Marin Cilic was suspended for nine months by the ITF for testing positive for a banned stimulant.
Marin Cilic was suspended for nine months by the ITF for testing positive for a banned stimulant.
KERIM OKTEN/EPA

LONDON (AP) -- A tennis tribunal says Marin Cilic hid behind the excuse of a knee injury to withdraw from Wimbledon this year to avoid negative publicity after failing a doping test.

The Croatian player was suspended for nine months last week by the International Tennis Federation after testing positive for a banned stimulant at a tournament in Munich in May.

The ITF's anti-doping tribunal released its findings of the case on Tuesday, saying Cilic pulled out of Wimbledon before his second-round match against Kenny de Schepper on the same day he accepted a provisional doping suspension and waived his right to testing of his backup `B' sample.

The statement says Cilic "withdrew from Wimbledon, citing a knee injury to avoid adverse publicity."

The ITF has accepted the player's contention that he ingested the stimulant inadvertently in a glucose tablet and wasn't trying to cheat.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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