Russian teenager banned from tennis for nine months following anti-doping breach
A Russian tennis player, Denis Shapovalov, has been banned from playing for nine months for what the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) says was his anti-doping breaches, following a doping incident during his 2014 Wimbledon final.
Doping in sport is now at the level where athletes are given “zero months” before they can be suspended.
As a consequence of the CAS decision, the Russian Tennis Federation will lose all funding from the International Tennis Federation (ITF), which is currently being used to pay for the player and his family to attend the 2017 Davis Cup in Antalya, Turkey.
Shapovalov has apologised, saying he realised that he had made a mistake. But he did not admit to having used a banned substance during the match, and says he “accepts the sanction without regret”.
The tennis pro received a positive result for the diuretic drug hydrochlorothiazide during his second round match against No. 6 seed Milos Raonic in the 2014 Wimbledon final.
Three months after he returned to competition, he tested positive in a drug test conducted by the ITF.
Shapovalov was found guilty of a violation under Article 188.8.131.52 of the Code, related to “the intentional administration of a prohibited drug during competition”.
The ITF and the CAS will now have a further six months to decide whether to extend the ban, based on the CAS’ final assessment.
In the wake of the decision, the ITF, which has an agreement with the ITTF and the ITF to fund the Russian side of Davis Cups, has told the Russian federation that the matter is now in the hands of CAS.
It is unclear what will happen to the ITF funding, but the Russian tennis federation says it will appeal the CAS decision.
It is also unclear whether the CAS will have any jurisdiction over Shapovalov after he has served the nine-month ban.
Shapovalov has been a star player throughout most of his career. A graduate of the Moscow Academy of Sports and Physical Education, he made his Grand Slam debut at the Australian Open in 2012