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Rusedski confirms failed drug test

Rusedski has pleaded innocence over failed drugs test
Rusedski has pleaded innocence over failed drugs test

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LONDON, England -- British tennis number two Greg Rusedski has pleaded his innocence after confirming he has failed a drugs test.

"In response to media inquiries, I can confirm that a sample has tested positive for a low level of nandrolone," the player said in a statement.

"There will be a hearing in Montreal on February 9 which I shall attend and I fully expect to be found innocent," he added.

"I do not and have not taken performance-enhancing drugs but this is a very complex situation which once understood will clearly demonstrate my total innocence."

The test took place on July 23 at the RCA Championships in Indianapolis.

Rusedski has been playing in a tournament in Adelaide, Australia, but was knocked out on Thursday.

The 30-year-old, whose career highlight was finishing runner-up to Pat Rafter at the US Open in 1997, has suffered a miserable 2003 where a succession of knee, foot and back injuries saw him slip to his lowest-ever ranking -- 119 in the world.

At Wimbledon, he was hit with a $2,500 fine for a four-letter outburst that marred his second round defeat by Andy Roddick.

Rusedski's test failure comes just two days after Argentina's Mariano Puerta was banned for six months after failing a drugs test for steroids during a tournament last year.

The 25-year-old two-time winner on the ATP tour claimed he used the drug clenbuterol for which he tested positive during the Vina del Mar tournament in Chile last year to control his asthma.

He was the third Argentine player to fail a drug test after Juan Ignacio Chela during the Cincinatti tournament in 2000 and Guillermo Coria two years ago.

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