American tennis player Madison Brengle filed a lawsuit against the WTA and ITF yesterday in Florida’s Manatee County Court, in which she claims the organizations ignored her medical condition that causes her to suffer “physical and emotional consequences” from regular doping tests that draw blood using a needle in her vein.
The lawsuit says the 28-year-old Brengle has a “rare medically diagnosed physical condition which results in both temporary and permanent physical injury, emotional trauma, and pain and suffering from having a needle inserted into her vein.”
The lawsuit says the condition is called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, and that it causes Brengle “extreme pain as well as swelling, numbness and bruising at and in the vicinity of the injection site” as well as “severe anxiety due to the anticipatory fear of the excruciating pain.”
Brengle has been ranked as high as 35th in the world and is currently 83rd. A highlight of her career was upsetting Serena Williams in Auckland in 2017, (during which her nervous banter with her coach was caught on camera and charmed pretty much everyone).
In a statement to the media, Brengle said, “The unbridled authority of officials to subject players to the kind of abuse I suffered cannot be tolerated; players must have a say in matters involving our health and safety.”
In an interview to the Associated Press, Brengle’s lawyer, Peter Ginsberg said:
“She can give blood. She just can’t tolerate the needle in her vein. She could give blood via a pin prick in her finger. She will submit to a urinalysis. She’s not trying to avoid being tested. She’s trying to avoid having a needle being stuck in her veins.”
The lawsuit also names defendants Stuart Miller of the ITF; International Doping Tests and Management (IDTM), a company based in Sweden that administers drug tests for the ITF, and IDTM doping control officer John Snowball. You can read the entire suit below: