• ATP Tour

Troicki ban reduced to 12 months

ESPN staff
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Viktor Troicki refused to provide a blood sample during a doping test in Monte Carlo, claiming he felt ill © Getty Images
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Serbian tennis player Victor Troicki has had his 18-month doping ban reduced to a year by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Troicki was banned in July for refusing to provide a blood sample after his first-round exit at the Monte Carlo Masters in April, claiming he was feeling ill.

The 27-year-old, who provided a urine sample at the time, has a fear of needles and told the doping control officer that he did not want to faint having felt unwell during his 6-1 6-2 defeat by Jarkko Niemenen.

Troicki told the International Tennis Federation's anti-doping panel that he asked the DCO if he could return the next day to provide a blood sample and was told that it was possible, a claim refused by the DCO. It is this confusion that has led to the reduction in the former world No. 12's ban.

"The CAS Panel considered that the DCO should have informed the player in clearer terms of the risks caused by his refusal to undergo a blood test but that, despite the misunderstanding between the player and the DCO, there was no suggestion that Mr Troicki intended to evade the detection of a banned substance in his system," the court said in a statement.

"The CAS Panel determined that Mr Troicki did indeed commit an anti-doping violation and that in light of the circumstances of the case and the fact that there is no significant fault, the just and appropriate sanction was a period of ineligibility of 12 months commencing on 15 July 2013, which is the minimum in such a situation in accordance with the applicable ITF anti-doping rules."

Troicki is the second tennis player to see his doping ban reduced in recent weeks. Croatia's Marin Cilic, who tested positive for nikethamide having inadvertently ingested the stimulant in May, saw his nine-month suspension reduced to four months and returned to action at the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris last week.

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