Volandri to get back ATP points

Updated: March 31, 2009, 12:37 PM ET
Associated Press

ROME -- Tennis player Filippo Volandri's three-month ban for using an asthma drug has been lifted following an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The Switzerland-based court also ruled that Volandri will be restored the ATP points and earnings he lost, the Italian tennis federation said Tuesday.

The only punishment that will remain will be the elimination of Volandri's points and earnings at a tournament a year ago in Indian Wells, Calif., where he lost in the first round and failed a doping test.

Volandri was suspended by the International Tennis Federation on the eve of the Australian Open in January. The ban was due to expire on April 14.

"The nightmare is over," Volandri said. "CAS recognized my good faith. I used the drug only for therapeutic needs and the ban was excessive."

Volandri claimed he had a severe asthma attack the night before his match in Indian Wells and was forced to take more of the drug, salbutamol, than the allowed amount.

"Finally I can start playing again," he said. "I didn't skip one day of training."

CAS made the ruling last week but did not announce its decision. Details will be released sometime in the next few weeks.

Volandri indicated he will sue the ITF.

"Someone made a mistake and will pay for it," he said.

Under the initial ruling by the ITF, all of Volandri's results from March 13 onward were voided, including about $166,000 in prize money won and ATP points gained during a nine-month period.

Last year, Volandri finished out of the top 100 for the first time since 2002, at No. 109. After February, he didn't win consecutive matches on the ATP tour, though he won two challenger events.

Volandri said he would ask the ATP to restore his ranking and that he would aim to play in the French Open.

"It should just be a formality," Volandri said. "If not, I'll roll my sleeves up and start over with the smaller tournaments. I'm already planning to play [next week] in Monza."


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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