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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 March, 2004, 13:08 GMT
Statements on Rusedski verdict
The full text of the tribunal's verdict from Greg Rusedski's drugs hearing, and his reaction to being cleared.

ATP TRIBUNAL STATEMENT

Late on Tuesday, 9 March, the ATP Anti-Doping Tribunal rendered their decision in the case of Mr Greg Rusedski. The Tribunal held:

"The player is exonerated of the finding by the Review Board that he committed a Doping Offence under Section C1a of the Rules of the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme, there being no evidence supporting such a finding."

Consequently, the Tribunal held, unanimously and unequivocally, that Mr Rusedski was not guilty of a doping offence.

The basis:

The basis of the exoneration rests upon the unique circumstances of the case and of the unique circumstances pertaining in tennis.

In the Bohdan Ulihrach case it was disclosed that the player was likely to have tested positive based upon substances given to him by his own governing body, the ATP.

Mr Rusedski took exactly the same substances and attributed his finding, also, to material given to him by the ATP.

As such he argued that it was unfair that the ATP should seek to prosecute him for substances which they themselves had given him, and which in all probability had caused him to test positive.

In this case the ATP argued unsuccessfully that Mr Rusedski could be held to be positive as he must be taken to have known that he should not take substances given to him by the ATP. The Tribunal unanimously rejected this contention.

It held: "The ATP could have - and should have - taken steps to notify its players in a "meaningful" and "direct" way of the reasons for its decision to cease distributing the electrolyte tablets that it had previously handed out so freely."

In these circumstances the Tribunal held the ATP could not in fairness prosecute this case as: "it created the underlying situation in the first place, by distributing tablets that, on the best available scientific evidence, appeared to have been contaminated by prohibited substances".

As such, the Tribunal unanimously held that there was no evidence supporting the commission of a Doping Offence and that Mr Rusedski must be exonerated.

RUSEDSKI STATEMENT

"The verdict was clear and unequivocal. This is an enormous relief to me and I would like to take this opportunity to thank my wife Lucy, my family, my legal team Mark Gay and David Pannick QC, Donnay and all my friends for standing by me and believing in my innocence.

"Their constant love, support and loyalty gave me the strength to get through this ordeal.

"I have also been tremendously encouraged by the overwhelmingly favourable reaction of the general public.

"To be allowed to carry on playing competitive tennis and to clear my name has been my priority throughout and now I am looking forward to resuming my career."





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