ATP star responds to ban for missed doping tests and confirms he will appeal
American ATP pro Jenson Brooksby has issued his response to the lengthy ban he has been handed for missing doping tests and confirmed he will appeal the decision.
The 22-year-old asserted that he has “never taken a banned substance” in his life, while also recognising that two of the three tests he missed were his fault, but insisted the other “should be set aside.”
Brooksby was banned for 18 months by the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) on Wednesday after he missed three drug tests within a 12-month period. He 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.
The case was heard on October 10 and the ITIA has announced that an independent tribunal has suspended the former world No 33, though 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 play again from January 5, 2025. He last played at the 2023 Australian Open, where he was defeated by compatriot Tommy Paul in the third round. The American underwent wrist surgery to address a long-term injury in March.
In a post shared on his Instagram account with the caption: “I will keep fighting”, Brooksby gave his reaction to the suspension and explained why he feels he should not be blamed for one of the missed tests.
“l’m very disappointed to learn that I have been suspended for 18 months, for having 3 missed tests. I have never taken a banned substance in my life, and I was open and honest with the ITIA throughout my case,” wrote the 22-year-old.
“I understand that it is my responsibility and will learn and grow. I accepted that 2 of my missed tests were my fault, but I continue to maintain that my June 4, 2022 missed test should be set aside.
“On that date, I was in my hotel room for the entirety of my 1-hour testing window. The hotel room had been booked for the first part of my stay in the name of my physio (who was staying with me), because the ATP did not provide me with a room until June 4.
“Starting on June 4, the room was in my name, but I had asked that my name be added to the room days before that, and had even given my passport to the hotel front desk when I needed a new key – if my name was not on the room when I showed my passport before June 4, then I’m not sure why the hotel gave me a key.
“For some reason, on the morning of June 4, the hotel told the Doping Control Officer that I had not yet checked in, but they did show him their computer screen which already had my room number listed on it.
“Even having that information, the Doping Control Office never asked the hotel to call my room, so I did not know that the Doping Control Officer was there to test me – no call was made to my hotel room for the entire hour, and the Doping Control Officer only called my cell phone (which was on silent) in the last 4 minutes of the testing window (at 6:56AM).
“Had the Doping Control Officer called my hotel room even once, I would have for sure been tested, because I was awake and had nothing to hide.
“I intend to appeal this decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. I have been fighting injuries for almost a year, and my return to the sport that I love will unfortunately be delayed a little bit longer. But I will be back, and I hope it will be soon.”
Brooksby is a three-time runner up at ATP tournaments, having made three finals at ATP 250 level across 2021 and 2022.
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