Cilic cited injury to hide failed drug test

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File- This June 16, 2013 file photo shows Marin Cilic of Croatia playing a return to Andy Murray of Britain during their Queen\'s Club grass court championships single final tennis match in London. Former top-10 player Cilic has been suspended nine months for a doping violation. The ban was back-dated to May 1, so Cilic can return to competition Jan. 31, the International Tennis Federation said Monday Sept. 16, 2013. (AP Photo/Sang Tan, File)


LONDON (AP) — A tennis tribunal says Marin Cilic hid behind the excuse of a knee injury to withdraw from Wimbledon this year to avoid negative publicity after failing a doping test.

The Croatian player was suspended for nine months last week by the International Tennis Federation after testing positive for a banned stimulant at a tournament in Munich in May.

The ITF's anti-doping tribunal released its findings of the case on Tuesday, saying Cilic pulled out of Wimbledon before his second-round match against Kenny de Schepper on the same day he accepted a provisional doping suspension and waived his right to testing of his backup 'B' sample.

The statement says Cilic "withdrew from Wimbledon, citing a knee injury to avoid adverse publicity."

The ITF has accepted the player's contention that he ingested the stimulant inadvertently in a glucose tablet and wasn't trying to cheat.