Re: PUERTA BANNED FOR 8 YEARS!
ITF Anti-Doping Press Release - Decision in the case of Mariano Puerta
The International Tennis Federation announced today that an independent Anti-Doping Tribunal convened under the ITF’s 2005 Tennis Anti-Doping Programme has found that Mariano Puerta has committed a Doping Offence under the Programme.
The independent Anti-Doping Tribunal has ruled that Mr Puerta, a 27-year-old Argentine national, committed a Doping Offence under Article C.1 of the Programme (presence of a prohibited substance in a sample), in that a sample that he provided on 5 June 2005, immediately after the men's singles final of Roland Garros in Paris, tested positive for a stimulant (etilefrine), a substance prohibited in competition under the WADA Code and the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme.
The independent Tribunal, consisting of Mr Tim Kerr QC, Dr Jose Pascual and Dr Inggard Lereim, heard the matter in London on 6 and 7 December 2005. The Tribunal determined that Mr Puerta's analytical positive result was caused by an inadvertent administration of etilefrine. The Tribunal therefore confirmed the commission of a Doping Offence under Article C.1 of the Programme and automatically disqualified Mr Puerta’s results at Roland Garros, requiring forfeiture of entry ranking points, and prize money of € 440,000 in singles and € 3,282 in doubles.
Mr Puerta was banned by the ATP in 2003 for a Doping Offence (presence of clenbuterol in his sample) and served a nine-month ban from the sport for that offence. The positive test for etilefrine from Roland Garros was therefore his second offence. The independent Anti-Doping Tribunal rejected a defence of No Fault or Negligence, but accepted an alternative plea of No Significant Fault or Negligence. In accordance with the WADA World Anti-Doping Code it therefore imposed an eight-year suspension from competition, commencing 5 June 2005. It also determined that the results he obtained in events subsequent to Roland Garros should also be disqualified and the entry ranking points and prize money of US$ 330,925 gained in those events forfeited.
The tribunal's written decision with reasons is available as a PDF below. Any party wishing to appeal the decision will have three weeks to do so from receipt of the written decision.
The Tennis Anti-Doping Programme is a comprehensive and internationally recognised drug-testing programme that applies to all players competing at tournaments sanctioned by the ITF, ATP and WTA Tour. Players are tested for substances prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency. Charges of breach of the Programme are heard by an independent Anti-Doping Tribunal.
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