Belgrade – Serb Viktor Troicki said he is hopeful that justice will somehow be served when he appears before the Court for the Arbitration of Sport on October 9 in Switzerland to protest his innocence in a controversial anti-doping incident last spring.
“I am really relieved that we finally have a date and that it is already next week,” the Davis Cup player said in a statement released by his management. “It's been a very long waiting period, in which I tried to stay focused and continued training.”
In August, Troicki was handed an 18-month ban from a tennis anti-doping tribunal for failing to submit to a post-match blood test in good time last spring in Monte Carlo, He said he was feeling poorly and asked to take the test a day later, with confusion over whether medical officials on site actually agreed to that request.
As a result of the sanction, his career is in tatters and his confidence drained. “We are really tired of waiting in the tunnel. Practising without any goal wears you out, especially when you see your ATP points falling off and your ranking dropping each week. I can't describe it, it eats you up.”
Troicki received support during his country's recent Davis Cup semi-final win in Belgrade over Canada, with his name being shouted by the crowd at the urging of good friend Novak Djokovic.
Due to his status, Troicki himself was banned from entering the stadium. “When Janko (Tipsarevic) dedicated the tie to me and Novak took the microphone and got the stadium to shout “Viktore” I had a breakdown and started crying like never before in my life.”
World No 1 Djokovic was reported to be the first to sign a petition seeking changes and some flexibility in the draconian anti-doping regulations to which players submit every day of the calendar year.
“The players demand that the Tournament Supervisor or the ATP Tour Manager must be called to the doping control station if there are problems. No one should leave the room without providing samples if one of them has not been called. The players are worried: what happened to me could have happened to anyone of them
“I am fighting for the truth and I will do it as hard as I can. I feel confident,” said Troicki. “Reading all the papers of the previous trial in London I can't understand why I have been sanctioned, especially this hard.” – Sapa-dpa