Novak Djokovic was left fuming after he was approached by the WADA officials just minutes before his Davis Cup match against Cameron Norrie of Great Britain.
World No. 1, Novak Djokovic was up against Great Britain’s Cameron Norrie to book his team a semi-final birth in the Davis Cup 2023. However, the antics overshadowed the exciting contest before and during the match.
Serbia were already up a set on Great Britain, thanks to an amazing performance by Miomir Kecmanovic who defeated Jack Draper in a hard-fought battle but ousting him in straight sets 7-6, 7-6. The responsibility then lay on the reliable shoulders of Novak Djokovic to win the second match and push the team into the semis.
However, he would face a hurdle right before getting ready to take the court. Officials from WADA approached the Serbian superstar for a doping test merely 90 minutes before his match.
Novak appeared angry and disturbed over this request by the officials as it interrupted his pre-game rituals. He voiced that it was an unusual time to conduct a doping test for a player.
Novak Djokovic's pre-match doping test controversy sparks debate. 🎾🔥— Trending Dash (@trendingdash) November 29, 2023
Djokovic was reportedly approached by WADA officials just 90 minutes before his Davis Cup match against Cameron Norrie. The tennis star criticized the timing of the test, leading to calls for his suspension. pic.twitter.com/dXbPuh9zWY
But, the organizing committee of the competition, the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) justified the action by saying that it was a standard protocol followed by all teams in the competition.
The actual controversy came after the match win by Serbia. British press media and some other media outlets reported that Novak refused to take the doping test before the match. These reports caused turmoil and raised suspicions of foul play against the Serbian team and Djokovic.
However, later it was revealed that no such thing had happened and Novak had not refused to undergo the doping test.
“To have my urine and blood taken…”, Novak Djokovic weighs in on the doping incident before the match
Novak Djokovic defeated Cameron Norrie in the second match of Serbia versus Great Britain, but the comfortable win wasn’t enough to calm down the Serbian’s rage for being tested right before his match.
In the post-match interview, he talked about the situation and gave insights on what transpired between him and the officials.
Novak lashed out at the officials for ‘disturbing’ him and not allowing him to concentrate on his pre-match rituals for his upcoming game. He said that such kind of an incident was the first one of his career and hadn’t happened before.
“It’s the first time it’s happened to me. It doesn’t make sense to do it when I’ll be there after the match. They gave me an hour and a half’s notice. I have my pre-match routines and I don’t have to think at that point about donating blood or urine,” said the Serbian.
“I argued with him because that hasn’t happened to me in my 20-year career. He sat in a corner and followed me for hours. It was outrageous. I’ve always defended controls, but not before matches. There’s nothing to hide, but there have to be certain limits.”