Former Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli has slammed the British press for their coverage of Novak Djokovic’s doping controversy at the Davis Cup following Serbia’s quarter-final win.
Bartoli, who is a close friend of the world No.1, has accused the British press of “tainting” Djokovic’s name with their “shameful” reporting.
The controversy arose after Djokovic’s recent admission that he had not yet been vaccinated for COVID-19, a requirement for all players participating in the Davis Cup. This led to speculation and rumors that the Serbian star may have been involved in doping, with some media outlets even going as far as to suggest that he intentionally avoided the vaccine to hide potential doping infractions.
Bartoli, however, has come to Djokovic’s defense, calling the accusations “false and defamatory.”
In an interview with The Guardian, Bartoli expressed her disappointment in the British press, stating that they were “trying to create a controversy out of thin air.”
“Novak is one of the most tested athletes in the world, and not once has he ever failed a test. The British press should be ashamed of themselves for trying to tarnish his reputation in this way,” Bartoli said.
She also pointed out that Djokovic’s decision not to get vaccinated was a personal choice and should not be used to cast doubt on his integrity as a player.
The controversy has ignited a fierce debate in the tennis world, with many coming to Djokovic’s defense and condemning the media’s coverage of the situation.
The International Tennis Federation has also released a statement supporting Djokovic, stating that they have full confidence in his commitment to Clean Sport.
Despite the distractions, Djokovic remains focused on leading Serbia to victory in the Davis Cup, where they have advanced to the semi-finals with a win over Kazakhstan.
As the controversy continues to unfold, it’s clear that Djokovic’s name will remain in the headlines for the foreseeable future. But one thing is for certain: he has the full support of those closest to him, including his friend and fellow tennis champion, Marion Bartoli.