It seems that we won't be seeing much of professional tennis player Marin Cilic these days. The 24-year-old athlete has been barred to compete after being tested positive for a banned substance called nikethamide at the BMW Open in Munich in May.
Croatia's Marin Cilic returns the ball during his men's singles tennis match against Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic at the Queen's Club Championships in west London, on 14 June, 2013
The International Tennis Federation (ITF) confirmed the suspension on Monday.
Cilic provided a sample of his urine during his participation in the tournament. The sample was sent to a laboratory for analysis in April, accredited by the World Anti-Doping Agency in Montreal, Canada. There were traces of the banned substance found in his urine. Cilic sent his contention to the ITF and the latter acknowledged his argument.
According to the grapevine, a member of his team bought some Coramine glucose tables at a local pharmacy. He ingested the tablets, not knowing that they contain the banned substance.
"I want to say that I have never and will never take any banned substance in my life intentionally and on purpose, I am never in favor of the use of performance-enhancing drugs or supplements," said Cilic.
Due to Cilic's honesty, ITF gave him a reduced penalty of nine months instead of 24 months. His suspension will result to him not being able to compete in the Australian Open. However, he should be able to compete on Jan 3, 2014.
It was reported by an ESPN staff that Cilic has plans of appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport regarding his suspension.
"I will file an appeal concerning the decision of the Court of Arbitration of Sport soon," he added.
In July, Serbia's Viktor Troicki was also suspended for 18 months because he refused to present a blood sample in April for the Monte Carlo Masters. Cilic's suspension is the second penalty given this summer related to doping.
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