WADA hoped hearing would aid other cases

Updated: February 6, 2004, 8:18 PM ET
Associated Press

LONDON -- Greg Rusedski will not allow the World Anti-Doping Agency to attend his hearing in Montreal on Monday for a positive steroid test.

The 1997 U.S. Open finalist will appear before an independent tennis panel to explain why he tested positive for nandrolone at an Indianapolis tournament in July. Rusedski could face a two-year ban that could be appealed to an arbitration panel.

"I know I am innocent," Rusedski said Friday.

The Canadian-born Briton contends the banned substance may have come from supplements supplied by ATP trainers. He says his test result was similar to those of seven other players who tested positive for nandrolone but escaped suspension.

Rusedski's positive test came after the ATP instructed its training and medical staff in May to stop issuing the supplements.

WADA president Dick Pound has been skeptical of Rusedski's defense and questioned why the ATP failed to suspend the seven other players.

Both sides must agree for third parties to attend the hearing. Pound told The Canadian Press that the agency had hoped to gather information for its inquiry into the seven previous positive tests.

Rusedski will be represented by Mark Gay, who has prosecuted several high-profile doping cases and has worked on behalf of the world governing body of track and field.

"I am driven by the fact that seven other players with identical findings of metabolites of nandrolone and the same unique fingerprint were exonerated," Rusedski said. "I expect a fair trial and hope for a swift verdict so that I can return to playing tennis and put an end to this extremely stressful period of my life."

Rusedski was born in Montreal but chose to play for Britain in the 1990s. He lost to Patrick Rafter in the 1997 U.S. Open final and reached a career-high ranking of No. 4 that year. Rusedski and Andy Roddick share the record for fastest serve, 149 mph.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press