* Russian condemns WADA "whereabouts" rules
* Urges authorities to change drugs testing regime
By Iain Rogers
MADRID, May 10 World number eight Svetlana
Kuznetsova has joined other top athletes in condemning drug
testing rules that require players to give three months' notice
of where they will be for an hour each day.
The World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) so-called
"whereabouts" rules have been criticised by many professionals,
including men's world number one Rafael Nadal and Olympic pole
vault champion Yelena Isinbayeva.
With WADA holding its executive board meeting in Montreal on
Sunday, the controversial rule is expected to be among the hot
topics discussed and Kuznetsova said they should be reworked.
"I don't agree with this rule because it can interrupt your
private life," the Russian told Reuters in an interview arranged
by the WTA Tour's sponsor Sony Ericsson at the Madrid Open.
"If I am in Moscow for example and one night I decide to go
out to my friend's house why should I come back at eight o'clock
in the morning to my house to be checked?
"It's very tough. I think they should change."
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) supports the
regulations but WADA is battling with many sports governing
bodies such as soccer's FIFA and cycling's UCI over the issue.
A European Union panel said last month WADA should reassess
the rules as many points contravened the bloc's privacy laws.
A legal challenge has been lodged in Belgium on behalf of 65
athletes, including cyclists and volleyball players, who argue
the rule breaks EU privacy laws. FIFPro, the soccer players'
union, is also mounting a case.
The issue of drugs in tennis came to the fore again on
Sunday after French player Richard Gasquet said he had tested
positive for cocaine at a tournament in Miami last month.
Shortly after capturing the 2004 U.S. Open title Kuznetsova
had a brush with doping allegations when she was wrongfully
accused by Belgian regional sports minister Claude Eerdekens of
failing a drugs test during an exhibition tournament.
She was swiftly cleared of any wrongdoing by tennis
officials and told Reuters on Sunday it made more sense for
testing on tennis players to be done during competition.
"We play tournaments almost every second or third week and
they could test us anytime and they still want to interrupt our
lives," she said. "This is what I don't agree with."
Asked about the rules at a news conference at the Madrid
Open on Sunday, world number two Serena Williams said she found
them "weird" and they sometimes interfered with her social life.
"Well it's weird sometimes if you want to go to dinner," she
said. "Like I was at dinner once and then there was doping at my
house and I was just like okay well.
"But I guess you just have to give them an hour when you're
going to be at home and stick with your schedule and it will all
work out for you."
(Editing by Pritha Sarkar; To query or comment on this story