Giving tennis more than a shot

Nine-Month Suspension for Marin Cilic

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has finally rendered their decision regarding the case of Marin Cilic, who failed a doping test during the Munich tournament, when traces of nikethamide, a banned stimulant, as been found in a urine sample.

Cilic will be suspended for nine months, from 1 May 2013 until 31 January 2014, meaning that the Croatian will not take part in the Australian Open.

Here is the complete ITF press release, also available on their website:

The International Tennis Federation announced today that Marin Cilic has been found to have committed an Anti-Doping Rule Violation under Article 2.1 of the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme (presence of a Prohibited Substance in a Player’s Sample).

Mr Cilic, a 24-year-old player from Croatia, provided a urine sample in association with his participation in the BMW Open event in Munich, Germany. That sample was sent to the WADA-accredited laboratory in Montreal, Canada for analysis, and was found to contain nikethamide, which is a Prohibited Substance under section S6 (Stimulants) of the 2013 WADA List of Prohibited Substances and Prohibited Methods, and is therefore also prohibited under the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme (the “Programme”). Mr Cilic was therefore charged with an Anti-Doping Rule Violation under Article 2.1 of the Programme.

Mr Cilic asserted that the nikethamide, for which he did not hold a valid TUE, had entered his system through his ingestion of Coramine glucose tablets that had been purchased on his behalf from a pharmacy.

The Independent Tribunal found that Mr Cilic ingested the nikethamide inadvertently as a result of taking the Coramine glucose tablets, and did not intend to enhance his performance in doing so, and that he therefore met the preconditions of Article 10.4 of the Programme, which entitles him to a reduction of the Period of Ineligibility for Specified Substance based on an assessment of his fault.

Mr Cilic’s commission of an Anti-Doping Rule Violation under Article 2.1 of the Programme was confirmed, and it was determined that he is suspended from participation for a period of nine months, back-dated to commence from 1 May 2013, the date on which he provided the sample concerned, and so ending at midnight on 31 January 2014. It was also determined that Mr Cilic’s results at the 2013 BMW Open event should be disqualified, with resulting forfeiture of the ranking points and prize money that he won at those events. Mr Cilic’s results subsequent to the BMW Open, up to the time that he accepted a voluntary provisional suspension are also disqualified, and the ranking points and prize money forfeited. A fully-reasoned decision will follow in due course.

The Tennis Anti-Doping Programme is a comprehensive and internationally recognised drug-testing programme that applies to all players competing at Grand Slam tournaments and events sanctioned by the ITF, ATP, and WTA. Players are tested for substances prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency and, upon a finding that an Anti-Doping Rule Violation has been committed, sanctions are imposed in accordance with the requirements of the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme and World Anti-Doping Code. More background information on the Programme, sanctions, tennis statistics and related information can be found atwww.itftennis.com/antidoping.

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