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Federer calls for more blood testing in tennis

ESPN staff
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Roger Federer approached testers at the Australian Open to ask why he had not been called to submit a blood sample © AP
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Roger Federer has added his voice to calls for tennis to step up its anti-doping programme to prove that the sport is as clean he believes it to be.

The 17-time grand slam champion believes blood tests and the biological passports adopted by cycling would help catch and deter those intent on using performance enhancing drugs.

Federer, who approached testers to ask why he had not been blood-tested at the Australian Open, joins world No. 1 Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray in support of more frequent testing, and voiced his concern that he was called on to provide blood samples less often than earlier in his career.

The International Tennis Federation carried out 131 blood tests in 2011, the latest available figures, as well as 2,019 urine tests.

"We should do more in terms of blood testing," the world No 2 said at the Rotterdam World Tennis tournament.

"It's important to make sure that tennis is credible and clean to a maximum. We don't want players even getting the idea to cheat.

"But there also will be more funding needed to make all the tests possible. The grand slam tournaments should help to finance that as it is in their best interest to keep the sport clean and credible."

Federer believes the sport does not have a doping problem, but in the wake of the Lance Armstrong scandal and with the trial of Eufemiano Fuentes in, Spain tennis has a duty to ensure it is a clean sport.

"A blood passport will be necessary as some substances can't be discovered right now," the 31-year-old added. "But there also should be more blood tests and out-of-competition controls in tennis.

"I didn't get tested on blood after the Australian Open and I told the responsible people over there that it was a big surprise for me.

"I feel tennis is very clean, there's maybe one case a year and they are not all done on purpose.

"Some are just mistakes, but stupidity can get you into trouble also."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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