John Millman reveals he is not really a fan of Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) in sports because he feels it opens the doors for players to take "a legal doping." This week, the ITIA announced Fernando Verdasco was being suspended for two months over an ADHD medication mistake.
Verdasco, who was diagnosed with ADHD and prescribed medication by his physician, forgot to renew his TUE as his sample from earlier this year contained methylphenidate. The Verdasco news drew lots of attention within the tennis community as some suggested that there is a good number of players that falsely claim they have ADHD, so they take medications that help them improve focus and concentration during matches.
Reflecting on the Verdasco news, Millman seemingly confirmed that some players abuse the TUE rule to get "legal doping." Also, Millman added this is why he feels Simona Halep is innocent - because if she wanted to enhance her performance, she could have simply applied for a TUE.
Millman on the Verdasco news and why he feels Halep is innocent
"In general I really don’t like TUE’s in professional sport. Opens up way too many loopholes to 'legally dope' - it’s very unfortunate for those with legitimate need as is the probable case here.
However, it’s been long known that if you want to dope, get a TUE. To add to this is one of the reasons I think Simona Halep is innocent. If she really wanted to enhance her performance with a substance she could have just gone down a TUE path.
I genuinely believe she is innocent and hope she returns to the courts soon!" Millman explained on Twitter. Meanwhile, the ITIA reduced Verdasco's ban from two years to two months because they concluded that the Spaniard "did not intend to cheat." Verdasco's suspension ends on 08 January.
"The ITIA accepts that the player did not intend to cheat, that his violation was inadvertent and unintentional, and that he bears No Significant Fault or Negligence for it. In the specific circumstances of this case, based on the player’s degree of Fault, the TADP allows for the applicable period of ineligibility to be reduced from two years to two months.
The player voluntarily accepted a provisional suspension after being notified of the charge. The two-month period of ineligibility commenced on the date of the player’s voluntary provisional suspension and will conclude on Sunday, 8 January 2023," the ITIA said.