World No 51 tennis star Mikael Ymer is BANNED for 18 months from tennis over an anti-doping violation… but Swedish player claims his ‘conscience is clear’

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World No 51 tennis star Mikael Ymer is BANNED for 18 months from tennis over an anti-doping violation… but Swedish player claims his ‘conscience is clear’

Swedish player Mikael Ymer has been banned from tennis for 18 months for an anti-doping violation.

The 24-year-old, ranked 51, was found by the Court of Arbitration for Sport to have committed three failures of the whereabouts system, which requires athletes to be available for drug testing for a one-hour period each day, in 12 months.

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Ymer, who upset ninth seed Taylor Fritz on his way to the third round of Wimbledon this month, was initially cleared by an independent tribunal but the International Tennis Federation appealed against the decision to CAS.

The dispute was over the third failure on the eve of a tournament in Roanne, France in November 2021, with Ymer arguing he did not bear fault.

The CAS panel took a different view, though, handing him an 18-month ban, slightly reduced from the two-year sanction the ITF had sought.

Mikael Ymer has been banned from tennis for 18 months for an anti-doping rule violation

Mikael Ymer has been banned from tennis for 18 months for an anti-doping rule violation

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The Swedish player had initially been cleared but CAS imposed a sanction after an ITF appeal

The Swedish player had initially been cleared but CAS imposed a sanction after an ITF appeal

Ymer had upset ninth seed Taylor Fritz, left, on his way to the third round at Wimbledon

Ymer had upset ninth seed Taylor Fritz, left, on his way to the third round at Wimbledon

A CAS statement read: ‘Following a hearing on 25 April 2023, the CAS Panel in charge of the matter deliberated and concluded that the player failed in ensuring his compliance with the anti-doping regulations by omitting to verify his whereabouts filing for 7 November 2021, and by assuming that any discrepancy between his actual and declared whereabouts would be corrected by his agent or by the tennis authorities.’

Reacting to the ruling on Twitter, Ymer wrote: ‘Yesterday, I learned that the Court of Arbitration for Sports has suspended me from professional tennis for 18 months, despite never having used nor been accused of using banned substances.

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‘Having already been cleared once, and wholeheartedly standing by the fact that I do not feel that the third offence was committed, I find their decision to try me again and subsequently find me guilty, unfair.

‘On top of that, I find it difficult to comprehend that they found an 18 month suspension to be a just punishment.

‘I understand that these rules have been put in place to protect the integrity of our sport, and that they are there for a reason. However, I do not believe I broke those rules, and my conscience is clear with God as my witness.’

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