ITF amends text in Tennis Anti-Doping Program, will publicly announce bans

Tuesday August 23rd, 2016

The International Tennis Federation says that all provisional suspensions under the Tennis Anti-Doping Program will be publicly announced.

The amended provision under Article 13.3 of the Anti-Doping Program will take effect Sept. 1 and will apply to all Provisional Suspensions, whether the suspension is mandatory or voluntarily accepted.

The ITF says the change is being made to protect the reputation of the Tennis Anti-Doping Program as the sport's reputation has been damaged by accusations that players were serving bans without those bans being made public. 

"The ITF shall use its reasonable endeavors to ensure that Persons under its control do not publicly identify Players or other Persons whose Samples have resulted in Adverse Analytical Findings or Atypical Findings, or Atypical Passport Findings or Adverse Passport Findings, or are alleged to have committed an Anti-Doping Rule Violation under this Programme, unless and until a Provisional Suspension has been imposed or accepted or an Independent Tribunal has determined that an Anti-Doping Rule Violation has been committed, and/or the Anti-Doping Rule Violation has been admitted," the new amendment reads.

The organization says there is a small risk that a player's suspension will be overturned once a suspension is announced.

The last player to be suspended by the ITF was Maria Sharapova, who received a two-year ban after testing positive for the banned substance meldonium.

Sharapova, a five-time major winner, announced she failed a doping test in January, and was banned by the ITF two months later. Sharapova says she was unaware that meldonium became a banned substance on the World Anti-Doping Agency's list starting on Jan. 1. 

- Scooby Axson

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