Bastián Malla, a Chilean tennis player, was informed today by the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) that he has been banned for an extra two months owing to his refusal to finish a treatment programme as stipulated in a 2022 sentence.
Following the results of a positive test for cannabis, the player was initially given a one-month suspension, which was then reduced to three months on the basis that they had successfully completed an approved substance abuse treatment programme.
As a result of the player’s failure to provide documentation that the programme has been finished, December 19 2022, through February 18 2022, has been added as an additional period of ineligibility for the player.
Bastián’s doping case
In May of 2022, Bastián, then 26 years old, pleaded guilty to a charge of possessing cannabis in violation of the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme (TADP) of 2022. As per ITIA, the athlete would not be allowed to play tennis for one month, provided that he completes a therapy programme that has been approved by the ITIA.
An ATP Challenger competition was held in Santiago, Chile, in March 2022, and Mr. Malla, whose highest career rating with the ATP is 362, was one of the competitors. The player admitted to breaking the anti-doping rule and indicated that his consumption was unrelated to his athletic performance. The ITIA accepted this explanation for the player’s behaviour.
In accordance with Article 10.2.4.1 of the TADP, the default period of ineligibility is three months; however, this period can be reduced to one month upon successful completion of an effective Substance Abuse Treatment Program.
The player’s one-month term of ineligibility began on the date of his voluntary provisional suspension and ended on Friday, May 6, 2022, when the ITIA informed him that he may return to tennis if he successfully completed the treatment programme. If he does not meet these conditions, he will lose his eligibility for a period of two extra months.
ITIA is the delegated third party of the Worldwide Tennis Federation, which is the international governing body for tennis and a signatory of the World Anti-Doping Code (the Code). This role is outlined in the World Anti-Doping Code (the Code). According to the 2022 Tennis Anti-Doping Plan (TADP), the International Tennis Integrity Association (ITIA) is in charge of managing and administering anti-doping in professional tennis.