Tennis-Troicki pleads innocence, to appeal to CAS against ban

BELGRADE, July 26 Fri Jul 26, 2013 10:26am BST

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BELGRADE, July 26 (Reuters) - Serbian former world number 12 Viktor Troicki will appeal to the Court of Arbitration (CAS) against the 18-month ban slapped on him by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) for refusing to provide a blood sample at this year's Monte Carlo Masters.

"(I will be appealing) for sure," the 27-year-old said on his official website (www.viktortroicki.com) pleading innocence in the doping violation case.

"I put my trust in the Court of Arbitration of Sports in Lausanne, I really hope they will look for the truth and find it, which is only one."

Troicki said he was misled by a doping control officer in Monte Carlo.

"I gave the urine samples and told the doctor I was feeling really bad and I believed that drawing blood would make me feel even worse," said Troicki, who helped Serbia win the 2010 Davis Cup.

"The doctor in charge of the testing told me that I looked very pale and ill, and that I could skip the test if I wrote an explanation letter to ITF about it. She dictated the letter to me and let me go without giving blood.

"I just had the wrong doctor who didn't tell me at all that I was risking anything. She showed me a letter of the ITF saying she is in charge of the decisions and I trusted her completely."

Troicki termed the episode a "real nightmare" and said he felt "being treated like a criminal".

An ITF statement said Troicki's actions constituted a "failure and refusal" to provide a blood sample and that his explanation for doing so was "not compelling."

Troicki will be suspended until Jan 24, 2015 and the announcement came shortly after he lost to Spaniard Tommy Robredo in the early stages of a Croatian international tournament in Umag on Thursday.

Troicki was hailed as a national hero in Serbia alongside compatriot and world number one Novak Djokovic after winning the final singles rubber in Serbia's epic 3-2 win over France in the 2010 Davis Cup final in Belgrade. (Reporting by Zoran Milosavljevic; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)

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