactly what Novak said or anybody says,” he said. “I just know it needs to be extremely tough and the punishments need to be severe because you want the athletes not to think about is it worth it because I'll get away with it and the punishment will not be so big. So I'm just all for anything it takes to catch the bad people.”