Wimbledon chairman Philip Brook has issued a warning to anyone taking part in doping or corruption in tennis, as the most prestigious tournament of the season takes a tougher stance for this year.
We are part of the sport-wide programmes for anti-corruption and anti-doping and we have confidence in both of those programmes. We believe that the people responsible for the programmes are doing very good work. Notwithstanding that, we are taking additional measures here at Wimbledon in respect to both of those areas, said Brook, speaking on Centre Court at Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Club
Brook said that additional anti-doping measures would be in place, but he was not ready to divulge much information on them.
Were taking a slightly stronger line at this years championships than has been in the past on that, he said. On anti-corruption, I guess the biggest change is to do with our qualifying event, where were adding in additional data feeds on to the court and also CCTV, so that we bring the qualifying event up to the same quality of best practice that we already have for the championship events.
Brook said Wimbledon has a responsibility to take a leadership position on these issues, but is in no sense removing ourselves from existing programmes.
He said: Were just saying to everybody, were doing a little bit more this year, so if youre thinking of corruption or thinking of doping, then watch out.
Brook added that it would be a shame if Maria Sharapova was not included in this years championships. Shes a former champion and popular figure here, and if she cant play well miss her, but we have to let the due process take its course and whatever the outcome will dictate what happens next.
Sharapova was provisionally suspended after revealing on 8 March that she had tested positive for meldonium at the Australian Open in January.
The 29-year-old former Wimbledon champion said the drug had been prescribed to her since 2006, and claimed she was unaware about the World Anti-Doping Agency banning it from 1 January.
David Haggerty, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) president, said the integrity unit of the sport usually takes two to three months to decide on cases, The Times reported.