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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 March, 2004, 11:52 GMT
Rusedski cleared
Greg Rusedski
It's an enormous relief for me and my family
Greg Rusedski has been cleared of a doping offence following his positive test for nandrolone.

The British player failed a drugs test for the anabolic steroid last summer, but protested his innocence to the Association of Tennis Professionals.

"The verdict was clear and unequivocal," said Rusedski, who will hold a news conference on Tuesday.

"It's an enormous relief for me and my family and I look forward to resuming my career."

The tribunal statement said Rusedski had been cleared of a doping offence on the basis that there was "no evidence supporting such a finding".

Rusedski's defence centred around the case of Czech player Bohdan Ulihrach, who was cleared of a similar offence last year.

No-one ever believed he was guilty of knowingly taking a banned substance
Andrew Castle
Former British player
Ulihrach, and six other unnamed players, were exonerated when the ATP admitted their trainers may have been responsible for handing out contaminated supplements.

The ATP claimed that it told players not to take supplements in May, two months before Rusedski's positive test.

But Rusedski's lawyers argued that the Briton's test carried the same analytical fingerprint as the other seven cases and the three-man tribunal agreed.

The tribunal statement said: "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 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."

The ATP has 21 days to consider whether to appeal the verdict through the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Had Rusedski failed, the 30-year-old faced the possibility of a two-year ban and a premature end to his career.




WATCH AND LISTEN
BBC Sport's Jonathan Overend
"The ATP will face some serious questions"


Former Great Britain Davis Cup captain David Lloyd
"He's been living in hell for the last nine months"



SEE ALSO
Rusedski fails drugs test
09 Jan 04  |  Tennis



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