Russian teenager banned from tennis for nine months following anti-doping breach
Mikhail Youzhny, the Russian teenager who was banned from tennis for nine months following an anti-doping breach at last year’s Australian Open is set to be allowed to return to the sport this week.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) confirmed that the 19-year-old would return on 22 August for the Brisbane International.
“The WADA Council concluded that there is sufficient evidence that Youzhny was an athlete involved in the prohibited doping practice in connection with the tennis competition at the 2013 Australian Open,” a WADA spokesman said in a statement.
“The Council has accepted the detailed explanation from the Federal Court on the specific facts of the case, which was made a few weeks ago.
“WADA welcomes the decision of the Federal Court to clear Youzhny on this specific doping violation and has not taken any position on whether you will be allowed to compete in Australian Open this week.”
Youzhny’s ban was initially handed down last month after a long-running legal battle regarding his 2012 doping ban, which saw him suspended for five years.
The tennis player was disqualified from the Australian Open on 17 May after testing positive for the banned diuretic Hydrochlorothiazide which the International Tennis Federation (ITF) admitted constituted a violation of its anti-doping code.
His seven-month bans were due to run from 19 June to 30 August.
Youzhny, who is now set to compete in the Australian Open next year, had appealed the ban, with the case going before the Court of Arbitration for Sports in Switzerland last April.
Following a series of hearings, US District Judge John Koeltl handed down a ruling on 28 April 2015, which said that there was enough evidence to “meet the standard required by Doha for a ban from competition”.
According to the judgement, Youzhny had passed three out of four drugs tests taken during the 2013 Australian Open, meaning he had tested positive to the prohibited diuretic Hydrochlorothiazide.