The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) announced on Wednesday that veteran Spanish tennis player Fernando Verdasco has accepted a two-month voluntary drug suspension. The ITIA announced that methylphenidate, an ADHD medication, was discovered in a payer’s urine sample who turned 39 on November 15. The payer’s birthday is November 15, according to the ITIA. Verdasco, who has an ATP career-high ranking of 7 but is currently 125 in the world, was tested at an ATP Challenger event in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in February.
According to the statement, Verdasco acknowledged the violation and stated that his doctor had prescribed him methylphenidate after diagnosing him with ADHD; nevertheless, he had failed to renew his Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE). It further stated that the World Anti-Doping Agency WADA has since given the 2009 Australian Open semifinalist a new TUE.
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The Spaniard can return to professional tennis early next year
“The ITIA accepts that the player did not intend to cheat, that his violation was inadvertent and unintentional,”SAID THE STATEMENT.
The suspension may only be for two months instead of the typical two years due to the circumstances, it was stated. On January 8 of next year, Verdasco will be qualified to make a comeback.
The Spaniard has been to the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam tournament four times, most recently at Wimbledon in 2013, where he lost to eventual champion Andy Murray in five sets after blowing a two-set lead. Verdasco is now ranked No. 125, having previously peaked at No. 7 in April 2009.