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Cilic banned from tennis for nine months

Sept. 16, 2013 at 3:58 PM   |   Comments

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LONDON, Sept. 16 (UPI) -- Marin Cilic has been banned from ATRP competition until Jan. 31 for alleged use of a banned substance, the ATP said Monday.

Cilic, 24 and ranked 24th in the world, was determined to have taken nikethamide, a stimulant included on the list of substances prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency. Cilic said he ingested the substance as part of Coramine glucose tablets that had been bought for him at a pharmacy.

Officials ruled the Cilic took substance inadvertently and was eligible to have his penalty reduced. He could have been banned for a year. The lessened suspension was set at nine months, beginning May 1, when he gave the sample that tested positive.

The ban ends Jan. 31, barring Cilic from the 2014 Australian Open, which is scheduled for Jan. 13-26.

Cilic was entered in the BMW Open when he gave the sample and his results, rankings points and money earned at the tournament were forfeit. Cilic was seeded second in the tournament but lost in the second round. He played in several tournaments after that, including the Queen's Club even in London where he lost the final to Andy Murray. Those results were also wiped out.

Cilic won one tournament this year --the PBZ Zagreb Indoors in February. He's won nine tournaments in his career.

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