22 Jan 2020

Decision in the case of Lucas Sithole



A decision has been issued under the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme (the "Programme") that Lucas Sithole has been found to have committed an Anti-Doping Rule Violation under Article 2.4 of the Programme (failing three times in any 12-month period to file whereabouts information).

Mr. Sithole, a 32 year-old player from South Africa, was notified that he had been included in the International Registered Testing Pool under the Programme, and of the consequential requirement to make Whereabouts filings, including a 60-minute time slot each day where he would be available and accessible for testing. Mr. Sithole failed to comply with the requirement to make himself available and accessible for testing three times within a twelve-month period and was, therefore, charged with an Anti-Doping Rule Violation under Article 2.4 of the Programme. 

Mr. Sithole admitted to the violation and provided an explanation for each of the three ‘Missed Tests’, and sought a reduction of the otherwise applicable two-year period of ineligibility. The ITF considered those explanations, but could not accept those explanations without corroborating evidence, which was not provided. Mr. Sithole subsequently accepted the default consequences of a period of ineligibility of two years. 

Mr Sithole’s commission of an Anti-Doping Rule Violation under Article 2.4 of the Programme was confirmed, and it was determined that he is suspended from participation for a period of two years, commencing from 30 September 2019, the date on which he last competed, and so ending at midnight on 29 September 2021. Mr. Sithole’s results between 25 June 2019 and 30 September 2019 are not disqualified, as there is no suggestion that his results during that period were affected by any doping practice.