Wayne Odesnik, an American ranked 267th in the tennis world, tested positive for banned substances, including anabolic steroids, in two different tests. He retired almost immediately and was given a 15-year ban Wednesday.
Meanwhile, 4th-ranked British Tennis Star Andy Murray welcomed the 15-year ban for the player and told BBC News he was glad the cheater was gone from the sport.
“It is good for tennis that they got him off tour. It is the end of his career and he can’t even come on site to events or coach. That is a good thing. He is a cheat and it is good for everyone in tennis he is dealt with in the right way.”
Odesnik had previously tested positive for steroid use in 2010, but maintained his innocence this time telling BBC News the positive tests were the result of taking a contaminated over-the-counter supplement and he, therefore, didn’t deserve the 15-year ban.
“I was immediately heartbroken as words could not describe my shock and disappointment. Being the most tested American tennis player on tour, I would never knowingly have taken any chance of consuming a banned substance.”
Odesnik told Fox News he sent the contaminated product to an independent lab for testing at his own expense and is considering other legal options to regain entry into the sport and bypass his 15-year ban.
Odesnik received the 15-year ban from the sport on Wednesday, thus ending his ATP career. He will also be forced to forfeit any prize money and player standing from the Australian Open and two lower-level events.
Prior to this week’s 15-year ban, Odesnik was suspended for a year in 2010 after officials caught him with eight vials of human growth hormone (HGH). He was originally suspended for two years, but his sentence was shortened after he participated in the ITF’s anti-doping program.
The world’s top tennis players were quick to condemn Odesnik’s use of the performance-enhancing substance. Roger Federer, ranked number two in the tennis world, told the Daily Mail he welcomed the testing and the 15-year ban.
“Players and athletes should know if they cheat, they get caught, I guess. That’s the moral of the story here. I’m all for a clean sport, and that’s why you’ve got to catch those guys.”
In 2008, Odesnik made it to the third round of the French Open, and he was ranked number 77 in the world during 2009, when he also reached the final of the Men’s Clay Court Championship in Houston.
Milos Raonic, ranked number 1 in the world of tennis, told the Daily Mail Odesnik made the wrong decision and will have to pay the price of a 15-year ban.
“So it’s a price he’s going to have to pay. It’s unfortunate he felt he needed to do that, and it’s unfair to obviously other competitors.”