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Serena cries discrimination after fifth doping test of year

 

By David Clough

Serena Williams has again hit out at the frequency with which she is selected for anti-doping tests.

This year's Wimbledon runner-up took to Twitter on Tuesday night after she received another visit from a tester, the latest in a string of doping tests undertaken by the former World No.1.

Williams wrote: "And it's that time of the day to get 'randomly' drug tested and only test Serena. Out of all the players it's been proven I'm the one getting tested the most.

"Discrimination? I think so. At least I'll be keeping the sport clean."

In a second message, the 36-year-old added: "But I'm ready to do whatever it takes to have a clean sport so bring it on. I'm excited."

Figures from the United States Anti-Doping Agency show Williams has been tested more than any other tennis player so far in 2018.

An article published by website Deadspin in June revealed that Williams had been tested out of competition by Usada on five occasions in 2018.

It also claimed the player was not present when Usada officials visited her home on 14 June - Williams later stated that the tester showed up 12 hours earlier than the time they had earlier agreed.

It was eventually marked as a "missed test" - three of those would result in a Usada doping violation.

At the time of publication of the Deadspin article, Williams had been tested more than twice as many times as other top American players - male or female - including US Open champion Sloane Stephens (one) and sister and multiple Grand Slam winner Venus Williams (two).

Williams addressed the issue at a press conference ahead of Wimbledon after it was revealed the American was unhappy when a tester refused to leave her house having turned up for a random test outside of the 23-time Grand Slam champion's allotted hour.

She said: "How is it I'm getting tested five times in June? It's only June, I've been tested five times.

"Tennis has given me so much. It's such an amazing sport. I feel like equality, that's all I've been preaching.

"If that's testing everyone five times, let's do it. It's just about being equal and not centring one person out. Just due to the numbers, it looks like I'm being pushed out."

Williams will play in the Rogers Cup - having received a wild card - next month at Montreal after she competes in next week's new Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic in San Jose, California.

The Rogers Cup is a tuneup for the US Open. Williams last played it in 2014, when she reached the semi-finals. She won the event three times when it was played in Toronto.

Williams has played in four tournaments in 2018 after giving birth last year. Her ranking jumped from No. 181 to No. 28 after her run at Wimbledon.

Following her loss in the Wimbledon final to Angelique Kerber, Williams said she had proven to herself that she could still compete to win Grand Slams. Her next Grand Slam title would tie her with Margaret Court for the most with 24.

She already has the most major trophies in the professional era.

Belfast Telegraph

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