Tennis player Mikael Ymer, 24, was suspended on Tuesday from his profession for 18 months after allegedly missing scheduled drug tests. The Swedish player is allegedly facing allegations of breaching anti-doping regulations, resulting in suspension until January 2025.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) found he missed three out-of-competition drug tests within the year. In June 2022, Ymer requested a hearing with CAS and was cleared by independent courts.
After the independent court ruling, The International Tennis Federation followed with an appeal. Within 13 months of the appeal, on July 17, the CAS informed Ymer of his year-and-a-half suspension.
The CAS ruled in favor of the ITF’s appeal, stating that their decision is based on Ymer not adhering to anti-doping regulations and his refusal to share his whereabouts on specific dates in 2021.
CAS said Ymer “failed in ensuring his compliance with the anti-doping regulations by omitting to verify his whereabouts on November 7, 2021” and alleged the “fault of the player […] was high”, adding that the third missed test “could be described as the result of culpable negligence”.
Upset with the public decisions by ITF, Ymer wrote a statement expressing his deep frustrations with the decision of banning him to play for a year and a half as punishment.
“In January 2022, the ITF charged me with a potential anti-doping rule violation for having 3 missed out of competition test attempts in a 12-month period. I fought that charge at a hearing, and was cleared by an independent tribunal of 3 arbitrators in June of 2022,” he said in the statement.
“The ITF appealed that decision despite the fact that the 3 independent arbitrators who cleared me were appointed under its own rules, and asked the Court of Arbitration for Sport to reach a different decision on the same facts under which I had already been cleared,” the statement continued.
“Yesterday, I learned that the Court of Arbitration for Sports has suspended me from professional tennis for 18 months, despite never having used nor been accused of using banned substances. Having already been cleared once, and wholeheartedly standing by the fact that I do not feel that the 3rd offence was committed, I find their decision to try me again and subsequently find me guilty, unfair,” he added.
“On top of that, I find it difficult to comprehend that they found an 18-month suspension to be a just punishment. I understand that these rules have been put in place to protect the integrity of our sport, and that they are there for a reason. However, I do not believe I broke those rules, and my conscience is clear with God as my witness,” he concluded.