Washington, Sep 17: Croatian tennis player Marin Cilic will reportedly appeal against his nine month doping ban, with which he has been hit after testing positive for a banned substance.
Cilic, who is currently ranked 24th in the world, had tested positive for the stimulant nikethamide at the Munich Open in Germany last April and will not return to action until February 1, 2014.
However, CNN reports that Cilic will now appeal against the decision in front of the Court of Arbitration for Sport by claiming that he unknowingly took the banned substance as he was unaware that the Coramine tablets contained nikethamide.
Insisting that he has never knowingly or deliberately taken any banned substances in his life, Cilic, who has had the ban backdated to May 1 this year, said in a statement that the banned substance originated from a glucose tablet which he had purchased at a French pharmacy in all innocence.
Cilic further stated that he is opposed to the use of any use of performance enhancing substances in sport, following which the tribunal ruled that Cilic will serve a reduced ban of nine months as they believed that he did not intend to ‘enhance his performance’ by taking the substance.
Following the ban, Cilic, who has not competed since withdrawing from Wimbledon citing a knee injury, had his Munich Open results obliterated and also had to forfeit both his prize money and rankings points from the event.
Cilic is the fourth tennis player to be hit with a ban for drug violations in 2013, following Serbian Viktor Troicki, Brazil’s Fernando Romboli and Czech player Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, the report added. (ANI)