In 2018, Madison Brengle, a veteran tennis professional, took on the International Tennis Federation, the Women’s Tennis Association, and their blood testing affiliates over the abusive procedures used in tennis’ anti-doping program. Despite Madison’s diagnosed condition, which made needle insertion extremely painful and caused long-term physical damage, the tennis authorities ignored her concerns. Madison filed damage claims against them, alleging battery, negligence, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. She emphasized the importance of the anti-doping program in preserving the sport’s integrity but called for updated procedures to protect players’ health and safety. With the support of her attorney, Peter R. Ginsberg of Moskowitz, Colson, Ginsberg & Schulman, Madison fought for more than four years, not just for herself but for all athletes. This battle has finally concluded with a confidential settlement reached with the International Tennis Federation.
Madison has been a trailblazer in challenging the powerful institutions in tennis in her quest to safeguard players’ health. As a result of this battle, the tennis authorities agreed to implement a non-invasive process for anti-doping testing, using a WADA-approved dried blood spot testing method. They recognized Madison’s diagnosed health condition and ceased the invasive testing specifically for her even before extending the practice to all tennis players. This settlement has significant implications, as it grants all athletes associated with WADA the right to request a less invasive method when necessary.
While Madison’s physical injuries, which include partial paralysis of her arm affecting her ability to serve, are permanent, this battle has demonstrated to her fellow players on the Tour that challenging the authorities, although arduous, can be necessary and fruitful. She has left behind a more humane, yet equally effective, testing procedure. “I am relieved that the battle has come to an end, but I am most proud of how we fought and the contributions we have made to professional tennis,” Madison expressed upon announcing the resolution of the litigation.