Wimbledon and US Open doubles champion Robert Farah has escaped a ban despite being found to have breached doping regulations.
The 33-year-old was provisionally suspended last month – meaning he missed the Australian Open – after testing positive for anabolic steriod Boldenone in October 2019, but the Colombian argued that was a result of eating contaminated meat in his homeland.
His argument was accepted by the International Tennis Federation, which said in a statement: ‘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.
‘Therefore, the player’s provisional suspension 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.’
The doubles world number one thanked family, sponsors and fans who ‘supported me during this trying time to prove my innocence’.
His legal counsel Maurice M Suh welcomed the finding on his client’s behalf.
‘We are pleased that the ITF has found in favour of Mr Farah and has fairly applied the tennis anti-doping rules,’ he said in a statement.
‘Mr Farah is a champion and deserves to return to competition and the sport he loves.’
The decision is subject to appeal by the World Anti-Doping Agency and the National Anti-Doping Organisation Colombia to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.