Tennis ramps up anti-doping drive

The new measures come into effect on May 1 and players will be scrutinised via a biological passport programme, while more samples will be placed into long-term storage, allowing reanalysis.

Representative image.   -  Reuters

Tennis is to nearly double the number of annual doping tests and ramp up funding as part of a fresh drive to root out drug cheats, officials said on Friday.

The new measures come into effect on May 1 and players will be scrutinised via a biological passport programme, while more samples will be placed into long-term storage, allowing reanalysis.

The significant increase in testing up to an annual total of 8,000 samples (from 4,899 in 2016) is being backed by a 50 percent budget hike to around $4.5 million (4.1 million euros) in 2017.

"Protecting the integrity of tennis is an ongoing priority of the governing bodies of tennis to ensure that tennis is and remains a clean sport," International Tennis Federation president David Haggerty said.

"These enhancements will make a positive contribution to achieving that priority."