The world of sports is becoming increasingly tarnished by athletes who take performance-enhancing drugs to improve performance. As a result, drug testing and doping control agencies have emerged to test athletes and ensure that a level playing field is maintained. There are three main organizations that impact the tennis community and provide information on how drug testing is conducted in addition to offering educational materials for athletes, parents and coaches. Information on each of these organizations is provided below.
Before going on, it is important to note that YOU (THE ATHLETE) ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR EVERYTHING YOU PUT INTO YOUR BODY - EVEN SUPPLEMENTS THAT CLAIM TO BE SAFE. A recent study by the International Olympic Committee has shown that as many as 15% of supplements contain ingredients that are not included on the label but would lead to a positive drug test if used. In the United States, the percentage of "tainted" supplements increased to 18% of those tested.
Educate yourself about what supplements and medications are considered "performance enhancing" so you can take the necessary steps to make sure you are clean. Even if you do not think you are taking performance-enhancing products or supplements, double check - some over the counter medications contain banned substances. IF YOU TEST POSITIVE FOR A BANNED SUBSTANCE IT IS NOT ACCEPTABLE TO PLEAD IGNORANCE AND SAY YOU DID NOT KNOW THE MEDICINE OR SUPPLEMENT CONTAINED A BANNED SUBSTANCE. IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY! SO TAKE CHARGE OF THIS ASPECT OF YOUR GAME.
Use the links below to learn more about performance enhancing substances and drug testing in tennis.
United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA)
USADA is the independent anti-doping agency for Olympic related sport in the United States and strives to uphold the Olympic ideal of fair play, and to represent the interests of Olympic, Pan American Games, and Paralympic athletes.
Tennis Anti-Doping Program
The Tennis Anti-Doping Program is a comprehensive and internationally recognized drug-testing strategy that applies to all players competing at tournaments sanctioned by the ITF, ATP, and WTA Tour.
World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is an international organization that was established in 1999 via to support and promote fundamental values in sport and foster a doping free culture in sport.
Recent Information and Resources
Every day we see a new story in the news about another athlete who tested positive for performance enhancing drugs. The use of performance enhancing substances, unfortunately, is a part of today's athletic culture and organizations like the World Anti-Doping Agency and the US Anti-Doping Agency are doing everything they can to make sure a level playing field is maintained.