Gasquet admits to failed drugs test



Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:28

Gasquet, who reached the Wimbledon semi-finals in 2007 and has a career-best ranking of number seven, admitted on Sunday to returning a positive sample at the Miami Masters two months ago. But he remains confident of avoiding a lengthy ban from the ATP Tour.

In a statement, the current world number 23, said: “The test of the B sample submitted at the end of March 2009, confirmed the positive result of the A sample taken on the same day.”

He added: “I want to prove my innocence and will explain myself at an appropriate time.”

Earlier on Sunday, the French Tennis Federation admitted their surprise at reports of Gasquet’s misdemeanour.

“The FFT has learnt of the positive test of Richard Gasquet at the Miami tournament, although no official notification has been made,” said an FFT statement.

“This piece of information is very surprising with regards to the character of Richard Gasquet and, if confirmed according to official proceedings, would be a very sad one for Richard Gasquet, for tennis in general and for French tennis in particular, whose image would be tarnished.

“At this stage, the FFT does not wish to make further comments because it is down to the anti-doping authorities, within the International Tennis Federation (ITF), to assess such a case and it is not for the FFT to intervene.

“The FFT will follow with great attention the developments of this case, avoiding making hasty judgements and anxious to leave the player to organise his defence for the international tennis bodies.

“If the facts are correct, however, this would be particularly unfortunate in light of all the efforts of the FFT in terms of deterring athletes (from using banned substances).”