Is the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency Overtesting the 183rd Best Tennis Player in the World? Serena Williams Thinks So

Illustration for article titled Is the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency Overtesting the 183rd Best Tennis Player in the World? Serena Williams Thinks So
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While all the sports news is about LeBron James going to Los Angeles to play roundball in the shadow of Magic Johnson ....


(Old Kanye interrupts) “Imma let you finish but Serena Williams is the best athlete in the world!”

I know that’s hard to swallow for some of y’all, and it’s apparently hard to swallow for the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), which seems to keep popping up over at the Williams residence to test her more often than any other player, even though she’s currently ranked 183rd in the world.

Here’s how our sister site Deadspin, who broke the news on Williams’ testing, reported the differences between Williams testing regime and other top players.

According to a USADA database, Williams has been tested five times so far in 2018. This total—which doesn’t include the June 14 test mission, which did not come to fruition—is more than twice that of other top American women’s tennis players. According to the USADA database, Sloane Stephens was tested once; Venus Williams was tested twice; Madison Keys was tested once; Coco Vandeweghe was tested twice; Danielle Collins was tested zero times; Alison Riske was tested zero times; Bernarda Pera was tested zero times; and Taylor Townsend was tested zero times. Williams was also tested more than any of the top five American male players.

During a Wimbledon tournament press conference Sunday to discuss her upcoming match against the Netherlands’ Arantxa Rus, Williams was asked about the Deadspin article and how she appears to be a target for drug testing.

“I never knew that I was tested so much more than everyone else,” the seven-time Wimbledon champion said, HuffPost reports. “Until I read that article, I didn’t realize it was such a discrepancy with me as well as against the other players that they listed, at least the American players—both male and female.”


She added: “It would be impossible for me to not feel some kind of way about that. I just found it quite interesting.”

But Williams did note her annoyance with the USADA back in May when she was ranked 454th in the world.


On Sunday, Williams noted that she is fine with being tested as long as everyone is being tested the same amount of times that she is.


“How is it I’m getting tested five times? I’m OK with that. Literally verbatim I said: ‘I’m going with that, as long as everyone is being treated equally. That’s all I care about,’” she added.

Williams spokesperson was a little more candid than the seven-time Wimbledon champ who told Deadspin that the testing was “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,” the statement reads, HuffPost reports.

USADA spokesperson Brad Horn told Deadspin that they “may target test athletes as USADA deems appropriate,” and added, “We test only in accordance with international standards and would never conduct testing in an unfair way. We are always available to discuss this with athletes, if they have concerns.”


Wiliams noted that all she wants, and has been preaching for 23 years in the business is equality.

“Tennis has given me so much. It’s such an amazing sport. I feel like equality, that’s all I’ve been preaching, it’s all about equality,” Williams continued, Huff Post reports. “If that’s testing everyone five times, let’s do it. Let’s be a part of it. It’s just about being equal and not centering one person out. Just due to the numbers, it looks like I’m being pushed out. Just test everyone equally.”

Senior Editor @ The Root, boxes outside my weight class, when they go low, you go lower.


Rooo sez BISH PLZ

Sigh. They mad because she has a chance to be the first working mom back at the #1 ranking in the WTA and might actually do it even though they still have no childcare facilities at Wimbledon for the women even as Vika Azarenka two years ago had to borrow Mike Bryan’s keys to the ATP childcare room, which they’ve had for the men for years.

No racism in the sport either, though – even though a black umpire working for the USTA for over a decade just got the go-ahead from the EEOC to sue them for harassment and discrimination throughout his career with them, and Françoise Abanda, as I was just discussing with another reader, is literally being heckled by white Canadians because she has less media attention and less endorsements than Eugenie Bouchard, even though Françoise is the Canadian Ladies #1 now.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, the problem is CHARGES of racism in the sport, as opposed to the ACTUAL RACISM in the sport. IF you were wondering.

Clearly, as in so many other places, so much depends as to whether or not there’s “actual racism” on who it is that’s doing the evaluating – someone (or a group of someones) who have NEVER experienced racism, or someone who has had multiple experiences with its various iterations and can recognize it at multiples of 300 paces blindfolded.

Somehow the adjudicators of “whether or not there was racism” are always in that former group.