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Gasquet to play on

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:40

An independent anti-doping tribunal, convened by the ITF on Wednesday, had banned the Frenchman for two months and 15 days after he tested positive for benzoylecgonine, a metabolite of cocaine, at an ATP event in Miami in March.

The suspension, which started in May, ended on Wednesday. The ITF said in a statement they accepted Gasquet’s plea he had inadvertently consumed cocaine in a nightclub and claimed it would be “unjust and disproportionate” to impose a 12-month ban.

The statement said: “The Tribunal accepted Mr Gasquet’s plea of No Significant Fault or Negligence, on the basis that he was able to demonstrate on the balance of probabilities how the cocaine entered his system (through inadvertent contamination in a nightclub the night before his scheduled match), and that, while he was at fault in exposing himself to the risk of such contamination, that fault was not significant.

“It further ruled that, in the exceptional and “probably unique” circumstances of the case, it would be unjust and disproportionate to impose a 12-month sanction on Mr Gasquet.

“Instead it ruled that Mr Gasquet be suspended from participation for a period of two months and 15 days, commencing on 1 May 2009, and thus ending at 08:00 GMT on 15 July 2009.”

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