Reilly Opelka about Verdasco's doping issue: "It's legal doping"

Fernando Verdasco has officially received a two-month ban for doping, which he actually tested positive for last February

by Lorenzo Ciotti
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Reilly Opelka about Verdasco's doping issue: "It's legal doping"

Fernando Verdasco has officially received a two-month ban for doping, which he actually tested positive for last February. Not that he took doping substances with the aim of altering sports performance; his only mistake was to forget to renew the exemption for the therapeutic use of drugs to treat his attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Medicines containing methylphenidate, the offending substance for which he tested positive at the beginning of the year. Some of Verdasco's colleagues also commented on the story, such as Nick Kyrgios, who said he was not surprised by what happened.

Also the US player Reilly Opelka talked about the issue. He wrote on Twitter: "One of the biggest problems in tennis. Why do boys take Adderall for the first time in their adult lives? Legal doping."

Verdasco's doping issue

Unlike the case involving Simona Halep, former world No.

7 Fernando Verdasco has acknowledged her levity and signed a voluntary agreement with the International Tennis Integrity Agency agreeing to abide by the two-month ban imposed on him. In the official statement of the ITIA, the absolute good faith of Verdasco was clearly specified, who would in no way have taken methylphenidate to cheat and that, therefore, the period of disqualification was reduced from two years to two months: "The International Tennis Integrity Agency confirms that Fernando Verdasco, a 39-year-old Spanish tennis player, accepted the charge under the Tennis Anti-Doping Program (TADP) for the presence of the ADHD drug methylphenidate in a sample of urine.

The player has accepted a voluntary provisional suspension and will serve a two month inactivity period. Verdasco was tested at an ATP Challenger event in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in February 2022. The player admitted to an anti-doping rule violation and explained that he had been medically diagnosed with ADHD.

He legitimately used methylphenidate as a drug prescribed by his doctor to treat the condition under a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE), but forgot to renew his TUE when it expired. The ITIA accepts that the player did not intend to cheat, that the infringement on him was unintentional and unintentional and that he has no significant fault or negligence therefor.

In the specific circumstances of this case, depending on the player's degree of fault, the TADP allows the applicable ban period to be reduced from two years to two months. The player has voluntarily agreed to a provisional suspension after being informed of the allegation.

The two-month ban starts from the date of the player's temporary voluntary suspension and will end on Sunday 8 January 2023."

Reilly Opelka Fernando Verdasco
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