Tennis

ITF chief calls for understanding in Troicki doping case

Viktor Troicki
Viktor Troicki can return to tennis in July.
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ROME (AP)

International Tennis Federation president Francesco Ricci Bitti says critics of Viktor Troicki's doping suspension have misunderstood the decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Troicki's ban for missing a doping test in April was reduced on appeal from 18 months to 12, and CAS said his ''fault was not significant.''

Ricci Bitti told The Associated Press at an Olympic meeting on Saturday the CAS decision doesn't mean Troicki was free of fault. Troicki claimed he was told by the doping officer to write to the ITF explaining he was ill and could not give a blood sample. He was later suspended for skipping the blood test.

Troicki's fellow Serb Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal of Spain criticized the doping officer's alleged advice, and the Serbia Tennis Association called the decision ''a major injustice.''

Bitty says critics ''need to read the decision. This is a problem of words. CAS re-confirmed the violation and took into consideration some mitigating circumstances.''

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