UAE’s No1 tennis player Omar Behroozian says he was “shocked” to hear about the two-year doping suspension handed to his Davis Cup team-mate and frequent doubles partner Hamad Janahi.
The International Tennis Federation (ITF) on Wednesday announced that the 24-year-old Janahi failed a doping test at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships last February.
Janahi, who lost 6-0, 6-0 to James Ward in the opening round of qualifying at the Dubai event, provided a urine sample on February 21 2015 and tested positive for a metabolite of methylphenidate and 1,3-dimethylbutylamine, which are Prohibited Substances under section S6(b) (Stimulants) of the 2015 WADA List of Prohibited Substances and Prohibited Methods, and are therefore also prohibited under the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme.
The Emirati’s sample was sent to a WADA-accredited testing facility in Montreal and the violation was confirmed there.
“Hamad Abbas Janahi has been found to have committed an Anti-Doping Rule Violation under Article 2.1 of the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme (presence of a Prohibited Substance in a Player’s Sample),” read the statement released by the ITF.
“Mr Janahi’s commission of an Anti-Doping Rule Violation under Article 2.1 of the programme was confirmed, and it was determined that he is suspended from participation for a period of two years, commencing on 27 May 2015, and so ending at midnight on 26 May 2017.”
Janahi, who has been studying in Dublin recently, missed the UAE’s Davis Cup action earlier this month in Bahrain citing exams as the reason behind his absence.
Behroozian, 33, was unaware of Janahi’s suspension when contacted and says it was both a surprise and a big disappointment.
“First of all Hamad has been my team-mate for so long so naturally I’m very disappointed to hear this and I’m shocked,” Behroozian told Sport360.
“We all did the doping test at the Dubai Open but obviously I thought that nothing would come out of it. What I’m sure about – I haven’t spoken to Hamad and I don’t know the details – but what I’m sure about is that it was more that he was negligent, it wasn’t that he took anything in order to improve his performance.
BREAKING: UAE’s Hamad Janahi has failed a doping test and has received a 2-year suspension until May 2017 #RG2015
— Reem Abulleil (@ReemAbulleil) May 27, 2015
“Having said that, it’s a responsibility for us as players that we have to know every substance that is banned. It’s written in the rulebook of the ITF, that even if we do take a prescription from a doctor, something that isn’t allowed, we have to inform the ITF and then they have to inform us if we’re okay taking it or not. Obviously if it’s true what happened, then Hamad has to handle the consequences. It’s obviously disappointing for all of us because he’s one of our best players. But like I said, the anti-doping they’re really strict now and us players we should no better. We have to be more careful in the future.”
Janahi was unavailable for comment when contacted while Tennis Emirates, the governing body of the sport in the UAE, released a statement through their secretary general Sara Baker that said: “We aren’t able to give any say on the matter of Hamad’s two-year suspension since haven’t yet received the full information directly from the ITF. “We will contact the ITF as soon as possible to get more details on the matter”
Ukrainian player Kateryna Kozlova also tested positive for a sample she provided at the Dubai tournament. The world 102 was handed a reduced six-month suspension due to the fact that she provided proof that the banned substance entered her system through her ingestion of a supplement provided to her by a doctor.