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Thu, October 26, 2023

International Tennis Integrity Agency v Jenson Brooksby

International Tennis Integrity Agency v Jenson Brooksby

A decision in the case of the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) against Jenson Brooksby has been issued by the Independent Panel.

On 7 June 2023, the ITIA charged Mr Brooksby with an Anti-Doping Rule Violation pursuant to Article 2.4 of the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme (TADP) as a result of having three missed tests (three Whereabouts Failures) recorded against him between April 2022 and February 2023: the first on 19 April 2022, the second on 4 June 2022 and the third on 4 February 2023.

The Independent Tribunal, comprised of Ms Carol Roberts (Chair), Ms Erika Riedl and Mr Kwadjo Adjepong, was appointed to hear this matter. 

The Player contested the second missed test, arguing that the Doping Control Officer (DCO) had not acted reasonably in the circumstances to collect the Sample from him. The Independent Tribunal was to determine whether the DCO did all that was reasonable in the circumstances to locate Mr Brooksby on 4 June 2022. 

The Independent Tribunal determined that these actions had to be assessed objectively and that the DCO complied with ITIA Protocol as well as with the requirements under the International Standard for Testing and Investigations (ISTI). The DCO was entitled but not required to speak to people he encountered and was obliged to not give the Player warning about the doping control, and therefore, acted reasonably. Further, the DCO, per the Protocol, was only required to call Mr Brooksby as a last resort in the final five minutes of the sixty-minute time slot. This call went unanswered by Mr Brooksby because his phone was on silent. Finally, the Tribunal also found that the DCO took all reasonable steps in the circumstances to locate the Player by asking the hotel desk staff for information on more than one occasion. Mr Brooksby was in a hotel room, which was not under his name and the desk staff believed he had not yet checked in for his reservation. 

The Independent Tribunal, as to the Player’s negligence, determined that the Player did not discharge his burden of showing that he was not negligent in making himself available due to not having his name included in the reservation or added when checking-in and not responding to the phone call because his phone was on silent. 

The TADP provides for a period of Ineligibility of two years subject to reduction down to a minimum of one year depending on the Player’s degree of Fault. The Independent Tribunal, to determine the Player’s degree of Fault, took under consideration, the Player’s age, the first time he was included in the International Registered Testing Pool having only been 1 January 2022, his delegation of whereabouts responsibilities to his agent, as well as the events listed above. 

The Independent Tribunal thereby determined the Anti-Doping Rule violation had been established. A period of Ineligibility of 18 months was imposed in light of proportionality and consistency, and in taking into consideration the Player’s age and experience. The period of Ineligibility commenced on the date of the Tribunal’s decision, 24 October 2023, but credit was given for the period Mr Brooksby was provisionally suspended, therefore running from 5 July 2023. 

Sport Resolutions is the independent secretariat to the International Tennis Integrity Agency’s Independent Panel.

A copy of the full decision can be accessed via the related links tab on the right-hand side.

 

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