LONDON (AP) — Former top-10 professional tennis player Fernando Verdasco accepted a voluntary provisional doping suspension of two months after testing positive for a medication for ADHD, the International Tennis Integrity Agency announced Wednesday.
Verdasco, who turned 39 this month, said he was taking methylphenidate as medication prescribed by his doctor to treat ADHD but forgot to renew his therapeutic use exemption for the drug. The integrity agency said Verdasco has now been granted an exemption by the World Anti-Doping Agency moving forward.
He tested positive at an ATP Challenger tournament in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in February.
The integrity agency said in a news release that it "accepts that the player did not intend to cheat, that his violation was inadvertent and unintentional, and that he bears no significant fault or negligence for it," and so what could have been a two-year suspension was reduced to two months.
Verdasco will be eligible to compete on Jan. 8. The Spaniard is a four-time Grand Slam quarterfinalist, reaching that stage most recently in 2013 at Wimbledon, where he blew a two-set lead in a five-set loss to eventual champion Andy Murray.
Verdasco reached a career-best ranking of No. 7 in April 2009 and currently is No. 125.