Serena Williams alleged in a series of tweets late Tuesday night that she is being discriminated against by being drug-tested more than other tennis players.
The 23-time Grand Slam winner attacked the practice, writing, “…And it’s that time of the day to get ‘randomly’ drug tested and only test Serena. Out of all the players it’s been proven I’m the one getting tested the most. Discrimination? I think so.”
“At least I’ll be keeping the sport clean #StayPositive,” she wrote, adding in a second tweet, “But I’m ready to do whatever it takes to have a clean sport so bring it on. I’m excited.”
According to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, Williams, 36, has been tested five times this year, alone. Her sister, Venus Williams, has only been tested twice in 2018. Other U.S. women’s tennis stars like Madison Keys and Sloane Stephens have only been tested once, each, in 2018. Men’s American tennis star John Isner has been tested three times in 2018, and Jack Stock twice.
The USADA’s database was last updated on July 20.
Williams was also tested three times in 2017 and six times in 2016, Sports Illustrated reported.
In addition, Deadspin reported that a doping control officer showed up unannounced to test Williams at her Florida home in June. Sources told Deadspin that the officer allegedly refused to leave until the test was administered, but it was ultimately not.
Williams then addressed the situation with Women’s Tennis Association CEO Steve Simon, Deadspin reported. “She shared with me some concerns and questions she had about an out-of-competition drug test,” Simon told Deadspin. Simon said he put Williams in touch with the USADA’s CEO.
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“We talk with athletes all the time about clean sport and our programs,” the USADA’s Communications Director Brad Horn told Deadspin in a statement at the time. “We spoke with Serena recently about a recent test mission. Serena has been supportive and engaged with our program, and she is in good standing with our program. As our website indicates, Serena has been tested five times out of competition by USADA so far in 2018, all of which she has passed. Our recent conversation was a good one just like the many other times we have spoken with her.”
Williams has previously spoken out about being tested. On the eve of the 2018 Wimbledon final, she said, “Just test everyone equally,” according to ESPN.
On another occasion, she told Sport’s Illustrated, “I’m totally OK with testing and I encourage it. It’s just about being equal and not centering one person out.”
Williams recently played in Wimbledon’s ladies singles final and lost to Germany’s Angelique Kerber. “It was such an amazing tournament for me,” she said after the match. “I was really hoping to get this far. It’s obviously disappointing, but I can’t be disappointed. I have so much to look forward to. I’m literally just getting started.”