***Note that Romboli's sample was taken on July 11, 2012, that he started a provisional suspension on September 1, 2012, and that his suspension expired today...the same day the ITF announced the decision (and today's release is first public announcement regarding Romboli's suspension and positive test). In total, that's about 10 months between the sample being taken and the final decision being rendered. And remember, if Romboli had been exonerated no public announcement would been made. Instead, he would have simply returned to the tour after a very long, unexplained absence.
It is worth comparing the ITF's disclosure protocol with that of cycling's UCI. For example, today the UCI announced that French rider Sylvain Georges tested positive for a banned stimulant last Friday (May 10, 2013). Also today, UCI announced that Venezuelan rider Miguel Ubeto Aponte was under provisional suspension for an out of competition test taken on April 16, 2013.
15 May 2013
The International Tennis Federation announced today that Fernando Romboli has been found to have committed an Anti-Doping Rule Violation under Article 2.1 of the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme (presence of a Prohibited Substance in a player’s sample).
Mr Romboli, a 24-year-old tennis player from Brazil, provided a sample on 11 July 2012 at the ATP Challenger Event held in Bogota, Colombia. That sample was sent to the WADA-accredited laboratory in Montreal, Canada for analysis, and was found to contain two diuretics, furosemide and hydrochlorothiazide. Both furosemide and hydrochlorothiazide are Prohibited Substances under section S5 of the 2012 WADA List of Prohibited Substances and Prohibited Methods, and are therefore also prohibited under the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme (the “Programme”). Mr Romboli was therefore charged with an Anti-Doping Rule Violation under Article 2.1 of the Programme.
Mr Romboli asserted that the furosemide and hydrochlorothiazide, for which he did not hold a valid TUE, had entered his system through a contaminated supplement that had been prescribed for him by a doctor. He denied any intent to enhance his performance as a result of taking that supplement.
The ITF accepted Mr Romboli’s account of the circumstances surrounding his ingestion of furosemide and hydrochlorothiazide, and that he (a) met the requirements to satisfy article 10.4 of the Programme (Elimination or Reduction of the Period of Ineligibility for Specified Substance under Specified Circumstances), and (b) bore No Significant Fault or Negligence.
Mr Romboli’s commission of an Anti-Doping Rule Violation under Article 2.1 of the Programme was confirmed, and it was determined that he is suspended from participation for a period of eight and a half months, back-dated to commence from 1 September 2012, the date on which he accepted a voluntary provisional suspension, and so ending at midnight on 15 May 2013. It was also determined that Mr Romboli’s results at the 2012 Bogota Challenger event should be disqualified, with resulting forfeiture of the ranking points and prize money that he won at those events.