Sun, 29 Mar 2020

London - Robert Farah, the world's top-ranked men's doubles player, was provisionally suspended by the International Tennis Federation on Tuesday after testing positive for a banned steroid, pending a full hearing.

The ITF said boldenone was found in the Colombian player's system after an out-of-competition test in October.

"On 11 January 2020, Mr Farah was charged with an anti-doping rule violation under article 2.1 of the programme (presence of a prohibited substance in a player's sample) and was provisionally suspended with effect from 21 January 2020," an ITF statement said.

"Mr Farah had (and retains) the right to apply to the chair of the independent tribunal convened to hear his case why the provisional suspension should not be imposed, but has chosen not to exercise that right to date."

Farah wrote on his social media accounts last week: "I'm going through one of the saddest moments of my life and, without a doubt, the saddest of my sporting career."

Boldenone is widely used by farmers in Colombia to boost the growth of cows, but it is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

In 2018, the Colombian Olympic Committee warned its athletes about the presence of Boldenone in beef.

"I'm sure that's what generated the result from the test in question," said Farah.

Canada-born Farah, 32, and fellow Colombian Juan Sebastian Cabal won the Wimbledon and US Open doubles titles last year.

The pair were also runners-up at the Australian Open in 2018 and had been due to play in the ongoing Grand Slam in Melbourne until the announcement of his doping case last week.

Cabal has teamed up with Jaume Munar of Spain in Australia.

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