Serena Williams believes she is being unfairly singled out by theU.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), who she says is making extra, unnecessary visits to her home for drug testing.
Ahead of her highly anticipated return to Wimbledon after the birth of her daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. and wedding, Williams is calling out what she feels is increased scrutiny on Twitter.
“And…… just like that anti doping is here ….again… second time this week. proud to participate to keep the sport clean. Even if they do test me at my current ranking of 454 in the world. Two times every week #BeingSerena,” Williams tweeted.
And…… just like that anti doping is here ….again… second time this week. proud to participate to keep the sport clean. Even if they do test me at my current ranking of 454 in the world. Two times every week #BeingSerena
— Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) May 21, 2018
While the doping agency reportedly makes scheduled visits for blood and or urine tests for athletes, it’s the unannounced visits that has the world champion questioning the legitimacy of the frequent visits, especially in light of a Deadspin report that claimed the tennis star was in fact being targeted.
The news site received a tip and published a story alleging that Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) CEO, Steve Simon was overhead on a cell phone call in the airport saying that Williams would have to take a surprise test “that was not expected and the team was trying to make issues about it violating protocol. Something to the effect they came through a gate on property (that some assistant was not supposed to open) and once allowed in, would not leave until the test was completed.”
Although testers reportedly have the right to also make unannounced visits outside the one-hour window the athlete is supposed to let them know where they are, it’s not guaranteed that the athlete will actually be where they said they would.
Deadspin reported the testing officer came to Williams’ home at 8.30 a.m. local time, and refused to leave until the superstar athlete was tested.
A spokeswoman for Williams called the testing “invasive and targeted.”
“Over her 23-year career in tennis, Serena Williams has never tested positive for any illegal substance despite being tested significantly more than other professional tennis players, both male and female—in fact, four times more frequently than her peers…
“While she willingly continues to submit to testing, there is absolutely no reason for this kind of invasive and targeted treatment.”
Williams complained to USADA and the WTA about the frequency of the tests.