Tennis federation says American player Wayne Odesnik banned 15 years for 2nd doping violation
LONDON (AP) American tennis player Wayne Odesnik was banned Wednesday for 15 years after a second doping violation, a sanction that essentially ends his career and was widely applauded by several top players.
The International Tennis Federation said the 29-year-old Odesnik tested positive for several banned substances, including steroids, during tests in December and January.
The ban was back-dated to Jan. 30 and will run until Jan. 29, 2030.
''Players and athletes should know if they cheat, they get caught,'' second-ranked Roger Federer said from California. ''I'm all for a clean sport, and that's why you've got to catch those guys who don't do the things they are supposed to be doing.''
Odesnik was first sanctioned in 2010 for the possession of human growth hormone. Odesnik was off the ATP Tour from April 2010 to August 2011 after pleading guilty in Australia to importing HGH. He denied using the drug, and repeatedly said he never tested positive.
''Obviously when that happens twice, you don't deserve to be on the tour,'' third-ranked Rafael Nadal said.
The ITF originally banned him for two years, but cut the penalty in half, saying he cooperated with investigators. Andy Murray and other players later criticized Odesnik, wondering aloud in what way the American might have cooperated with doping authorities.
''Bye bye Wayne... Good riddance,'' Murray, a two-time Grand Slam champion, tweeted Wednesday.
Murray was asked about Odesnik's latest penalty after his fourth-round match at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California.
''After what happened the last time, whatever story you believe, the one that was given, I don't believe at all,'' he said. ''I think it's good for tennis to get him off the tour and away from the tour because we don't want that being part of the tour.''
Murray said he believes Odesnik's positive tests in December and January should be treated as separate offenses.
''He clearly was taking something and trying to get an advantage,'' Murray said. ''He's been linked to a number of people that have been involved in doping presently and in the past and surrounded himself with those people, so I can't say I'm surprised. To have three separate issues is ridiculous. It's good that he's off the tour now.''
At last year's U.S. Open, Odesnik earned a wild card but lost to eventual finalist Kei Nishikori in the first round. It was the first time he played in the tournament's main draw since 2009, shortly before his first ban.
This year, he lost in qualifying ahead of the Australian Open.
AP Sports Writer Beth Harris in Indian Wells, California, contributed to this report.