Gasquet drug case heads to Court of Arbitration for Sport

France's Richard Gasquet faces the prospect of a further ban as he appears before the Court of Arbitration for Sport on Tuesday after testing positive for cocaine in March. The 23-year old has already served a two and a half month retroactive ban.


AFP - Frenchman Richard Gasquet will appear before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne on Tuesday with the fate of his tennis career hanging in the balance.

The 23-year-old former world top 10 player tested positive for cocaine during the Miami Masters in March and was provisionally suspended in May before serving a two and a half month retroactive ban.

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) wanted him to be hit with a ban of one or two years, but an independent tribunal, appointed by the ITF, allowed him to resume his career in July.

That decision was based on Gasquet's plea of "no significant fault or negligence" as he claimed that the cocaine entered his system only when he kissed a young woman in a Miami nightclub.

The ITF and WADA then announced they would appeal the verdict taking the case before the CAS, which has the final say in matters of sports jurisdictions.

Gasquet, who reached the Wimbledon semi-finals in 2007, said last week in Basel where he took part in an ATP tournament: "I know what I have to do Tuesday."

In his defense he will also reiterate that he pulled out of the Miami tournament several hours before the drugs test and so could not have benefited in any way on court from the stimulatory effects of cocaine.

The CAS were expected to take several weeks before announcing their decision and Gasquet has already called an end to his season by withdrawing from this week's Masters tournament in Paris.


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