Novak Djokovic spoke out with passion and emphatic support of countryman and team-mate Viktor Troicki having his ban for missing a drugs test reduced from 18 months to 12.
It was inevitable that some of Djokovic’s press conference after his victory over Roger Federer was taken up with his reaction to the news that Troicki’s ban was now reduced to 12 months. But the World No. 2 delivered an emphatic statement regarding the decision.
Troicki initially received an 18 month suspension for failing to supply a sample when asked, instead asking if he could submit to the test a day later, as he was feeling unwell. His defence centred around the fact that the doping control offer had informed him he would not face any punishment if he submitted the test a day later.
CAS stated on Tuesday that: “The DCO should have informed the player in clearer terms of the risks caused by his refusal to undergo a blood test.”
Djokovic maintained, however, that the system does not work - and whilst acknowledging that as professional sportspeople, they have to adhere to the testing rules, that more should have been done to help Troicki understand the repercussions of not submitting the test.
“I don’t have trust in them anymore. I don’t know if tomorrow the representatives, because of their unprofessionalism, because of their negligence, because of their [in]ability to explain the rules in a proper way, I don’t know if they’re going to misplace the test that I have or anything worse than that.”
He went on to state that the ATP should have done more to help Troicki.
“ATP, who [are] supposed to be an association of players of tennis professionals, who [are] supposed to be the governing body, the association that stands behind the players, are not going to anything for Viktor.”
Djokovic did acknowledge that he has a long history of association with Troicki, but felt compelled to make a formal statement as to what he felt was a grave injustice.
Troicki himself tweeted that he felt it was the end of his dreams to be a top player, and given the support the Serbian has received from his high profile team-mate, perhaps Djokovic will be the one to help rebuild his confidence when he can return to the tour, in July 2014.