MARIN Cilic’s declaration during Wimbledon that he was pulling out due to a knee injury was to avoid “adverse publicity” from the fact he had failed a drugs test, the full findings of the case have revealed.
Croatia’s Cilic, the No 10 seed, was banned for nine months last week after testing positive.
He pulled out of his match against France’s Kenny de Schepper on 26 June, having accepted a provisional suspension for the positive test, but cited a knee injury as the reason.
The finding by the International Tennis Federation’s independent anti-doping tribunal states: “On 26 June his lawyers in Brussels responded on his behalf, voluntarily accepting a provisional suspension until a decision in the case, and waiving his right to analysis of the B sample. He withdrew from Wimbledon, citing a knee injury to avoid adverse publicity.”
Cilic, 24, tested positive for banned stimulant nikethamide after taking Coramine glucose tablets bought at a pharmacy in Monte Carlo.
The tablets’ information leaflet contained a warning for athletes that they could lead to a positive test, but Cilic argued that he could not understand French.
But the tribunal’s findings stated: “The product had the word ‘Coramine’ in upper case letters on the front. The player was familiar with websites such as Google and Wikipedia. It would have taken only minutes to search under ‘Coramine’ on those sites, and discover the danger he was in.”
Cilic has said he will appeal against the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.