ITF announced Thursday night that the player Serb Viktor Troicki, 53rd world this week, has been suspended from international competitions for a period of 18 months after violated anti-doping rules by refusing to give a blood sample to tournament in Monte Carlo.
An independent tribunal decided that Troicki, aged 27, had violated Article 2.3 of the Anti-Doping Rules (unjustified refusal or inability to give a sample when it is required). But the circumstances of this case are relatively unclear, or leave the place of potential interpretations. Troicki was notified on April 15 that it was selected to give a urine sample and another of blood. Serb gave the first, but not the sample. In his defense, Troicki said he felt bad at the time, that he communicated this to anti-doping officer came to harvest samples, and he would have said to him that it's okay not to give blood if not feeling well.
The court, however, the officer in question, a woman took a different position. She denied that she would ensure the player that is allowed an exception, simply because there is no way to verify the correctness of his words."Mr Troicki provided a urine sample, but did not provide a blood sample. He asserted to an independent tribunal that he was assured by the Doping Control Officer (DCO) that it would be acceptable not to provide a sample on account of him feeling unwell that day". In turn, the ITF claims that the officer had no authority to allow an exception to Troicki. As such, the court framed Troicki's action as a violation of the regulation, ruling his suspension for a year and a half and withdrawal of points respectively the prize received at the Monte Carlo Masters. Troicki's ban will expire on January 24, 2015.
Troicki told a news conference on Thursday "this is the toughest moment of my career and of my life. I am innocent," he said. "I have never ever taken any prohibited substance or ever thought of doing so. I did not lie and this really hurts."
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