Williams: New measures too strong

Updated: February 12, 2009, 2:50 PM ET
Associated Press

PARIS -- Serena Williams joined the chorus of top tennis players who believe new anti-doping measures on athletes are too strong.

The top-ranked American said the rules implemented by the International Tennis Federation and World Anti-Doping Agency were "over the top."

"I think it's too much," the Australian Open champion said after beating Karolina Sprem 6-1, 6-2 on Thursday in the second round at the Open GDF Suez in Paris. "It's very invasive. ... Basically, they show up at your house on any day."

Under the latest WADA code, athletes must specify one hour each day when and where they can be located for testing. Athletes must also tell anti-doping authorities where they will be over the next three months, but they can update this by e-mail or phone message at short notice if it changes.

Top-ranked Rafael Nadal has been one of the most outspoken critics, insisting that forcing top athletes to be available one hour a day for testing amounted to intolerable harassment. In Belgium, 65 athletes even filed a court challenge.

At the ABN Amro tournament in Rotterdam, Netherlands, this week, Nadal said players feel like "criminals" because of the new measures, which were ratified last year by the ITF Board of Directors.

Fourth-ranked Andy Murray has also spoken out against the rule, but No. 2-ranked Roger Federer said he was fine with it when he was at the Australian Open. The 13-time Grand Slam champion admitted it was a tough system but added, "I know it's a pain, but I would like it to be a clean sport, and that's why I'm OK with it."

Williams also said the new measures were going to be tough to follow.

"I jump from city to city all the time. First of all, I never tell people where I am because I like to do my own thing," Williams said.

"It's definitely the purest sport, that's the only upside to it," Williams added. "We won't have problems in tennis that we have in other sports."


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press