Australia to overturn Djokovic visa ban, paving way for Australian Open return
by Staff Writers
LONDON (AFP) – Britain’s biggest ever anti-doping investigation will seek permission for the Australian tennis star Andy Murray to resume playing because of a two-year anti-doping ban imposed by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) in August.
Murray was initially banned for two years, but an appeal by the British government over a legal dispute allowed him to be cleared in January after three months on the sidelines for failing to pass a drug test.
Tennis Australia (TA) said Friday that the ITF would consider lifting the ban after it confirmed that it had been served by the Melbourne Park tennis academy that employed Murray.
“There is no doubt that the Australian Government would be opposed to lifting the ban on Andy Murray,” said TA head Peter Visscher.
“That is why it is our view that Andy will soon be available to return to competition.
“We are working closely with Andy’s management team to ensure that this is the case, but for now we are focussed on getting Andy back in the game and supporting him towards his full rehabilitation.”
Murray, 26, has served a suspension from tennis since August but could now be allowed to resume playing when the two-year ban expires.
He was handed the ban by the ITF for missing a mandatory drug test and failing to report the use of two medications known as EPO, or Erythropoietin, an analogue that boosts red blood cell production.
During this period, Murray was playing in his second-straight Australian Open, although only one of his four matches was played.
Murray was one of three top players banned from the Australian Open this year — along with Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic — because of missing mandatory drug tests.
Other top banned players:
Rafael Nadal — banned for two years for failing to comply with the terms of his anti-doping ban.
Tomas Berdych — banned for four years