Monday, July 20, 2009

"Pamela" Files Suit Against Richard Gasquet

by Savannah

The woman identified only as "Pamela" in the ITF report that in effect exonerated French tennis player Richard Gasquet for cocaine use has filed a lawsuit citing "defamation" of her character.

French press reports cite the following case as presented by the woman's lawyer, Maître Yassine Bouzrou in Paris.

Maitre Bouzrou says that his client did not engage in any make out session with Gasquet. Instead she says she greeted several people, Gasquet among them, with a kiss. She in no way implicated anyone as being in possession of cocaine her lawyer goes on to say.

As for Gasquet the French lawyer says that the fact remains that he tested positive for three times the level deemed acceptable by tennis authorities and says that his client is taking the fall for behavior she had no part in.

Here is the link to the French article.

Thankfully everyone in the American tennis press isn't asleep at the wheel. Bob Greene posts the following in Tennis Grandstand:

Frenchman Richard Gasquet escaped a two-year ban when an independent panel agreed with him that the reason he tested positive for cocaine was because he had kissed a woman in a Miami, Florida, nightclub who had been using the drug. The panel also ruled that while Gasquet’s test was officially in competition, this was a technicality as he had decided the day before his first match to pull out of the Sony Ericsson Championships. Cocaine is not banned out of competition. Fearing a dangerous precedent, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) sought a mandatory two-year band and may yet appeal the ruling, as may the World Anti-Doping Agency. Gasquet’s test showed traces of a tiny quantity of cocaine, about the size of a grain of salt. Gasquet missed the French Open and Wimbledon, but could return to the tour at the Montreal, Canada, Masters that starts on August 10.

Greene is reporting what was said in the Brazilian article I referenced last week. The implications of this acquittal, for that is what it is, go far beyond tennis. The lawyer is asking that independent lab tests be performed implying that he and his client do not feel the private lab used in the case can be relied on.

Is this a ploy by the young woman, who reportedly lives with her boyfriend in Paris, to extort money ? Some would say yes. I don't see anyone as totally clean in this situation. The question is who does she expect a payout from? Gasquet's personal finances? The FFT? The woman has submitted to the hair testing Gasquet did and her results also came back clean.

This story is not over yet.

No comments: