04 Jan 2018

Decision in the case of Thomaz Bellucci


[PressRelease]

A decision has been issued under the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme (the "Programme") that Thomaz Bellucci has committed an Anti-Doping Rule Violation under Article 2.1. The decision imposed a period of ineligibility of five months, commencing on 1 September 2017.

Mr. Bellucci, a 29-year-old player from Brazil provided a urine sample on 18 July 2017 in association with his participation in the Swedish Open, an ATP World Tour event, held in Båstad, Sweden. That sample was sent to the World Anti-Doping Agency (“WADA”) accredited laboratory in Montreal, Canada for analysis, and was found to contain hydrochlorothiazide and its metabolite, chloraminophenamide. Hydrochlorothiazide is a Specified Substance prohibited under category S5 of the 2017 WADA Prohibited List (diuretics and masking agents), and therefore is also prohibited under the Programme.

On 18 September 2017, Mr. Bellucci was charged with an Anti-Doping Rule Violation under Article 2.1 of the Programme (presence of a Prohibited Substance in a Player’s Sample). Mr. Bellucci promptly admitted his violation, but refused to accept a voluntary provisional suspension and, therefore, remained free to compete pending resolution of his case. (Note: under the Programme, only cases involving mandatory or voluntary provisional suspensions are announced prior to the issuance of a final decision).

Mr. Bellucci’s account of how the hydrochlorothiazide got into his system was accepted and that he bears No Significant Fault or Negligence for the violation. The Programme provides for the start date of the period of ineligibility of five months to be backdated due to the prompt admission and for delays not attributable to Mr. Bellucci. Therefore, the start of the ban is back-dated by two and a half months pursuant to Programme Article 10.10.3(b) and by a further six weeks pursuant to Programme Article 10.10.3(c). As a result, the ban is deemed to have started on 1 September 2017, and so will expire at midnight on 31 January 2018.

This is Mr. Bellucci’s first Anti-Doping Rule Violation. The decision determines that (1) Mr. Bellucci has committed a violation of the Programme; (2) he must serve a period of ineligibility of five months; and (3) that period of ineligibility is back-dated to start on 1 September 2017 and so ending at midnight on 31 January 2018. In accordance with Programme article 9.1, the points and prize money obtained by Mr. Bellucci at the Båstad event are disqualified. 

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