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Gasquet: Justice done

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:41

The 23-year-old was handed a two-and-a-half-month ban on Wednesday (which came into effect on May 1) after testing positive for benzoylecgonine, a metabolite of cocaine, at a Masters Series event in Miami in March. He was provisionally suspended but an independent anti-doping tribunal accepted Gasquet’s explanation that the drug “entered his system through inadvertent contamination in a nightclub”, and he was given a lighter punishment.

A relieved Gasquet told TV station France 2: “I am happy, to put it simply, to be going back on court. It’s an enormous joy. I accept that I have the right to play tennis again, and that justice has been done. For two and a half months, it was terrible, an extraordinary suffering.”

Gasquet, who retains his results, ranking points and prize money from events subsequent to Miami, denies ever knowingly taking the drug.

“Richard has been punished but in reasonable proportions,” said Patrice Dominguez, France’s national technical director.

“The ITF accepted the small quantity (of cocaine) and the lack of evidence.”

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