Thomaz Bellucci Confirms Failed Drugs Test - UBITENNIS
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Thomaz Bellucci Confirms Failed Drugs Test

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Brazilian player Thomaz Bellucci has confirmed that he is currently serving a five-month ban after testing positive for a prohibited substance.

The 30-year-old hasn’t played on the tour since losing in the first round of the US Open. In a statement on Thursday, Bellucci confirmed that he tested positive for the banned substance Hydrochlorothiazide during the Bastad Open in Sweden last July. Hydrochlorothiazide is a diuretic drug banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency. It is not a performance enhancing drug in itself, but can be used as a masking agent.

Bellucci has said that he digested the substance accidentally after buying a multivitamin drug that was contaminated from a pharmacy. According to Brazilian website Globo Esporte, the current world No.112 intends to sue the pharmacy for negligence.

“I have proved that it was not my fault. I never took any kind of supplement or any other substance that would favour me or that would violate the fair play rules of the sport.” Bellucci said in a statement.
“You could never imagine that a multivitamin made by a drug store could suffer cross-contamination in minimal doses. I have always been careful and respected the rules of the sport.
“It (the consumption of the drug) was precisely at a time when I was recovering from injuries and making a major transition in my career, moving to Florida, setting up a training base there to reach my maximum potential on the circuit in the next few years.”

The International Tennis Federation published their report into Bellucci’s violation hours after his announcement. The reason why he receive the five-month suspension, which is the most lenient available, was because the ITF accepted his explanation of cross-contamination and his previous track record. Although they ruled the Bellucci should have checked to make sure the pharmacy was regulated and the origin of the multivitamin.

“Mr. Bellucci’s account of how the hydrochlorothiazide got into his system was accepted and that he bears No Significant Fault or Negligence for the violation.” The ITF concluded in their report.
“The Programme provides for the start date of the period of ineligibility of five months to be backdated due to the prompt admission and for delays not attributable to Mr. Bellucci. Therefore, the start of the ban is back-dated by two and a half months pursuant to Programme Article 10.10.3(b) and by a further six weeks pursuant to Programme Article 10.10.3(c). As a result, the ban is deemed to have started on 1 September 2017, and so will expire at midnight on 31 January 2018.”

A silent ban?

The revelation from Bellucci comes less than a month before his ban from the sport ends. He had previously said that an Achilles tendon had ruled him out of action. It could be argued that the Brazilian served a silent ban. Although the ITF told Ubitennis last year that there was no such thing as a silent ban.

“The Tennis Anti-Doping Programme announces provisional suspensions, but otherwise there is no announcement until the end of a hearing process. There is no such thing as a silent ban.” A representative told Ubitennis.net.

Bellucci has been ranked as high as 21st in the world back in 2010 and has played in 35 grand slam main draws. He has also won four ATP titles with the most recent occurring at the 2015 Geneva Open.

Bellucci is eligible to return to competition next month in time for the South American swing of the tour. His ban ends on January 31st.

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Adrian Mannarino sets up quarter final match against Radu Albot at the Singapore Open

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Top seed Adrian Mannarino beat Roberto Marcora 6-3 7-5 to advance to the quarter finals at the Singapore Tennis Open. 

 

Mannarino converted his second break point at deuce in the fifth game of the opening set after six deuces to take a 3-2 lead, as Marcora hit his forehand into the net. The Frenchman earned three set points in the ninth game. Marcora saved the first two chances, but Mannarino sealed the first set on his third chance after 50 minutes. 

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The 19-year-old Polish player fired 17 aces and and won all 10 points on Collins’ second serve. She held three hard fought service games at deuce at 2-0 and 5-2 in the first set and 1-0 in the second set. 

Swiatek earned an early break to open up a 3-0 lead. Collins broke back in the fifth game for 2-3, but Swiatek broke twice in the sixth and eighth games of the first set and once in the second game of the second set to build up a 6-2 3-0 lead, before Collins was forced to retire following a medical time-out. 

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