Serena Williams is reportedly being singled out. While drug testing is a standard part of the tennis pro’s life, it’s become too regular for the star.
A source familiar with a recent testing situation disclosed to Deadspin that a U.S. Anti-Doping Agency officer showed up to Williams’ Florida home June 14 at 8:30 a.m. unannounced. An assistant let the 23-time Grand Slam winner into the residence and informed the official Williams was not home. The agent apparently refused to leave until the mother of one got tested.
After a standoff, Williams still didn’t get tested. She made a call to Women’s Tennis Association CEO Steve Simon about the test and what she described as unfair targeting. Simon told USADA CEO Travis Tygart to get in touch with Williams, acknowledging to the sports news blog he got a text from her and “called her back and left a message.”
“She shared with me some concerns and questions she had about an out-of-competition drug test,” he said.
The USADA database reveals Williams has been tested a total of five times in 2018. As a result, the athlete has been tested more than other top American women’s tennis players, including Madison Keys and Sloane Stephens, who were tested once, and sister Venus Williams was tested twice. The top 5 male players in tennis were also tested less than Williams.
A spokesperson for Williams deemed 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. She has vocally supported, respected and complied with USADA testing throughout her entire career. While she willingly continues to submit to testing, there is absolutely no reason for this kind of invasive and targeted treatment.”
This isn’t the first time Williams has made headlines for her excessive dope testing either. In May she tweeted about her exhaustion with the practice, which USADA communications director Brad Horn said Wiliams had passed every time she’s taken one this year.
“And…… just like that anti-doping is here ….again… second time this week,” she tweeted at the time. “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.”
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