Spanish tennis star given two month suspension for testing positive for a banned substance
Former world number seven Fernando Verdasco has accepted a two month suspension from tennis after testing positive for a banned substance.
The 39-year-old returned a positive urine test at an ATP Challenger event in Rio in February.
That would normally come with a two-year ban that would have surely ended his career, but he has been treated leniently by the ITF due to an expired Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE).
Verdasco has been diagnosed with an attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and was prescribed methylphenidate to manage it. He was granted a TUE accordingly. However, he failed to renew the TUE when it expired.
That TUE has since been renewed by the World Anti-Doping Agency, and the ITIA (International Tennis Integrity Agency) has decided to give him leeway in the punishment as a result.
In a statement, they said: “The ITIA accepts that the player did not intend to cheat, that his violation was inadvertent and unintentional, and that he bears no significant fault or negligence for it.
“In the specific circumstances of this case, based on the player’s degree of fault the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme allows for the applicable period of ineligibility to be reduced from two years to two months.”
Verdasco reached a career high world number seven in 2009 shortly after getting to the Australian Open semi-finals. He has been in steady decline in recent times, though, and is currently ranked number 125.
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