Federer: time for more dope tests
World No. 3 tested just once in 10 years of living in Dubai
Roger Federer feels tennis authorities need to introduce far stricter doping regulations following the surprising news of Maria Sharapova’s failed drugs test.
The 17-time grand slam champion also revealed that since purchasing a property in Dubai - where he spends around two months of the year - he has been tested just once in the last 10 years.
Now, following Sharapova’s positive test for meldonium, the Swiss ace believes that more must be done to make sure a crisis is avoided.
“I definitely think that tennis is doing a lot better than we have in the past,” said Federer. “You could always do more testing. You could ask someone here in 50 years’ time and he’ll say we could still do more. You could be tested four times per day.
“What is the right amount and what’s not? Clearly, I was very surprised [about Sharapova]; I thought she was going to announce her retirement. But it also shows that the famous players can get caught in the system.
“It seems to be working. I still believe we should keep blood samples for 10 years, so athletes and tennis players know that’s the case, that you could get punished retroactively. I’m a big believer in that. “I’ve been in Dubai for 10 years now and I’ve been tested once in 10 years - that’s not OK for me. I get tested more in Switzerland because a tester lives in my village. He comes and sees me the day after my surgery and a week later.
“In Dubai they’ve come once because of the Asian Games. I’d like it to be the same way and fair. Tennis is doing more and more. It was disappointing to say the least.”
Federer, who underwent knee surgery last month and is still currently sidelined with a stomach bug, was also asked whether he felt as though there was a drug problem in tennis.
He added: “I don’t think so. Maybe I am naive in the fact that I believe athletes, I trust what they are doing. Clearly, when they get caught you turn because you are like: ‘I can’t believe that they tried to do that.’
“I don’t think there is a major problem, all I can talk about is myself. I quadruple check anything I take. I don’t want to take any chances whatsoever.”