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Novak Djokovic, the men's tennis world number one, received a notice on Thursday, an hour and a half before playing his first match of the 2023 Davis Cup to take a doping test along with the entire Serbian team and they refused to do it.
Djokovic is not afraid to speak his mind, regardless of the controversy it might cause, with his views and comments on women's tennis, Covid-19 and vaccinations all proving to be divisive points of discussion.
"It's the first time it's happened to me," Djokovic said in Serbian. "It makes no sense to do it before when I'm going to be after the match.
"I have not yet completed the control, but I have already given a blood sample. I was told an hour and a half before the start and I have my pre-match routines and I don't have to think at that time about giving blood or urine.
"I have argued with him because it is something that had not happened to me in 20 years of my career. He has sat in one of the corners and followed me for hours. It's outrageous. I have always defended controls, but not before matches. There's nothing to hide, but there have to be certain limits".
Despite defeating Cameron Norrie in the semifinals of the Davis Cup, the 24-time major champion went to talk to the representative of the World Anti-Doping Agency after he didn't let the matter slide.
"He told me that they wanted to do it before the match," Djokovic said. "Because afterwards it was going to be too late and to give the players a rest. And I replied that the winning team rested on Friday."
Informed at the captains' meeting
Last Monday, at the meeting of the members of the International Tennis Federation with the eight captains, they were informed of the possibility of surprise tests by the World Agency staff before or after the matches.
This is the ITF's usual system of operation in its competitions, different from ATP or 'Grand Slam' tournaments.