PARIS -- Drug tests at the French Open will be handled at a lab in Montreal rather than the Chatenay-Malabry lab in France.
French officials said the decision was made to save money and increase the number of tests and not a reflection on the French lab, which is under scrutiny for its handling of Tour de France winner Floyd Landis' samples.
The International Tennis Federation oversees drug testing at the Grand Slam tournaments. The French Open runs May 27 to June 10.
"It's the ITF which is responsible for the anti-doping controls and they have an agreement with Montreal," French tennis federation spokesman Thibault Fraix-Burnet said Wednesday by telephone. "Chatenay is more expensive than Montreal, which allows the federation to carry out more tests, more random tests, not just during competition but also during training."
The ITF said the cost of analyzing a sample at the Canadian lab was $190, including shipping. The same tests would cost $376 at the French lab.
"The savings will allow the ITF to raise the number of anti-doping controls throughout the year," the ITF said in a statement, adding that the number of urine controls at this year's French Open would increase to 180, compared to 157 last year.
The French lab handled the tests indicating Landis tested positive for elevated testosterone to epitestosterone levels during last year's Tour. Landis denies doping and accuses the lab of mishandling his samples. His arbitration hearing began this week in