Puerta receives eight-year drug ban

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:50 IST

French Open finalist Mariano Puerta of Argentina was banned for eight years on Wednesday after being found guilty of a second doping offence.

Puerta receives eight-year drug ban

Tokyo:

French Open finalist Mariano Puerta of Argentina was banned for eight years on Wednesday after being found guilty of a second doping offence. The 27-year-old Puerta tested positive for the cardiac stimulant etilefrine after losing to Rafael Nadal in the French Open final on June 5. The International Tennis Federation (ITF) said that Puerta will be disqualified from the French Open and his results nullified, but he will keep his place in the record books as runner-up. Puerta has fallen foul of the rules on doping once before. He served a nine-month suspension after testing positive for clenbuterol in February 2003 at an ATP tournament in Chile. Possible lifetime banPuerta had faced a possible lifetime ban for a second infraction. But an ITF tribunal said that the Argentine was given a lighter penalty because the positive result in Paris was inadvertent. The three-man tribunal said that the drug apparently came from effortil, a medication Puerta's wife takes for hypertension. Puerta did not dispute the drug was in his body, and the ITF accepted his plea of "no significant fault or negligence." This claim was partially backed up by Puerta's reaction to the positive test in October. The eight-year ban went into effect on June 5.Puerta has three weeks to appeal, and the ITF panel said that it expected the case to go to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). The ITF also accepted that the amount of etilefrine in his body was too small to have any effect on his performance. (AP)



Topics : Tennis
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