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Wednesday, December 23, 1998 Published at 00:50 GMT

Sport: Tennis

Korda failed Wimbledon drugs test

Korda: Does not know how he tested positive

Australian Open champion Petr Korda tested positive for a banned steroid during this year's Wimbledon championships in July, it has emerged.

Nigel Gainsborough: Korda can count himself very lucky
The International Tennis Federation (ITF) said on Tuesday the Czech had tested positive for metabolites of nandrolone.

In a statement the ITF said that as a result the player had been stripped of ranking points and prize money earned during the tournament.

Ian Carter reports (BBC Radio 5 Live)
"No further sanctions should be imposed on the player," the statement said.

The incident became public knowledge after Korda's appeal was heard by the ITF's Independent Appeals Committee in London on Tuesday.

The committee upheld Korda's punishment. But it ruled that the player had been unaware he had taken or been administered the banned substance.

Korda claims vindication

Korda submitted the positive doping sample after bowing out in the Wimbledon quarterfinals.

ITF spokesman Alan James (Radio 5 Live)
In a statement, he said he had been informed by the ITF on 1 August that he had tested positive and was issued with a Notice of Violation in October, against which he appealed.

Korda said he and his advisers had made exhaustive, but unsuccessful, attempts to find the source of the illegal substance.

"I wish to state categorically that I am not a drugs cheat and would never seek to obtain a competitive advantage over my fellow professionals by such means," he said.

"I am delighted that the Committee has vindicated me.

"This allegation came as a tremendous shock and caused considerable distress to me and my family.

"From a professional standpoint my performances since August suffered, as my recent results have shown.

"Whilst I am in the final stages of my career I still love the game."

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