25 Sep 2013

Cilic cited knee injury to hide positive drugs test

6:44 am on 25 September 2013

The International Tennis Federation says Croatian player Marin Cilic cited a knee injury at Wimbledon this year to hide the fact that he'd failed a dope test.

Cilic was banned for nine months last week after testing positive for the banned stimulant nikethamide, after saying he'd never knowingly taken any banned substance and plans to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The ITF, in a full decision of its independent anti-doping tribunal published on its website says Cilic was charged with a doping offence in mid-June after a positive result in May.

Cilic received the letter on June 11 in London before his first match at the Queen's Club pre-Wimbledon tournament.

The Croat lost the final at Queen's to Andy Murray and, after instructing lawyers, played and won his first-round match at Wimbledon but then withdrew from the tournament citing a knee injury to avoid adverse publicity.

His reported injury was one of a spate of withdrawals on the third day at Wimbldedon that focused attention on the state of the grass courts.