Tennis serves up new measures in the fight against doping
March 7, 2013 -- Updated 1809 GMT (0209 HKT)
- The International Tennis Federation to introduce biological passport scheme
- Anti-doping measure is similar to method introduced by cycling authorities
- Measures in response to pressure from top players to do more to tackle problem
- Roger Federer told CNN it was "naive" to think tennis was free from drug cheats
(CNN) -- When giants of the modern game, like world No. 1 Novak Djokovic or 17-time grand slam champion Roger Federer, talk the tennis authorities usually listen.
And in the fight against doping in the sport, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) certainly have after it was confirmed they are to introduce biological passports to tackle drug cheats.
The announcement on Thursday by the ITF came with the full support of the men's ATP and women's WTA Tours, as well as the grand slam tournaments themselves.
Each player will have an individual electronic biological profile and be tested more regularly to monitor their levels and alert the authorities to drug use.
Read: U.S. grand slam drought: Is NFL killing American tennis?
The ITF also confirmed an increase in funding, vowed more blood tests each season and more out of competition testing.
The drought in U.S. men's tennis
Tennis stars take on the quick fire quiz
Sloane Stephens hoping for patience
How Novak Djokovic stays on top
Last week Federer told CNN it was "naive" to think tennis is free of players who use drugs to enhance their performance and called on the sport's governing bodies to pour more funding into the fight against it.
He said: "I think our sport needs to do the utmost to try to make sure the integrity stays and that the fans don't tune into different sports just because they don't trust the players anymore.
"I've always been fighting to make sure we have enough testing."
The Swiss veteran is sure to be pleased by the ITF's confirmation of a biological passport scheme, similar to the one used by cycling authorities to weed out doping cheats.
Sport has been rocked by several high-profile doping scandals in recent months with Lance Armstrong stripped of his seven Tour de France titles after admitting using banned substances.
Soccer's world governing body FIFA recently announced they would introduce biological profiles and test players more regularly in a bid to stamp out cheating.
Australian sport was also stunned by a government report which alleged many athletes were using illegal substances supplied by organized criminal groups.
On Thursday the National Rugby League became embroiled in scandal after Sydney-based club the Cronulla Sharks said they were assisting the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority after reports that up to 14 of their players could be using banned drugs.
"The implementation of the athlete biological passport is an important step in the evolution of the tennis anti-doping program as it provides us with a great tool in the fight against doping in our sport," said ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti.
"We also hope to have increased support from the National Anti-Doping Agencies around the world who need to do their part if we are to win this battle and make our programme more effective.
"Our thanks to the Grand Slam tournaments, the ATP and WTA who have recognised the need to increase the investment of tennis in anti-doping and to the players who asked for more testing, especially blood testing, over the next few years."
The ITF's stance was backed by Stacey Allaster, the chief executive of the WTA Tour and her male counterpart from the ATP Tour Brad Drewett.
Drewett added: "The players have been clear that they support increased investment in anti-doping and we feel that this is the most effective way to show the world that tennis is a clean sport."
Part of complete coverage on
June 20, 2013 -- Updated 0954 GMT (1754 HKT)
When Andy Murray dedicated a tournament win to a friend, it revealed an unexpected personal side to one of the more guarded men in sport.
June 19, 2013 -- Updated 1844 GMT (0244 HKT)
Open Court sifts through the archive to bring you some of its favorite interviews from the past 3 years.
June 19, 2013 -- Updated 1835 GMT (0235 HKT)
Open Court's Pat Cash takes viewers for a behind the scenes tour of Wimbledon.
June 19, 2013 -- Updated 1839 GMT (0239 HKT)
Goran Ivanisevic, 2001 Wimbledon champion, is back in Croatia. CNN's Pedro Pinto reports.
June 7, 2013 -- Updated 2101 GMT (0501 HKT)
For some of the biggest names in tennis, the French Open's red clay courts mean only heartbreak and shattered dreams.
June 6, 2013 -- Updated 1105 GMT (1905 HKT)
She drank alcohol on court, smoked "furiously" and horrified the establishment with her daring outfits and "unladylike" playing style.
May 28, 2013 -- Updated 1445 GMT (2245 HKT)
CNN's Open Court talks to the past five French Open women's champions ahead of the start of the tennis season's second grand slam tournament.
June 3, 2013 -- Updated 1337 GMT (2137 HKT)
CNN's Christina MacFarlane shows us how the French Open maintains its special surface.
June 2, 2013 -- Updated 1343 GMT (2143 HKT)
CNN's Christina MacFarlane shows us what it takes to be an umpire at Roland Garros.
May 21, 2013 -- Updated 0939 GMT (1739 HKT)
Nicknamed the "kissing disease," mononucleosis or glandular fever is a viral illness that is affecting tennis stars.
May 1, 2013 -- Updated 1129 GMT (1929 HKT)
She towers above him, but she can't do without him. Meet the man who has made Maria Sharapova the world's wealthiest female athlete.
April 22, 2013 -- Updated 1511 GMT (2311 HKT)
When Maria Sharapova underwent shoulder surgery five years ago, many thought her tennis career wouldn't last.
April 18, 2013 -- Updated 1258 GMT (2058 HKT)
Nine-year-old Rebecca Suarez stunned onlookers when she was pulled out of the crowd to team up with Del Potro against Nadal.
April 18, 2013 -- Updated 2115 GMT (0515 HKT)
Janko Tipsarevic is of the belief that his fellow professionals aren't doping -- or at least not on a widespread basis.
March 21, 2013 -- Updated 1429 GMT (2229 HKT)
Agnieszka and Urszula Radwanska are hoping to take their relationship to a new level by emulating tennis' most famous sisters.
March 21, 2013 -- Updated 1402 GMT (2202 HKT)
America's 18-time grand slam champion Chris Evert talks to Open Court about her career and training the next generation of players.
March 21, 2013 -- Updated 1344 GMT (2144 HKT)
CNN's Don Riddell speaks with 11-time grand slam champion Rafael Nadal during one of his comeback tournaments in Mexico.
March 21, 2013 -- Updated 1411 GMT (2211 HKT)
Germany's veteran star Tommy Haas opens up to Pat Cash about being away from family on tour, and his many injuries.
March 11, 2013 -- Updated 1150 GMT (1950 HKT)
You'd think John Isner and Nicolas Mahut would be sick of the sight of each other, but their friendship has grown since that epic match.
March 4, 2013 -- Updated 1608 GMT (0008 HKT)
Almost a decade after Andy Roddick's sole U.S. Open victory, America is still waiting for its next male grand slam winner. What's gone wrong?
Today's five most popular stories