Djokovic calls for more support from governing bodies over doping


Novak Djokovic says more support is needed from tennis' governing bodies to ensure players are not flouting doping rules.

The sport has been rocked in recent days after former women's number one Maria Sharapova announced that she had failed a drugs test at this year's Australian Open.

The Russian tested positive for meldonium, which was only added to the World Anti-Doping Agency's banned list in January, and claimed it was an oversight as she had been taking the medication for 10 years due to health reasons.

Men's number one Djokovic admits that he relies heavily on his backroom team to notify him of doping changes and feels more should be done to make players aware of alterations to rules.

"I have to be frank that I don't read them all, but I have a team of people working with me and I have 100 per cent faith and if there is any significant changes that I need to be aware of, then I am made aware of it," Djokovic said.

"It's hard to judge and blame anybody here. I know this substance has been banned recently. It can happen to many people if it's only a case of negligence, of Maria and her team not paying attention to the change. 

"Communication from the side of the governing bodies should be a bit better. We live very busy lives, there is a lot happening, the least we can do is have the double confirmation of the change from the ATP side."

Djokovic went on to praise Sharapova's handling of the failed drugs test, but says that the five-time grand slam winner must be punished.

"I thought she was very courageous. It was very human and brave of her to take responsibility, to go out and say what happened. She has approached this very maturely and I really admire that," he added.

"On the other hand, as someone who has been involved in tennis for so many years and has always believed in clean and fair sport, if there was a mistake and she was found to be positive of doping of a certain substance, there should be consequences for that."