Serbian tennis player Victor Troicki will appeal to sports highest court to fight his nightmare 18-month suspension for failing to provide a blood test,and blames a doctors mistake for the infraction.
Troicki said on Friday he will put my trust in the Court of Arbitration for Sport where he can challenge his ban imposed by the International Tennis Federation. This was a clear mistake from the on-site doping control officer who was also a doctor,and the person in charge to decide, Troicki said in a statement published on his personal website.
I am destroyed and exhausted. This is a real nightmare, wrote the 53rd-ranked Troicki,whose suspension through January 24,2015 requires missing six Grand Slam events.
The 2010 Davis Cup winners version of events at the Monte Carlo Masters in April conflicts with the findings of an ITF tribunal. Troicki said he gave a urine sample after a quick loss to Finlands Jarkko Nieminen,but then declined to give blood because he felt ill and feared needles. Anti-doping rules require athletes selected for testing to comply with official requests.
The doctor in charge of the testing told me that I looked very pale and ill,and that I could skip the test if I wrote an explanation letter to ITF about it, Troicki said.
The ITF suspended Troicki on Thursday after its tribunal believed evidence given by the conscientious and cautious doctor,Elena Gorodilova,who it said had 15 years experience in anti-doping work.
Gorodilova,the tribunal said in its ruling,was clear in her evidence to us: her response was that this was not a matter upon which she could advise the player.
Still,Troicki insisted that the doping control officer had been very helpful and understanding in suggesting how to compose the letter.
In my opinion,once she found out that she didnt follow the procedures,she turned her back on me, Troicki wrote.
Troicki noted that,the following morning,he gave a blood sample to Gorodilova and it was negative,totally clean like the initial urine test. The tribunal said it found the 27-year-old Troicki a confident and determined man with genuine belief in the truth of what he was saying.
Prone to exaggeration
However,that does not mean that this account was in fact accurate, the ruling said. Mr. Troicki came across to us as someone prone to exaggeration in order to make his point.
The ITFs tribunal also criticized Troickis coach,Jack Reader,who was present for some of the doping control station meeting in Monte Carlo. We were unimpressed by him as a witness, the ruling said of Reader,a professional tennis coach since at least 1985 who seemed unaware of detailed anti-doping rules. Mr Reader,without having given any proper thought to the matter,was prepared to say whatever he felt would be likely to assist his player in avoiding a sanction for an Anti-Doping Rule Violation, the ruling said.
The three-man tribunal panel did show some leniency toward Troicki in not applying the standard 2-year ban for a first anti-doping violation.
Because the player had been stressed by illness on the day and his long-standing needle phobia,his suspension was reduced by six months.
Troicki can ask CAS to freeze the 18-month ban – potentially clearing him for the U.S. Open next month – while his case is processed. He would need to establish the existence of irreparable harm in case the suspension is not temporary lifted, the court said.