The fog surrounding Marin Cilic's self-imposed exile from the circuit has finally cleared after the International Tennis Federation handed him a nine-month suspension for a positive dope test.
The sentence, which has been back-dated to May 1 and will run until the end of January, might seem lenient. That is because the ITF accepted Cilic's claim that the banned substance, a stimulant called nikethamide, had been ingested inadvertently. Even so, Cilic (24) said he plans to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
"I am frustrated that I cannot talk more about the case at this time," he said, "but I will do so as soon as the legal process is over."
The ITF acknowledges that the nikethamide came in a packet of Coramine glucose tablets, a dietary supplement that Cilic had been using regularly and which, in the form he normally took, did not contravene the World Anti-Doping Agency code. (© Daily Telegraph, London)