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Verdasco banned for two months after forgetting to file medication paperwork; Opelka, Kyrgios hit out

The Spaniard is banned until the start of January after an administrative failure

Fernando Verdasco May 3, 2021, MADRID, MADRID, SPAIN: Fernando Verdasco of Spain in action during his Men’s Singles match, round of 64, against Cristian Garin of Chile on the ATP Masters 1000 – Mutua Madrid Open 2021 at La Caja Magica on May 3, 2021 in Madrid, Spain (Zuma/Panoramic)

Fernando Verdasco has been banned for two months for forgetting to renew his TUE (therapeutic use exemption) for ADHD medication.

“The player admitted the Anti-Doping Rule Violation and explained that he had been medically diagnosed with ADHD and legitimately used methylphenidate as medication prescribed by his physician to treat the condition in accordance with a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE), but had forgotten to renew his TUE when it expired,” read a statement from the International Tennis Integrity Agency.

“The ITIA accepts that the player did not intend to cheat, that his violation was inadvertent and unintentional, and that he bears No Significant Fault or Negligence for it. In the specific circumstances of this case, based on the player’s degree of Fault, the TADP allows for the applicable period of ineligibility to be reduced from two years to two months.”

The Spaniard was diagnosed with the condition as a child – but the incident has once again triggered a debate on the secrecy of TUEs (which are part of a player’s medical file), with some high-profile players weighing in.

Reilly Opelka wrote a string of tweets which seem to be based on a misunderstanding. He criticised the number of athletes from a range of sports who take Adderall, but that is the brand name for a different sort of ADHD medication that contains amphetamine as an active ingredient.

Meanwhile, Nick Kyrgios responded to the news of Verdasco’s ban with the words: “Can’t say I’m surprised with this one.”

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