London, England, 22 Feb 2012 - The International Tennis Federation announced today that Kaitlyn Verfuerth has been found to have committed an Anti-Doping Rule Violation under Article C.1 of the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme (presence of a Prohibited Substance in player’s sample).
Ms Verfuerth, a 26-year-old tennis player from the United States, provided a sample on 23 July 2011 at the British Open wheelchair tennis event held in Nottingham, UK. That sample was sent to the WADA-accredited laboratory in Montreal, Canada for analysis, and was found to contain a prohibited stimulant. Ms Verfuerth was therefore charged with an Anti-Doping Rule Violation under Article C.1 of the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme.
Ms Verfuerth asserted that the substance had entered her system through her ingestion of a prescription medication. The ITF did not dispute Ms Verfuerth’s account of these circumstances. Under the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme, however, it is a player’s strict personal duty to ensure that no Prohibited Substance enters her body, whether as a prescription medication or otherwise, unless she holds a valid therapeutic use exemption (TUE) for such substance. Ms Verfuerth did not hold a valid TUE.
Ms Verfuerth’s commission of an Anti-Doping Rule Violation under Article C.1 of the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme was, therefore, confirmed, and she is suspended from participation for a period of 6 months, in addition to the disqualification of her results at the 2011 British Open, with resulting forfeiture of the ranking points and prize money that she won at that event. The period of ineligibility is back-dated to 1 September, 2011, when Ms Verfuerth accepted a provisional suspension. Thus, she is eligible to compete from 1 March 2012.
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 World Tour, and WTA. Players are tested for substances prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency and, upon a finding that an Anti-Doping Rule Violation has been committed, sanctions are imposed in accordance with the requirements of the World Anti-Doping Code. More background information on the Programme, sanctions, tennis statistics and related information can be found at www.itftennis.com/antidoping.