Djokovic helped Serbia knock out Great Britain in the quarter-finals of the competition on Thursday in Malaga. The pumped-up world No1 beat Norrie 6-4, 6-4 to send Serbia into the next round after refusing to provide a sample in a random drugs test 90 minutes before the match.
The 36-year-old defended his actions, arguing the “outrageous” test would interrupt his pre-match routine. But former cyclist and current team boss of UCI WorldTeam Groupama-FDJ Marc Madiot believes tennis’ authorities should draw a line in the sand by suspending the sport’s biggest star for breaking protocol.
“There are rules of testing before and after competition,” Madiot told RMC. “If the anti-doping body is doing its job, Mr Novak Djokovic must be suspended. He refused a test before the match and did it after. In cycling, you are subjected to a test and if you refuse, you are automatically positive. If that is the case, you are sanctioned. You don’t have the right to refuse testing, that’s the rule."
He added: “In the assortment of doping products there are those that can be detected for a very limited period of time. If you don’t test yourself before the start, during the match, their traces can be erased in the body. That is why testing was introduced before the competition. The fact that he was only warned is unreal.”
Djokovic, who told British fans to “shut up” and “learn how to respect players” following his win over Norrie, was still furious when asked about what happened with the anti-doping official. “It’s the first time it’s happened to me. It doesn’t make sense to do it when I’ll be there after the match,” he said. “They gave me an hour and a half’s notice. I have my pre-match routines and I don’t have to think at that point about donating blood or urine.”
He added: “I've always supported testing, but not before the match. What will that change? I'll be there, when the match is over, test me. I have a blood test coming up. I hope they change the decision.
“It is interesting that the doping agency is a private company. There should be a discussion that we as a world organisation within our ecosystem, so to speak, have our own agency. I don't know what to add, probably everything I say will be interpreted differently.
"This is outrageous. There's nothing to hide, but there are also some limits. They don't understand what's happening here. They don't understand sport, they don't understand where they are.”
A spokesperson for The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) said: “Due to the format of team competitions, including the Davis Cup, teams may be notified that they have been selected for testing before matches begin and then provide samples when they are ready. Between notification and providing the sample, they are chaperoned by a member of the anti-doping team.”2023-11-28T11:55:55Z dg43tfdfdgfd