Nick Kyrgios reignites Fernando Verdasco feud after Spaniard is banned for two months

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Nick Kyrgios reignites Fernando Verdasco feud over drugs ban… as John Millman says Spaniard’s suspension exposes a loophole that suggests Simona Halep is innocent

Nick Kyrgios has reignited his war of words with Fernando Verdasco, after the Spaniard accepted a voluntary provisional doping suspension of two months after testing positive for a medication for ADHD.

Verdasco, who turned 39 this month, said he was taking methylphenidate as medication prescribed by his doctor to treat ADHD but forgot to renew his therapeutic use exemption (TUE) for the drug. 

The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) said on Wednesday that Verdasco has now been granted an exemption by the World Anti-Doping Agency moving forward.

Nick Kyrgios has reignited his war of words with Fernando Verdasco 

He tested positive at an ATP Challenger tournament in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in February.

‘Can’t say I’m surprised with this one,’ the Australian wrote on Twitter as he shared a post announcing the Spaniard’s ban.

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The bad blood between the two dates all the way back to 2018, when the Spaniard took exception with a man talking during play at the Miami Open.

Verdasco asked the chair umpire to halt proceedings in the third set, before it transpired the man in question was the father of Thanasi Kokkinakis, Verdasco’s opponent on the day and Kyrgios’ doubles partner.

The Spaniard accepted a two-month ban after forgetting to renew his therapeutic use exemption for a medication for ADHD

The Spaniard accepted a two-month ban after forgetting to renew his therapeutic use exemption for a medication for ADHD

Kyrgios said he wasn't surprised by news of Verdasco's two-month ban

Kyrgios said he wasn’t surprised by news of Verdasco’s two-month ban

‘I hope TK wins this match, Verdasco is the saltiest dude, must be frustrated at his past success against Aussie,’ wrote in a tweet he subsequently deleted.

The Spaniard fired back via the same medium, accusing Kyrgios of lacking the minerals to stand by his claim.

‘When you have the courage to put a tweet insulting another player you need to have the same to don’t delete it,’ he wrote.

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The following year Kyrgios doubled down on his stance, telling Ben Rothenberg’s No Challenges Remaining podcast that Verdasco was ‘the most arrogant person ever’.

The bad blood between the two stretches all the way back to 2018, when Verdasco had an on-court altercation with Kyrgios' doubles partner Thanasi Kokkinakis (right)

The bad blood between the two stretches all the way back to 2018, when Verdasco had an on-court altercation with Kyrgios’ doubles partner Thanasi Kokkinakis (right)

Kyrgios called out Verdasco but subsequently deleted the tweet, prompting the Spaniard to fire back and accusing him of lacking the minerals to stand by his claim

Kyrgios called out Verdasco but subsequently deleted the tweet, prompting the Spaniard to fire back and accusing him of lacking the minerals to stand by his claim 

Meanwhile, fellow Aussie star John Millman suggested Verdasco’s ban proved Simona Halep was innoncent.

The Romanian, a former World No1, was provisional suspended from tennis in October for failing a drugs test.

Halep’s sample was found to have contained the blood-booster Roxadustat, but the two-time Grand Slam winner steadfastly denied any wrongdoing.

And Millman believes she had not deliberately attempt to circumvent the rules, suggesting she could have simply get an exemption instead.

The ITIA explicitly banned Verdasco not because he had subverted doping regulations, but because his TUE had lapsed by the time he was tested.

John Millman noted on Twitter that Verdasco's ban suggested Simona Halep was innocent

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John Millman noted on Twitter that Verdasco’s ban suggested Simona Halep was innocent

Halpe was temporarily suspended from tennis after testing positive in October

Halpe was temporarily suspended from tennis after testing positive in October 

Millman noted that there was no suggestion the Spaniard had looked to deliberately cheat the system, but pointed out TUE was a well-known method of ‘legally doping’ within the sport.

‘In general I really don’t like TUE’s in professional sport. Opens up way too many loopholes to “legally dope” – it’s very unfortunate for those with legitimate need as is the probable case here,’ he tweeted.

‘However it’s been long known that if you want to dope, get a TUE.

‘To add to this is one of the reasons I think Simona Halep is innocent. If she really wanted to enhance her performance with a substance she could have just gone down a TUE path. I genuinely believe she is innocent and hope she returns to the courts soon.’

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