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SA's wheelchair tennis champion banned for two years


South Africa's wheelchair tennis athlete, Lucas Sithole has been banned from all forms of competition for the next two years.

The two-time Grand Slam champion was charged with missing three drug tests in a 12-month period.

Under Tennis Anti-Doping Programme rules, players are required to be available for one hour every day for out-of-competition tests.

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) announced its decision on Wednesday.

The ITF has also confirmed in its announcement that Sithole’s results between 25 June 2019 and 30 September 2019 are not disqualified, as there is no suggestion that his results during that period were affected by any doping practices.

Sithole, who at the age of 12 had a serious accident that left him a triple amputee, became the first man from Africa to win a singles US Open title of any kind when he lifted the Grand slam trophy in 2013 in New York. He continued to write his name in the history books when he won the Australian Open doubles title in 2016, partnering with American David Wagner.

The CEO of Tennis SA Richard Glover said they take a zero-tolerance approach towards such matters and will therefore fully support the decision.

He said they will be providing Sithole with a support programme during the period of his suspension.

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