Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Tennis is a 'clean sport,' says Tipsarevic

updated 5:15 PM EDT, Thu April 18, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Janko Tipsarevic is adamant that none of the players he hangs around with are drug cheats
  • A biological passport program was launched after players called for more tests
  • Tipsarevic was among a minority of players tested both in and out of competition in 2012

(CNN) -- Roger Federer says it's naive to think tennis doesn't have drug cheats. But Janko Tipsarevic, who has played at the year-end championships the previous two seasons, is of the belief that his fellow professionals aren't doping -- or at least not on a widespread basis.

Federer, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray -- the sport's most influential players who have combined won more than 30 grand slam titles -- have all called for either more tests or stricter controls, and last month the International Tennis Federation duly announced that it was adopting the biological passport program.

"I live in the belief that we are playing a clean sport," world No. 10 Tipsarevic told CNN's Open Court.

"If there is doping involved, maybe there is, maybe there isn't. But I can guarantee you that the people I'm hanging around with, none of them (are) doping."

Read: Tennis not free of cheats

In the new initiative a player's blood profile can be tracked, similar to cycling, a sport still reeling from Lance Armstrong's admission that he used performance enhancing drugs.

Significant changes can alert authorities to a potential doping infraction and more blood tests will also be carried out.

Federer: Do more drug testing
Can 'Baby Federer' become a champion?
Federer targets more grand slam titles
Relaxing with Rafa

According to ITF statistics, Tipsarevic was among the minority of players who had to provide samples both in competition and outside of it in 2012.

The number of samples he provided in competition, in the highest category listed as seven or more, put him in the minority, too. The figures didn't include tests carried out by national doping agencies and at the Olympics and Paralympics.

Read: Federer: 'Naive to think tennis is clean'

As a top-50 player, Tipsarevic must adhere to the so-called whereabouts rule by making himself available to be tested in an one-hour slot for an out-of-competition test if the drug testers randomly come calling.

The rule has often given players headaches, with Serena Williams, the women's world No. 1, telling reporters in Dubai in February that testers had once paid her a visit in Mauritius.

"I like things as they are because the international doping agency needs to know every single day of my life where I am and if I'm changing locations," Tipsarevic said.

"We need to fill out this form to say today we're going to be there and at any time they can come and test us. On top of that you have the local drug testing.

"You have the tournament testing when you play tournaments ... I don't want to take it too far."

Read: Tennis serves up new measures in the fight against doping

In February, Murray called for more blood testing, saying that tennis needed to do everything it could "to ensure that everyone competing at the highest level and below is clean."

While just under 2,000 urine samples were collected in 2012, less than 200 blood tests were conducted.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 7:35 AM EDT, Mon June 30, 2014
When Agnieszka Radwanska refused to look her opponent in the eye after losing at Wimbledon, it raised more than eyebrows.
updated 9:14 PM EDT, Sun June 22, 2014
It's 10 years since a teenage Maria Sharapova became the darling of Wimbledon's hallowed Center Court, launching herself as a star.
Rafael Nadal is still the "King of Clay" -- but his crown has slipped a bit, says CNN's Will Edmonds.
updated 3:46 AM EDT, Fri May 23, 2014
He's regularly voted France's favorite famous person, but many of the nation's youth have "no idea" about his glorious sporting past
updated 7:59 PM EDT, Mon May 5, 2014
British tennis player Elena Baltacha won 11 ITF Pro Circuit titles during her 16-year playing career.
The Ukrainian-born, British tennis star loses fight against liver cancer, just a few weeks after revealing that she was battling the disease.
updated 11:55 AM EDT, Tue April 29, 2014
Five-time grand slam champion Martina Hingis has followed her mom into a coaching role, setting up a new tennis academy in Barcelona, Spain.
updated 8:38 AM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
Suisse's Belinda Bencic returns the ball to France's Alize Cornet during the second match of the Fed Cup first round tennis tie France vs Switzerland on February 8, 2014 at the Pierre de Coubertin stadium in Paris. AFP PHOTO / KENZO TRIBOUILLARD (Photo credit should read KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images)
It's no easy matter becoming a world class tennis player. It's even harder when everyone (really -- everyone) is calling you the "new Martina Hingis."
updated 10:20 AM EDT, Wed April 2, 2014
At the 2009 Australian Open, French men's tennis was the talk of the town.
updated 2:00 PM EDT, Tue April 15, 2014
MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - APRIL 14: Rafael Nadal of Spain sails a boat during day two of the ATP Monte Carlo Rolex Masters Tennis at Monte-Carlo Sporting Club on April 14, 2014 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Rafael Nadal may be most at home on a clay tennis court, but he has always found comfort on the sea.
updated 7:07 AM EDT, Fri March 21, 2014
Tennis star Venus Williams reveals how she is beating the autoimmune disease that derailed her career.
updated 5:14 AM EST, Wed March 5, 2014
After two decades dedicated to the game, Amelie Mauresmo wants a second life -- one away from tennis.
Rafael Nadal of Spain wipes his face after losing his men's final match against Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland during day 14 of the 2014 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 26, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia.
Almost five years to the day after reducing Roger Federer to tears at the Australian Open, Rafael Nadal shed a few in his own loser's speech.
ADVERTISEMENT