Rising U.S. tennis star Jenson Brooksby has been hit with an 18-month ban by the International Tennis Integrity Agency after missing anti-doping tests.
The 22-year-old was allegedly in breach of the ITIA’s ‘whereabouts’ rules surrounding testing for illicit substances.
The Sporting News explains the situation with the American talent.
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Brooksby has been banned for 18 months for ‘whereabouts failure’ after missing three doping tests over a 12-month period.
The suspension was handed down by an independent tribunal in conjunction with the ITIA.
Brooksby has claimed responsibility for missing two of the tests, but is adamant that the third wasn’t his fault.
The American has also declared he has ‘never failed a test’.
“I got tested by IDTM (International Doping Tests and Management) on Tuesday night, just hours after the ITIA announced my suspension,” Brooksby said via Instagram.
“Whoever made that decision does not care about players’ mental health.
“This is my fifth test since March 2023 including one test outside my one hour window.
“I have never failed a test.”
Brooksby accepted a voluntary provisional suspension earlier this year, with the start of his ban backdated to July 5, 2023.
This will mean Brooksby is eligible to return to tennis on January 4, 2025.
“I am very disappointed to learn that I have been suspended for 18 months, for having three missed tests,” Brooksby wrote on Instagram. “I understand that it is my responsibility to learn and grow.
“I accepted that two of my missed tests were my fault, but I continue to maintain that my June 4, 2022 missed test should be set aside.
“On that date, I was in my hotel room for the entirety of my one-hour testing window.
“The hotel room had been booked for the first part of my stay in the name of my physio (who was staying with me) because the ATP did not provide me with a room until June 4.
“Starting on June 4, the room was in my name, but I had asked that my name be added to the room days before that, and had even given my passport to the hotel front desk when I needed a new key – if my name was not on the room before I showed my passport on June 4, then I’m not sure why the hotel gave me a key.
“For some reason, on the morning of June 4, the hotel told the Doping Control Officer that I had not yet checked in, but they did show him their computer screen which already had my room number listed on it.
“Even having that information, the Doping Control Office never asked the hotel to call my room, so I did not know the Doping Control Officer was there to test me – no call was made to my hotel room for the entire hour, and the Doping Control Officer only called my cell phone (which was on silent) in the last four minutes of the testing window (at 6:56am).
“Had the Doping Control Officer called my hotel room, I would have for sure been tested, because I was awake and had nothing to hide.”
Brooksby, who achieved a career-high ranking of 33 in 2022, is currently ranked outside the world’s top 300 after struggling with injures in 2023.
The Californian has had surgery on both his wrists for dislocated tendons during the recent season.
His last match came at Australian Open 2023 where he was beaten in the third-round by eventual semi-finalist Tommy Paul.
Brooksby did dismiss three-time grand slam finalist Casper Ruud in the previous match in a show of his talent.
He is yet to win an ATP title but has featured in three 250 finals – all in the United States.