Serena Williams has been caught up in drug testing row just days ahead of Wimbledon 2018. The 23 Gland Slam winner complained of excessive dope testing demands after a tester from Usada visited her in Florida while she was not at home.
Williams, who is obviously displeased by the action, called up the Women’s Tennis Association head, Steve Simon to complain about the same and said she was being unfairly targeted. Simon assured her that she will speak to the organisation’s head Travis Tygart about it.
The story came out in public after someone overheard Simon discussing the issue over the phone near San Francisco Airport and passed on the information to Deadspin website.
The website also mentioned that Williams has been tested for drugs inappropriate number of times in 2018. She has already given five samples to Usada in 2018 while other athletes have got tested only once or twice.
A spokeswoman for Williams talked to Deadspin and said, “Over her 23-year career in tennis, Serena Williams has never tested positive for any illegal substance despite being tested significantly more than other professional tennis players, both male and female – in fact, four times more frequently than her peers. She has vocally supported, respected and complied with Usada testing throughout her entire career. While she willingly continues to submit to testing, there is absolutely no reason for this kind of invasive and targeted treatment.”
Williams had taken to Twitter on May 22, right before she was about to play in French Open, and complained about being repeatedly tested for doping. She had written, “And…… just like that anti doping is here ….again… second time this week. proud to participate to keep the sport clean. Even if they do test me at my current ranking of 454 in the world. Two times every week.”
And…… just like that anti doping is here ….again… second time this week. proud to participate to keep the sport clean. Even if they do test me at my current ranking of 454 in the world. Two times every week #BeingSerena
— Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) May 21, 2018
To which, another tennis ace Andy Roddick had also replied:
Strange. It used to be based on ranking ….
— andyroddick (@andyroddick) May 22, 2018
While talking to Telegraph Sport on Thursday, Usada’s director of communications Brad Horn confirmed that the organisation “has conducted three test sessions on Serena Williams in 2018, with a total of five tests conducted during those sessions.”
He added, “It is standard practice on many testing missions to obtain both urine and blood samples. We talk with athletes all the time about clean sport and our programs. We spoke with Serena recently, as has been reported, about a recent test mission. Serena has been supportive and engaged with our program, and she is in good standing with our program.”