AFP - The French Tennis Federation (FFT) said Sunday it would be "very sad news" if French tennis star Richard Gasquet's positive drug test was confirmed.
Traces of a recreational drug, believed to be cocaine, were discovered after he provided a sample at the Miami Masters in March, Radio RMC Info reported on Saturday, citing unidentified sources at the FFT and the player's training base.
"The FFT learnt of the positive drug test provided by Richard Gasquet during the Miami tournament, although to its knowledge, no official verification has yet been made," the FFT said in a statement.
"This information, very surprising in view of Richard Gasquet's personality, would, if confirmed according to official procedures, be very sad news for Richard Gasquet himself, for tennis in general and for French tennis in particular, whose image would be tarnished."
The FFT, which wants "to avoid making hasty moral judgements", will let the player prepare his defence against the allegations and will not intervene before the end of disciplinary proceedings, which are the responsibility of the International Tennis Federation (ITF).
Gasquet could be banned for two years if his B sample also tests positive.
The 22-year-old, a former world number seven and Wimbledon semi-finalist in 2007, pulled out of his opening match in Miami against Spain's Albert Montanes because of a shoulder injury.
He withdrew from this week's tournament in Estoril with a neck injury and is not playing at the Madrid Masters, which got underway on Saturday.