The Tennis Anti-Doping Programme Working Group, comprised of representatives of the ITF, Grand Slam tournaments, ATP and WTA have expressed unified support to implement an Athlete Biological Passport Programme starting in 2013.
The Athlete Biological Passport generates an individual profile of biological markers of doping over a period of time that can be used to detect variances from an athlete’s established levels that might indicate doping.
The introduction of the Athlete Biological Passport will require an increase in the number of blood tests collected. In addition, the Anti-Doping Working Group also recommended an overall increase in the amount of out-of competition testing conducted under the programme, which is administered by the ITF on behalf of all the governing bodies.
“The implementation of the Athlete Biological Passport is an important step in the evolution of the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme as it provides us with a great tool in the fight against doping in our sport,” said ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti. “We also hope to have increased support from the National Anti-Doping Agencies around the world to help us win this battle and make our programme more effective. Our thanks to the Grand Slam tournaments, the ATP and WTA for their recognition of the need to increase the amount of testing, and also to the players who spoke out for more testing, especially blood testing, over the next few years.”
“The Grand Slam tournaments were among the first in tennis to support anti-doping efforts and continue to make this a priority every year,” said Bill Babcock, Director, Grand Slam Committee. “We are proud to work with the other governing bodies as part of the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme which we believe is essential to ensure that tennis remains a clean sport for the future.”
“The ATP has always rigorously supported the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme and believes that the move toward the Athlete Biological Passport is the appropriate step for tennis at this time,” said Brad Drewett, CEO, ATP. “The players have been very clear that they want increased investment in anti-doping and we feel that this is the most efficient way to show the world that tennis is a clean sport.”
“The WTA is proud of its efforts in anti-doping and believes that it is in the best interests of our sport to adopt the Athlete Biological Passport and to increase both blood and out-of-competition testing,” said Stacey Allaster, CEO, WTA. “This is a mandate from the players and from our tournaments and we are pleased to increase our investment in the programme.”
The Tennis Anti-Doping Programme is a comprehensive and internationally recognised drug-testing programme that applies to all players events sanctioned by the ITF, ATP, and WTA, and at Grand Slam tournaments. Players are tested for substances prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency and, upon a finding that an Anti-Doping Rule Violation has been committed, sanctions are imposed in accordance with the requirements of the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme and World Anti-Doping Code.