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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 October 2005, 10:21 GMT 11:21 UK
Tennis drug testing to be unified
ITF president Francesco Ricci-Bitti
Ricci-Bitti is stepping up the fight against drug cheats in tennis
The International Tennis Federation is to take control of the anti-doping programme in men's tennis.

The ITF - which manages drug testing at Grand Slam events and the Davis and Fed Cups - will enforce the anti-doping programme at ATP events from next year.

The Women's Tennis Association is also being encouraged into the fold.

"This is in the best interests of tennis and we hope the WTA will join us," ITF president Francesco Ricci-Bitti said.

Tennis' anti-doping programme is fully compliant with the World Anti-Doping Agency's code and Ricci-Bitti is on the WADA board.

The agreement between the ITF and the ATP extends to 2010 and will include at least 600 tests a year at ATP events in addition the 500 tests on male players under ITF jurisdiction.

ATP chairman Etienne de Villiers added: "This is a positive and logical step - it is a model of cooperation."




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