Beck suspended two years for positive steroid test
LONDON -- Karol Beck of Slovakia was suspended for two years by the International Tennis Federation on Monday after testing positive for a steroid during last year's Davis Cup semifinal.
Beck returned a positive test for clenbuterol after Slovakia's 4-1 win over Argentina on Sept. 24. Beck won both his singles and doubles for Slovakia, which reached its first final before losing to Croatia.
The ITF said the suspension would be backdated until Nov. 1, 2005, and run until Oct. 31, 2007.
Beck's results in the semifinal are automatically disqualified, although the overall result of the tie will not be reassessed. Beck's ranking points and $42,935 prize money since the test are forfeited.
Beck, whose case was heard by an independent anti-doping tribunal, has three weeks to appeal. He is ranked 85th on the ATP Tour.
The 23-year-old Beck is the third tennis player in the last two months to receive a drug ban.
In December, Mariano Puerta of Argentina was banned for eight years -- the longest suspension in tennis history -- for his second doping violation.
Puerta tested positive for the cardiac stimulant etilefrine after losing to Rafael Nadal in the French Open final on June 5. He has appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Puerta is one of five Argentine players to be implicated in doping cases. Guillermo Coria, Juan Ignacio Chela and Guillermo Canas served suspensions, while Martin Rodriguez received a warning for a positive caffeine test.
Last month, 16-year-old Bulgarian Sesil Karatantcheva was banned for two years after twice testing positive for the steroid nandrolone. The 2005 French Open quarterfinalist says she will appeal to CAS.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press
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