Rusedski cleared of taking banned drugs

Greg Rusedski has been dramatically cleared of taking performance–enhancing drugs by an independent anti–doping tribunal.

Greg Rusedski has been dramatically cleared of taking performance–enhancing drugs by an independent anti–doping tribunal.

Rusedski faced a two–year ban and possibly the end of his career if he had been found guilty of testing positive for the banned steroid nandrolone at a tournament in Indianapolis last July.

But he successfully argued that any excess levels in his system must have been mistakenly given to him by trainers employed by the Association of Tennis Professionals.

Rusedski had waited over a month for the verdict since testifying before the independent panel in Montreal.

The 30–year–old British number two said he was now looking forward to resuming his tennis career.

Rusedski, who described the verdict as "clear and unequivocal", added: "This is an enormous relief to me and I would like to take this opportunity to thank my wife Lucy, my family and my legal team... 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."

Rusedski cited the same argument as that which had exonerated seven players from knowingly taking nandrolone last year.

He pointed out that his sample provided the same genetic fingerprint and insisted that as such it was unfair for the ATP to seek to prosecute him for consuming substances – supplements given to players by ATP trainers – that they themselves had provided.

Rusedski had begun to garner a great deal of support from fellow professionals with Guillermo Coria and Alex Corretja amongst those intimating they would support a tournament boycott if he was found guilty.

Under heavy fire, the ATP established a taskforce on supplements involving leading stars including Tim Henman and Andre Agassi to advise players on reducing the risk of inadvertent doping.

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