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Page last updated at 20:22 GMT, Friday, 7 August 2009 21:22 UK

Gasquet upbeat over drug appeal

Richard Gasquet
Gasquet has won five titles since making his ATP Tour debut in 2002

Richard Gasquet is confident the Court of Arbitration for Sport will agree with an independent tribunal's decision that he "took cocaine inadvertently".

Gasquet was banned in May after testing positive for cocaine but a panel ruled that a 12-month ban would be "unjust".

After missing Wimbledon and the French Open, Gasquet - who said the drug got into his system after he kissed a woman in a nightclub - was cleared to return.

However, the International Tennis Federation is seeking a longer ban.

In July, an independent tribunal set up under the tennis anti-doping programme found him guilty but ruled he had been inadvertently contaminated in a nightclub allowing the French player to return to the international circuit.

But on Thursday, unhappy with the ruling, the ITF, who wanted a two-year ban, and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against the tribunal's decision.

Richard will continue to prepare for his return to competition in the next few weeks

Gasquet's agent - Nicolas Lamperin

The hearing was being held in Lausanne on 10 November, with a decision expected within four weeks.

"Richard Gasquet has noted the appeal by the ITF and is convinced the Court of Arbitration for Sport will confirm he did not deliberately take cocaine," said his agent, Nicolas Lamperin.

Meanwhile, the French Tennis Federation (FFT) said it was "surprised" by the ITF's decision to appeal against the tribunal's ruling.

Gasquet, 23, tested positive following a urine sample at the Sony Ericsson Open in Florida in March, after he withdrew from the tournament because of a shoulder injury.

The tribunal supported his claim and felt that because "no more than a grain of salt" was recorded in the sample a long ban would have been an injustice.

The ITF made a brief statement, which read: "The ITF can confirm that, jointly with Wada, it has appealed to CAS against the decision of the independent tribunal in the case of Richard Gasquet."

Gasquet is training and still plans to return later this month at a tournament in New Haven, Connecticut.

"The appeal does not ban athletes from competing," said Lamperin.

"Therefore, while waiting for the new hearing, Richard will continue to prepare for his return to competition in the next few weeks."

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see also
Gasquet upbeat over drug appeal
07 Aug 09 |  Tennis
Gasquet cleared to return to tour
15 Jul 09 |  Tennis
Gasquet suspended after drug test
11 May 09 |  Tennis

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