The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) has confirmed that a Russian tennis player has been banned from the sport for nine months after admitting a breach of the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme (TADP) rules. Due to the player’s age, they are not being named.
The player was 14 years old and playing in only their second senior ITF tournament in January 2022 when they were selected for a random anti-doping test. The sample was sent to a WADA-accredited laboratory, which detected the presence of Meldonium in their A sample, later confirmed in the B sample. Meldonium is a metabolic modulator, prohibited under section S4 of the WADA Prohibited List.
Under the TADP, the player is categorised as a Protected Person, due to their age, and they were able to establish ‘No Significant Fault or Negligence’. The appropriate period of ineligibility was, therefore, between two years and no period of ineligibility, depending on the player’s degree of fault. Due to the player’s age, level and lack of access to Anti-Doping education, the sanction was set at nine months, backdated to the date of the player’s Provisional Suspension (5 March 2022).
This means that the player is ineligible to compete in or attend any tennis events authorised, organised or sanctioned by the governing bodies of the sport until 4 December 2022.
In light of the player’s age and lack of education, the ITIA will provide a one-to-one education session as part of their reinstatement, working with the International Tennis Federation’s safeguarding team to outline the rules and responsibilities of the sport’s integrity programmes for the player.
The ITIA is the delegated third party, under the World Anti-Doping Code (the Code) of the International Tennis Federation, the international governing body for the sport of tennis and signatory of the Code. The ITIA is responsible for the management and administration of anti-doping across professional tennis in accordance with the 2022 TADP.
Notes to editors:
The player was charged under TADP Article 2.1 (Presence of a Prohibited Substance in her sample) and/or TADP Article 2.2 (Use of a Prohibited Substance)
TADP Article 7.14 allows for the player to admit an Anti-Doping Rule Violation with the need for an Independent Tribunal:
7.14.1 At any time prior to a final decision by the Independent Tribunal, the ITIA may invite the Player or other Person to admit the Anti-Doping Rule Violation(s) charged and accede to specified Consequences […]
7.14.2 In the event that the Player or other Person admits the Anti-Doping Rule Violation(s) asserted and accedes to the Consequences specified by the ITIA […], the ITIA will promptly issue a reasoned decision confirming the commission of the Anti-Doping Rule Violation(s) and the imposition of the specified Consequences […], will send notice of the decision to the Player or other Person and to each Interested Party, and will Publicly Disclose the decision in accordance with Article 8.6. […]
7.14.3 Any decision issued by the ITIA in accordance with Article 7.14.2 that an Anti-Doping Rule Violation has been committed […] will address and determine (without limitation): (1) the factual basis of the decision that an Anti-Doping Rule Violation was committed; and (2) all of the Consequences to be imposed for such Anti-Doping Rule Violation, including the reasons for imposing the Consequences specified, and in particular the reasons for exercising any discretion not to impose the full Consequences available under this Programme.”
TADP Article 10.6.1 provides for reductions in the period of Ineligibility for Anti-Doping Rule Violations under Articles 2.1 and 2.2 based on No Significant Fault or Negligence on the part of the Player:
TADP Article 10.6.1.3 specifies that ‘…where the Anti-Doping Rule Violation is committed by a Protected Person […] and they can establish that they bear No Significant Fault or Negligence for the violation, the period of Ineligibility will be, at a minimum, a reprimand and no period of Ineligibility, and at a maximum, two years Ineligibility, depending on the Protected Person's […] degree of Fault.’
Published 23 September 2022 17:00