Decision In The Case Of Robert Farah

Robert Farah (right) and his doubles partner Juan-Sebastian Cabal

ITF Press Release, February 10, 2020

A decision has been issued under the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme (the “Programme”) that Robert Farah has committed an Anti-Doping Rule Violation under Article 2.1 of the 2019 Programme. No period of ineligibility was imposed.

Mr. Farah, a 32-year-old player from Colombia, provided a urine sample as part of an Out-of-Competition testing mission on 17 October 2019. That sample was sent to the World Anti-Doping Agency (“WADA”) accredited laboratory in Montreal, Canada for analysis, and was found to contain Boldenone and its metabolite. Boldenone is a Non-Specified substance, which is prohibited under category S1 of the 2019 WADA Prohibited List (Anabolic Agents), and therefore is also prohibited under the Programme. Positive tests for Non-Specified Substances carry a mandatory Provisional Suspension and Mr. Farah was provisionally suspended with effect from 21 January 2020.

Mr. Farah 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) on 11 January 2020. Mr. Farah’s account of how the Boldenone entered his system was accepted and it was determined that he bears No Fault or Negligence for the violation within the meaning of Programme Article 10.4. Where a finding of No Fault or Negligence is made, Programme Article 10.4 provides that any otherwise applicable period of Ineligibility shall be eliminated entirely. Therefore, the Player’s provisional suspension (imposed on 21 January 2020) is lifted with immediate effect, and he will not serve any period of Ineligibility for his violation. For the avoidance of doubt, Mr. Farah is eligible to resume competition immediately.

This is Mr. Farah’s first Anti-Doping Rule Violation. The decision determines that: (1) Mr. Farah has committed a violation of the Programme; (2) there is no period of ineligibility; and (3) Mr. Farah is eligible to compete with immediate effect. This decision is subject to appeal by WADA and NADO Colombia (COLDEPORTES) to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.