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Tennis is to introduce an athlete biological passport programme this year as part of a new anti-doping drive that players themselves have demanded.

The programme, which is already applied in track and field and cycling, tracks a player’s blood profile over time for any changes that could indicate doping.

Several high profile players, including the likes of world number one Novak Djokovic and 17-time major winner Roger Federer have called for more out-of-competition blood tests while Rafael Nadal told journalists on Wednesday that testing should strike a balance between catching the cheats and respecting the athletes.

As with the current drug testing rules, the biological passports will not be compulsory but any athlete who refuses to take part in testing could face punishment.

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