Rising American star slapped with lengthy ban for missed doping tests

Jenson Brooksby after a match

Jenson Brooksby has been banned for 18 months by the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) after he missed three drugs tests within a 12-month period.

The American was first handed a provisional suspension by the ITIA in July this year after he committed three whereabouts failures in the span of a year.

Brooksby accepted the voluntary provisional suspension for missing the tests, but at the time he strongly denied doping and opted to go to arbitration, stating in an interview: “Taking the provisional suspension is the best decision that we have to make right now. I’ve never failed a drug test. I’ve never taken any bad substances.”

The case was heard on October 10 and the ITIA has announced that an independent tribunal has suspended the 22-year-old although it accepted that the reason for two of the player’s missed tests “were valid”.

The ban has been backdated from July 5 and Brooksby will be allowed to compete again from January 5, 2025.

The official ITIA statement read: “The independent tribunal, established by Sport Resolutions, met on 10 October 2023, hearing from the player and several witnesses including the Doping Control Officer (DCO) who was involved in the disputed second missed test. Brooksby accepted that the first and third missed tests were valid so only the second missed test was in dispute before the tribunal.

“Having considered the evidence, the tribunal found that Brooksby’s degree of fault for the missed test was high. The tribunal found that the DCO ‘took all reasonable steps to locate the player’ in the disputed test and the player was negligent by not making themself available for testing during the identified time slot.”

Brooksby made his breakthrough during the 2021 season when he finished runner-up in his maiden ATP Tour singles final at the Halle of Fame in July before reaching the fourth round of the US Open as a 20-year-old wildcard, defeating the likes of Taylor Fritz and Aslan Karatsev.

Last year he finished runner-up at Dallas Open and Atlanta Open, reaching a career-high of No 33 in June last year.

Brooksby’s three missed tests were registered within a 12-month period from April 2022.

According to the anti-doping guidelines, three whereabouts failures in the space of a rolling 12-month period can include missed tests or filing failures. It can maximum sanction of a two-year suspension.

ITIA CEO Karen Moorhouse said: “The whereabouts programme is a vital tool in maintaining a clean sport. No-one wants players to fall foul of the rules in this way.

“We offer regular support and education to all players who are part of the whereabouts programme and make ourselves available to answer any questions. We urge all players to take the necessary steps to ensure that they are meticulous with their whereabouts filings.”

READ MORE: Swedish star slams tennis body over ‘unfair’ treatment following lengthy ban

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