The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) today confirms that Italian tennis player Marco Bortolotti bore No Fault or Negligence for their Adverse Analytical Finding and is therefore not subject to any period of ineligibility. 
On 4 October 2023, at an ATP Challenger event in Lisbon, Portugal, Bortolotti provided an in-competition urine sample, which contained the presence of a metabolite of clostebol. Clostebol is an anabolic agent prohibited at all times under Section S1 of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List. Bortolotti, who reached a career-high world doubles ranking of 102 in January 2024, did not possess a valid Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) for clostebol. 
On 2 February 2024, following laboratory analysis of the B sample, which confirmed the presence of clostebol, Bortolotti was charged with the commission of Anti-Doping Rule Violation(s) (ADRVs) under articles 2.1 and/or 2.2 of the TADP. 
On 5 February 2024, Bortolotti accepted that clostebol was present in their sample, and therefore admitted to the ADRVs, but provided an explanation. The player asserted that they did not intend to cheat and did not knowingly ingest clostebol, providing evidence of involuntary contamination. As part of the investigation, the ITIA sought scientific advice from the WADA-accredited laboratory in Montreal, Canada, where the sample was analysed, for expert views on the plausibility of the player’s explanation. 
The laboratory performed calculations based on Bortolotti’s exposure to the clostebol and the concentration detected in their sample and confirmed, based on scientific literature, that the player’s explanation was credible.   
Given all the circumstances, and consideration of recent comparable case law, the ITIA accepted that the player established the source of the clostebol metabolite in their urine sample, and that they could not reasonably have been expected to take further precautions in relation to their exposure to a prohibited substance. In addition, no provisional suspension came into effect as a result of Bortolotti’s prompt explanation and timely validation from scientific experts.  
In accordance with TADP Articles 9.1 and 10.1.2, Bortolotti’s results, prize money and ranking points from the Lisbon Challenger have been disqualified; however, as the player bore No Fault or Negligence, no subsequent results of the player will be disqualified. 
The ITIA is an independent body established by its tennis members to promote, encourage, enhance, and safeguard the integrity of professional tennis worldwide.  

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Published 21 March 2024 14:00

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