Skip to main content

Marin Cilic to fight doping ban

September 16, 2013 -- Updated 1853 GMT (0253 HKT)
Marin Cilic will be able to return to action from February 1, 2014.
Marin Cilic will be able to return to action from February 1, 2014.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Marin Cilic has been hit with a nine-month ban after testing positive for banned substance
  • Traces of Nikethamide found in Croatian's urine sample taken last April
  • Suspension backdated to May 1 which means he can return on February 1 2014
  • Cilic will take case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport

(CNN) -- Marin Cilic has fought many battles on the court but the Croatian star may face his biggest fight in the court when he appeals against his nine month doping ban.

Currently ranked 24th in the world, Cilic tested positive for the stimulant nikethamide at the Munich Open in Germany last April and will not return to action until February 1, 2014.

The 24-year-old, who has had the ban backdated to May 1 this year, told an independent tribunal that the nikethamide had entered his system after he took Coramine glucose tablets which had been purchased on his behalf.

Cilic will now appeal against the decision by taking his case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, claiming he was not aware that the Coramine tablets contained a banned substance.

Read: Tennis star says 'treated like a criminal' with doping ban

King still fights for tennis equality
Secret to beating tennis' big four
'Golden Bear' on tennis love

"The substance in question originated from a glucose tablet purchased at a pharmacy in France," Cilic said in a statement Monday.

"Unbeknownst to me, the glucose tablets contained a substance that is banned in competition.

"I wish to emphasize that I have never knowingly or deliberately taken any banned substances in my life and that I am opposed to any use of performance enhancing substances in sport."

Read: Federer says 'naive to think tennis is clean'

The tribunal accepted that Cilic "did not intend to enhance his performance" by taking the substance, and ruled he will instead serve a reduced ban of nine months.

Roger Federer in 'vulnerable' position
Japan's 'rock star' tennis pro
Tennis baby takes Internet by storm

Cilic, who has not competed since withdrawing from Wimbledon citing a knee injury, has had his results at the Munich Open expunged and has forfeited both the prize money and rankings points from the event.

The Croatian reached a career high of No.9 in the world in 2010 after reaching the semifinals of that year's Australian Open.

Read: Tennis is a 'clean sport,' says Tipsarevic

Cilic is the fourth tennis player to be hit with a ban for drug violations in 2013.

Serbia's Viktor Troicki was suspended by the ITF for 18 months in July after being found guilty of failing to provide a blood sample during April's Monte Carlo's Masters.

But Serbian Troicki has vowed to appeal the decision after alleging the doctor conducting the blood test allowed him to miss the procedure.

Read: Nadal urges tighter drugs control

In May, Brazil's Fernando Romboli tested positive for diuretics, furosemide and hydrochlorothiazide which resulted in him being handed an eight-and-a-half month ban.

In February, Czech player Barbora Zahlavova Strycova received a six month ban after testing positive for sibutramine, a substance which is often found in weight loss products.

The ITF has stepped up its fight against drugs cheats since announcing its plan to introduce biological passports in March.

Each player will have an individual electronic biological profile and be tested more regularly to monitor their levels and alert the authorities to possible drug use.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
June 30, 2014 -- Updated 1135 GMT (1935 HKT)
When Agnieszka Radwanska refused to look her opponent in the eye after losing at Wimbledon, it raised more than eyebrows.
June 23, 2014 -- Updated 0114 GMT (0914 HKT)
It's 10 years since a teenage Maria Sharapova became the darling of Wimbledon's hallowed Center Court, launching herself as a star.
Rafael Nadal is still the "King of Clay" -- but his crown has slipped a bit, says CNN's Will Edmonds.
May 23, 2014 -- Updated 0746 GMT (1546 HKT)
He's regularly voted France's favorite famous person, but many of the nation's youth have "no idea" about his glorious sporting past
May 5, 2014 -- Updated 2359 GMT (0759 HKT)
British tennis player Elena Baltacha won 11 ITF Pro Circuit titles during her 16-year playing career.
The Ukrainian-born, British tennis star loses fight against liver cancer, just a few weeks after revealing that she was battling the disease.
April 29, 2014 -- Updated 1555 GMT (2355 HKT)
Five-time grand slam champion Martina Hingis has followed her mom into a coaching role, setting up a new tennis academy in Barcelona, Spain.
April 16, 2014 -- Updated 1238 GMT (2038 HKT)
Suisse's Belinda Bencic returns the ball to France's Alize Cornet during the second match of the Fed Cup first round tennis tie France vs Switzerland on February 8, 2014 at the Pierre de Coubertin stadium in Paris. AFP PHOTO / KENZO TRIBOUILLARD (Photo credit should read KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images)
It's no easy matter becoming a world class tennis player. It's even harder when everyone (really -- everyone) is calling you the "new Martina Hingis."
April 2, 2014 -- Updated 1420 GMT (2220 HKT)
At the 2009 Australian Open, French men's tennis was the talk of the town.
April 15, 2014 -- Updated 1800 GMT (0200 HKT)
MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - APRIL 14: Rafael Nadal of Spain sails a boat during day two of the ATP Monte Carlo Rolex Masters Tennis at Monte-Carlo Sporting Club on April 14, 2014 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Rafael Nadal may be most at home on a clay tennis court, but he has always found comfort on the sea.
March 21, 2014 -- Updated 1107 GMT (1907 HKT)
Tennis star Venus Williams reveals how she is beating the autoimmune disease that derailed her career.
March 5, 2014 -- Updated 1014 GMT (1814 HKT)
After two decades dedicated to the game, Amelie Mauresmo wants a second life -- one away from tennis.
Rafael Nadal of Spain wipes his face after losing his men's final match against Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland during day 14 of the 2014 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 26, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia.
Almost five years to the day after reducing Roger Federer to tears at the Australian Open, Rafael Nadal shed a few in his own loser's speech.
ADVERTISEMENT