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 7:08 AM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
Rafael Nadal of Spain watches the ball in his match against Martin Klizan of Slovakia during during day seven of the China Open at the National Tennis Center on October 3, 2014 in Beijing, China.
Rafael Nadal's body might be giving him a few problems, but his mind remains as strong as ever. Will the Spaniard add to his haul of 14 grand slam titles?
updated 8:42 AM EST, Mon November 24, 2014
A year that began in uncertainty for Roger Federer ended with a historic title for the 17-time grand slam champion and his country.
updated 12:16 PM EST, Thu November 27, 2014
The Scot has served up a few changes to his support team in 2014 but there's one person who isn't going anywhere -- his new fiancée Kim Sears.
updated 8:48 AM EDT, Thu September 11, 2014
French Tennis player Rene Lacoste, one of France's 'Four Musketeers' who won the Davis Cup in 1932, at Wimbledon. He is wearing his embroidered crocodile motif. Original Publication: People Disc - HH0434 (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)
His distinctive crocodile logo is seen on clothing all over the world, but Rene Lacoste also left a lasting legacy in the development of tennis.
updated 2:36 AM EDT, Tue September 9, 2014
Marin Cilic follows in the footsteps of his coach Goran Ivanicevic by claiming a grand slam crown for Croatia, winning the U.S. Open.
updated 9:34 AM EDT, Sun September 14, 2014
Serena Williams of the US holds the US Open trophy after defeating Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark during their US Open 2014 women's singles finals match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Center September 7, 2014 in New York. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)
Serena Williams is without peer in the modern women's game and now she is on a par with two American tennis legends from the past.
updated 9:21 AM EDT, Tue September 2, 2014
American tennis player and golfer Althea Gibson (right) receives a kiss from compatriot Darlene Hard, whom she beat in two sets to become the first black woman to win the Women's Singles Finals at Wimbledon.
Over the course of her remarkable life, Althea Gibson was many things to many people -- but it was tennis where she really left her mark.
updated 7:45 AM EDT, Wed August 27, 2014
Canada and tennis? Really? Yup. The North American tennis power balance is swinging away from the States.
updated 8:52 AM EDT, Thu August 21, 2014
As a player he was as fiery as his hair -- and as Novak Djokovic's coach, Boris Becker says he has to battle to keep his emotions in check.
updated 7:02 AM EDT, Wed August 20, 2014
Tennis great Boris Becker says he was stunned by the level of criticism he received after being appointed as Novak Djokovic's coach.
updated 7:01 AM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
"I didn't cry once when I practiced in front of the mirror," says Martin Emmrich. But the nerves kicked in when he got down on one knee on court.
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.
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 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.
ADVERTISEMENT