London | Verdasco accepts a two-month drug ban

he Spanish 39-year-old left-hander, Fernando Verdasco, has been issued with a two-month ban for testing positive for the drug methylphenidate after failing to renew a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE), the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) confirmed this week.

Verdasco has consequently accepted a voluntary ban until January 8, 2023, after his urine sample collected at an ATP Challenger event in Rio de Janeiro in February, was found to have contained the banned substance.

Verdasco explained that he had been diagnosed with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. To treat the condition, he had used methylphenidate as a TUE with a prescription from his doctor.

Unfortunately, the former World No.7 forgot to renew the TUE when it ran out but still issued with a provisional ban despite the fact that the it was renewed at a later date by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

“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,” the ITIA statement stated.

“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’s best result in a Grand Slam single’s draw came back in 2009 when he reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open. He also progressed through to the last eight at both Wimbledon and the US Open during his career in which he has won seven titles as well as the Davis Cup (2008 and 2009).



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