Doping in tennis: Viktor Troicki banned for 18 months

Viktor TroickiViktor Troicki blows out air as he plays France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga during their fourth round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris. Troicki has been suspended for 18 months for refusing to submit to blood testing before the Monte Carlo Masters. (AP)

Serbia's Viktor Troicki, a former world number 12 and a Davis Cup winner in 2010, was banned for 18 months for flouting doping rules, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) said.

The 27-year-old Troicki was found guilty of failing to provide a blood sample during a drugs test at the Monte Carlo Masters in April.

"Mr Troicki provided a urine sample, but did not provide a blood sample," said an ITF statement yesterday.

"He asserted to an independent tribunal that he was assured by the doping control officer (DCO) that it would be acceptable not to provide a sample on account of him feeling unwell that day.

"However, the tribunal concluded that the DCO told Mr Troicki that she could not advise him as to whether his reason for not providing a blood sample was valid, and that no such assurances were given by her."

His failure to provide a blood sample at Monte Carlo, where he was knocked out in the first round, constituted a dope test failure, said the ITF, despite the player's insistence that he was under stress at the time.

"The tribunal determined that he is suspended from participation for a period of 18 months, and so ending at midnight on 24 January 2015," added the statement.

Troicki, who is currently at 53 in the world, reached a career high 12 in 2011 and has won $4.5 million (3.4 million euros) in prize money.

His only tour title came in 2010 when he captured the Moscow indoors event.

That same year, he won the decisive fifth and final rubber against France as Serbia claimed the Davis Cup for the first time.

Troicki was playing at the Umag claycourt event in Croatia on Thursday where he was beaten 6-0, 6-4 in the second round by Spanish veteran Tommy Robredo.

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