• ATP Tour

Cilic denies covering up drugs ban at Wimbledon

ESPN staff
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Marin Cilic has appealed against his nine-month ban © PA Photos
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Marin Cilic has hit back at reports claiming he feigned an injury at Wimbledon in order to cover up the failing of his drugs test.

The Croatian was slapped with a nine-month ban by the International Tennis Federation after testing positive for a banned substance at the Munich Open. He had been informed during the Aegon Championships at Queen's he had failed the drugs test, and carried on competing after accepting a provisional suspension. However, he was told his results at Wimbledon may be wiped out depending on the results of the case.

The reports suggested Cilic feigned a knee injury to hide from the drugs ban, but has denied the claims.

"I had already developed a significant knee injury before Wimbledon and aggravated it during my first-round match," Cilic said. "The tournament doctors at Wimbledon examined my knee before and after my first-round match.

"The medical documentation that I was given records that my knee was already then in a bad state and that any further matches could risk a more serious injury. I was nonetheless very keen to continue playing at Wimbledon, because the tournament means so much to me."

Cilic has lodged an appeal against the ban and went on to add: "At that point it no longer made any sense for me to risk causing my knee a more serious injury and to deprive someone else the opportunity of playing deeper into the tournament.

"I therefore took the painful decision to pull out of Wimbledon and to accept a voluntary suspension pending the determination of my case. I don't know what else I could have done. I subsequently flew to Monte Carlo to receive treatment on my knee. I was unable to put any weight on my knee for several days after my treatment."

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