American tennis sensation Jenson Brooksby faces an 18-month hiatus from the court following an independent tribunal's verdict that confirmed he missed three drug tests within a 12-month. Announced Tuesday by the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA), the decision has sent ripples across the tennis community.
Brooksby, accepting responsibility for two of the missed tests, acknowledged the validity of the "whereabouts failures." However, he contests the circumstances surrounding the third. According to antidoping regulations, athletes are subject to penalties even without a positive test, provided they accumulate three "whereabouts failures" within a year.
In a heartfelt social media post on Tuesday, Brooksby stated, "I have never taken a banned substance in my life, and I was open and honest with the ITIA throughout my case. I understand that it is my responsibility and will learn and grow”.
He went on to express his intent to appeal the ruling, emphasizing the necessity of accountability while maintaining his innocence regarding the June 4, 2022, missed test.
Appeal on Horizon
Brooksby, who temporarily accepted a provisional suspension in July, will see his ban retroactively applied, concluding on January 4, 2025.
He and his advisory team, led by Amrit Narasimhan, have a three-week window to file an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport—a course of action they fully intend to pursue. “Jenson is very disappointed,” Narasimhan shared with The Associated Press.
“We’re focused on our efforts moving forward and appealing with CAS”. Currently ranked 301st globally, the Californian prodigy has experienced a turbulent season, marked by two surgeries to address dislocated wrist tendons and minimal competition.
His last appearance on the professional circuit was a notable victory against three-time Grand Slam finalist Casper Ruud at the Australian Open, followed by a defeat at the hands of Tommy Paul. Brooksby's career highlight remains his impressive run to the fourth round of the 2021 U.S.
Open, where he bowed out in a hard-fought match against tennis maestro Novak Djokovic. Undeterred, Brooksby’s concluding remarks echoed resilience and determination: “I will be back, and I hope it will be soon”.