Unless he pulls an Arthur Ashe (or Pancho Gonzalez, or even Jimmy Connors), this is pretty much the end of serious contention in tennis for Puerta (age 27).
ITF Link as follows (with .pdf attachment of tribunal decision): http://www.itftennis.com/abouttheitf...e.asp?id=16082
Full Announcement Below:
ITF Anti-Doping Press Release - Decision in the case of Mariano Puerta The International Tennis Federation announced today that an independent Anti-Doping Tribunal convened under the ITF’s 2005 Tennis Anti-Doping Programme has found that Mariano Puerta has committed a Doping Offence under the Programme.
The independent Anti-Doping Tribunal has ruled that Mr Puerta, a 27-year-old Argentine national, committed a Doping Offence under Article C.1 of the Programme (presence of a prohibited substance in a sample), in that a sample that he provided on 5 June 2005, immediately after the men's singles final of Roland Garros in Paris, tested positive for a stimulant (etilefrine), a substance prohibited in competition under the WADA Code and the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme.
The independent Tribunal, consisting of Mr Tim Kerr QC, Dr Jose Pascual and Dr Inggard Lereim, heard the matter in London on 6 and 7 December 2005. The Tribunal determined that Mr Puerta's analytical positive result was caused by an inadvertent administration of etilefrine. The Tribunal therefore confirmed the commission of a Doping Offence under Article C.1 of the Programme and automatically disqualified Mr Puerta’s results at Roland Garros, requiring forfeiture of entry ranking points, and prize money of € 440,000 in singles and € 3,282 in doubles.
Mr Puerta was banned by the ATP in 2003 for a Doping Offence (presence of clenbuterol in his sample) and served a nine-month ban from the sport for that offence. The positive test for etilefrine from Roland Garros was therefore his second offence. The independent Anti-Doping Tribunal rejected a defence of No Fault or Negligence, but accepted an alternative plea of No Significant Fault or Negligence. In accordance with the WADA World Anti-Doping Code it therefore imposed an eight-year suspension from competition, commencing 5 June 2005. It also determined that the results he obtained in events subsequent to Roland Garros should also be disqualified and the entry ranking points and prize money of US$ 330,925 gained in those events forfeited.
The tribunal's written decision with reasons is available as a PDF below. Any party wishing to appeal the decision will have three weeks to do so from receipt of the written decision.
The Tennis Anti-Doping Programme is a comprehensive and internationally recognised drug-testing programme that applies to all players competing at tournaments sanctioned by the ITF, ATP and WTA Tour. Players are tested for substances prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency. Charges of breach of the Programme are heard by an independent Anti-Doping Tribunal.