Rusedski eager to resume career

Updated: March 16, 2004, 11:02 AM ET
Associated Press

LONDON -- Greg Rusedski said Tuesday he is seeking a settlement with the ATP after his exoneration on doping charges.

The 1997 U.S. Open runner-up tested positive for the steroid nandrolone at a tournament in Indianapolis in July and faced a two-year ban if found guilty.

The British player was cleared last week by an independent panel, which accepted his contention that his positive test was the result of contaminated electrolyte supplements provided by ATP Tour trainers.

Rusedski is the eighth male tennis player in as many months who has escaped suspension after positive nandrolone tests.

"I knew I was innocent from day one," Rusedski said at a news conference.

Rusedski didn't rule out taking legal action against the ATP, saying he was trying to negotiate a settlement that would help him resume his career.

"We need to think about my future," he said. "We're trying to come to an agreement which hasn't happened yet. They have to be able to do something to get my career back."

Rusedski and his lawyer, Mark Gay, declined to give details of the negotiations or whether they were seeking financial damages.

Gay said talks could involve Rusedski's ranking. He hasn't played in more than two months and his world ranking has slipped to No. 100, forcing him to qualify for major tournaments.

"The ATP welcomes Greg Rusedski's willingness to assist the ATP in getting to the bottom of the contamination issue in men's tennis, and we also look forward to continuing discussions to help him get back into the game," the ATP said in a statement Tuesday.

Rusedski has been off the tour since losing in the first round of the Australian Open to Albert Costa in January.

He ruled out playing at the Nasdaq-100 Open in Miami next week, but said he would be available for Britain's Davis Cup match against Luxembourg on April 9-11.

Bohdan Ulihrach of the Czech Republic and six unidentified players were cleared in July when the ATP said it could not rule out that its trainers might have provided the contaminated supplements.

Last week, the ATP said 16 more cases of trace amounts of nandrolone -- not enough to trigger a positive test -- have been recorded so far this year.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press