All General Discussion concerning WTA and ATP
Johanna Konta blasts 'violating' anti-doping requirements amidst Serena Williams' 'targeted treatment'
Johanna Konta - Johanna Konta recorded a missed test earlier this year
Johanna Konta recorded a missed test earlier this year
30 JUNE 2018 • 9:20PM
The British No 1 Johanna Konta followed Serena Williams’ lead as she expressed her dislike of the anti-doping requirements in elite tennis.
After Williams was recently revealed to have complained to USADA about “invasive and targeted treatment,” Konta said that she felt “hard done by” after a mix-up with UK Anti-doping left her with a missed test on her record.
“It's important to have integrity in this sport,” Konta told reporters at Wimbledon, “but I do feel there's definitely room for improvement in the way athletes are sometimes treated.
“It's quite a violating process: People come to your home. You're in your pyjamas. You get woken out of bed, told to take down your pants, give your arm, pee in a cup. It's an invasive process. It's something that comes with the territory, but I don't think it's something I will miss when I retire.”
Konta’s missed test occurred in March, when she flew to Indian Wells – the prestigious hard-court tournament in California – on the Sunday before the event, but only updated her “whereabouts” for the following day once she had landed at 10pm.
Because of the eight-hour time difference with the UK, this proved too late. Her previous “whereabouts” had been listed as her London home at 6am on Monday. As it happened, the tester was already on his way to her house, so she was logged with a missed test.
Three missed tests equates to a doping violation, although the Frenchwoman Alize Cornet – who could play Konta in the second round of Wimbledon on Thursday – was able to avoid punishment after her own three strikes by citing a broken buzzer in her apartment block.
“It was a bit of a tough one for me to swallow because it was a little bit out of my control,” said Konta. “When that happened, I was super stressed. I definitely felt hard done by because I've always tried so hard to be really vigilant with it. It felt like I got called out on a technicality more than anything.
“After those initial few days of being stressed about it, thinking ‘Oh no, I'm down to two,’ I just kind of took responsibility for it. But since then, I've just been trying to be extra vigilant on changing it [her whereabouts] even more in advance to try and avoid those sorts of mistakes. I will wait for that year to roll around, then I've got three [strikes].”
Williams was expected to talk about her own recent non-test on Saturday, but then she delayed her Wimbledon media commitments until Sunday after reportedly being invited to watch polo with Prince Harry and the Duchess of Sussex.
Williams was not at home when a representative of USADA came to her house at 8.30am on June 14, but it did not count as a missed test because the visit occurred outside the 60-minute “whereabouts” window that she had entered on her online form.
It later emerged that USADA have tested Williams five times in 2018, while many other American tennis players have been tested once or not at all.
Notwithstanding that her whereabouts were not updated, did the tester not consider that Konta would be en route to Indian Wells.
Score a fail to the tester and remove the blemish from Konta's record.
go firmly to the window
and listen with deep emotion,
but not with the whining, the pleas of the coward;
listen-your final pleasure-to the voices,
to the exquisite music of that strange procession