Federer: Drug tester ‘lives in my village’

Roger Federer believes tennis does not face a major doping problem but voiced concern Thursday that drug testing protocols are not being taken seriously enough in certain parts of the world.

Federer: Drug tester 'lives in my village'
Roger Federer at the 2016 Miami Open. Photo: Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images North America/AFP

The record 17-time Grand Slam singles champion spoke out at the ATP and WTA Miami Open, where he is set to end an eight-week knee injury layoff on Friday.

Third-ranked Federer believes there should be more consistency in the hunt for banned substance users, saying he gets tested more in his homeland than anywhere else.

“I've been in Dubai for 10 years now and been tested once. That's not OK for me,” the 34-year-old Swiss said.

“I get tested more in Switzerland because the guy from Switzerland lives in my village. He comes to see me the day after my surgery.

“In certain countries, maybe the testing is not as serious as in Switzerland. I would like to see that across the board to be the same way and fair.

“But I think tennis is doing more and more. I really don't think there is a

major problem.

“Tennis is doing a lot better than it has in the past. We're getting more

professional. The program is getting bigger and stronger.”

Federer said he was shocked to learn that Russian star Maria Sharapova, a four-time Grand Slam singles champion, tested positive at the Australian Open for meldonium, which was added to the World Anti-Doping Agency's ban list on January 1.

“It was very disappointing news to say the least,” Federer said.

“Clearly I was very surprised. I thought she was going to announce retirement or something. But it also shows the famous players can get caught in the system that seems to be working.”

Sharapova said she did not check updated lists to see what changes were made to the banned list for 2016.

“I know what I take,” Federer said. “You have got to be sure. That's why I quadruple check what I take. I don't want to take any chances whatsoever.”

Federer said he tends to give fellow players the benefit of the doubt, but

is skeptical when those who test positive plead ignorance or accident.

“I'm naive maybe in the fact that I believe athletes,” Federer said.

“Clearly when they get caught, you turn. You are like, 'I can't believe they tried to do that, forgot about it,' whatever.”

Federer said he would like to see more stringent methods, including keeping blood samples on players from every event for 10 years so updated testing methods can be used to detect violations many years later.

“You could be punished retroactively,” said Federer. “I'm a big believer in that.”

Controversial comments by top-ranked Novak Djokovic and now-resigned Indian Wells tournament director Raymond Moore regarding women's tennis and equal pay with the men were not echoed by Federer.

“I'm all for equal prize money. When I was fighting for prize money increases, especially at the Slam level, I was always very aware of the fact it would impact the women's game,” he said.

“I'm happy tennis has produced some of the greatest female athletes in the world.”


Federer pockets 100th win at Wimbledon

Roger Federer racked up his 100th match win at Wimbledon on Wednesday as he reached his 13th semifinal at the All England Club and a duel with old rival Rafael Nadal.

Federer pockets 100th win at Wimbledon
Photo: Adrian Dennis/AFP
Eight-time champion Federer recovered from losing the opening set to defeat Japan's Kei Nishikori 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 to book his place in the semifinals of a Grand Slam for the 45th time.
The 37-year-old is also the oldest man to make the last-four of a major since Jimmy Connors at the 1991 US Open.
Federer will now face Nadal at Wimbledon for the first time since their epic 2008 final.
“We have a lot of information on Rafa and so does he about us. I know people always hype it up in a big way,” said Federer.
“They did that again in Paris this year (when Nadal won their semifinal in straight sets). I'd love to play against him here at Wimbledon. 
“But I go about it like every other match.”
Federer and Nadal have met 39 times in their careers but just three times at Wimbledon.
The Swiss star won their first two encounters in the 2006 and 2007 finals before Nadal famously triumphed in 2008 in a five-set epic which is widely regarded as the greatest Slam final ever played.
Federer said he was unaware that he had become the first player ever to win 100 matches at the same Slam.
“A fan told me congratulations on your hundredth win and I thought, oh yes, you're right!”