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Cilic banned for doping offence

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Originally published on: 17/09/13 00:00

The ITF announced Monday that a urine sample provided by the 24-year-old at the BMW Open in Munich back in May contained traces of nikethamide, which is on the prohibited substance list.

Cilic, who has said he will appeal the ban, avoided a two-year penalty after an independent tribunal found that he inadvertently ingested the nikethamide.

The ITF said in a statement released Monday: “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.”

The Croatian No.1, who has not played since withdrawing from Wimbledon, will be allowed return to competition on 31 January 2014 after his ban was backdated to 1 May this year, the date he first provided the positive sample.

In a statement Cilic revealed he could not discuss the case but said: “Unbeknownst to me, the glucose tablets contained a substance that is banned in-competition (although it is allowed out-of-competition).

"I wish to emphasise that I have never knowingly or deliberately taken any banned substances in my life and that I am opposed to any use of performance-enhancing substances in sport."

The Aegon Championship finalist will now sit out the remainder of the season and next year’s Australian Open as well as forfeiting all ranking points and prize money from the events he played between May and July this year.

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