Reports that Novak Djokovic refused to take a drug test during the Davis Cup Finals appear to be overly exaggerated and Djokovic did not, in fact, refuse to be tested. Was he happy about the situation surrounding the test? No, but he took the test nonetheless. But former Paris–Roubaix winner Marc Madiot decided to put foot firmly in his mouth and comment on the situation and called for Djokovic to be “suspended.”
Marc Madiot, relax. Or at least get all the facts before you start spewing opinions of which you do not know the facts. Or maybe that is not your way.
Here is what happened. Prior to Novak Djokovic’s Davis Cup quarterfinal match against Great Britain’s Cam Norrie, he was notified that he would be randomly drug-tested by the International Tennis Integrity (ITIA). Players can decide to take the drug test either before or after the match they are about to play. Djokovic was upset because he said he had not ever been informed just before a match that he needed to give a sample for the test.
Marc Madiot gets the facts about Novak Djokovic completely wrong
Novak Djokovic is very much a creature of habit and does not like to be disturbed from doing his pre-match routine. Djokovic did have words with the ITIA official because he thought it unfair to be told he would need to perform a drug test so close to match time. Djokovic was uncomfortable giving a blood sample prior to the match because he was unsure how it might affect his play.
The ITIA has confirmed that Djokovic did take the test post-match, however. The Serb has been outspoken about how the ATP handles drug testing as there is a lack of transparency, in his opinion. This is one reason Djokovic helped form the Professional Tennis Players Association (PTPA) to help players better understand the drug-testing process.
But Marc Madiot clearly did not bother to check the facts because speaking on Les Grandes Gueules du Sport on RMC Madiot said, “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…You don’t have the right to refuse testing, that’s the rule.”
Maybe Madiot is also unaware that tennis and cycling are two different sports and tennis does allow, in certain events such as Davis Cup play, for a player to take the test post-match. It isn’t like the player is going to be doping up during a match in front of everyone after all. Instead of suspending Novak Djokovic for not taking a drug test that he did, in fact, take, maybe Marc Madiot should be suspended for commenting on things he has no clue about.