19 May 2010
Decision in the case of Wayne Odesnik
The International Tennis Federation announced today that Wayne Odesnik has been found to have committed an anti-doping rule violation under Article C.6 of the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme (Possession of a Prohibited Substance without a therapeutic use exemption).
Mr Odesnik, a 24-year-old tennis player from the United States, admitted to having obtained eight (8) vials of human Growth Hormone in the United States in December 2009, which he then brought to Australia in January 2010. Human Growth Hormone is a Prohibited Substance under the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme.
The human Growth Hormone was found in Mr Odesnik’s luggage by Australian customs officials. The ITF is very grateful to them, and to the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority, for their cooperation and support in this matter.
Mr Odesnik asserted that he had purchased the human Growth Hormone on professional advice to treat a recurring injury, and that he intended to apply for a therapeutic use exemption prior to using it. Mr Odesnik denied ever using any of the human Growth Hormone.
The ITF has no evidence to contradict that denial, but Mr Odesnik did not in fact obtain or apply for a therapeutic use exemption for the human Growth Hormone prior to obtaining it. Accordingly, Mr Odesnik’s possession of the human Growth Hormone is an anti-doping rule violation under Article C.6 of the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme.
On that basis, the ITF has determined that Mr Odesnik should be suspended for two years, commencing as of 29 December 2009 and ending on 28 December 2011. In addition, all of Mr Odesnik’s results in competitions played since 29 December 2009 are disqualified, with consequent forfeiture of the ranking points and prize money that he won in those competitions.
The Tennis Anti-Doping Programme is a comprehensive and internationally recognised anti-doping programme that applies to all players competing at tournaments sanctioned by the ITF, ATP World Tour, and/or Sony Ericsson WTA Tour. 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.
In a statement released by his attorney, Odesnik said:
"I accept the ITF's decision regarding my sanction for being in possession of a banned substance. I made an honest mistake and I regret the impact that my actions have had on the sport of tennis; a game that I have loved since childhood and one which has given me many great opportunities and memories. The sole reason I was in possession of this banned substance was under doctor's advice for treatment of a recurring shoulder injury. I was unaware at the time that this would be considered an anti-doping violation. I never have taken nor tested positive for any banned substance in my career. Finally, I want to thank all my family, friends, and fans who have been so supportive of me throughout this difficult time. During my time away from tennis, I will try to give back to the game in a positive way and use this experience to motivate me to work harder than ever."
Really Wayne? Really?