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Is there ever a dull moment when the Italian tennis player Fabio Fognini is around? Well, the answer to that is apparently no, although many would tend to land on this answer concerning his on-court persona. However, it would seem that Fognini has been just as unpredictable off the court as he tends to be on the court due to the latest saga. And to briefly give you the scoop, Fognini is in hot water with the ATP and WADA because he has missed a random doping test, otherwise known as a drug test.
This is fairly common in the professional sporting world, and tennis players are also subject to these random tests throughout the season. Furthermore, given that Fognini is now a veteran of the ATP Tour, he cannot really use negligence as an excuse for his latest offence. As for what has exactly gone down, Fognini has missed a second scheduled doping test in just a few months. Allegedly, this occurred a few weeks back when Fognini travelled to watch his football team, Inter Milan, take on Manchester City for the Champions League title.
Unfortunately, Fabio Fognini travelled at a time when he was due to be home in order to deliver a sample for his doping test. And historically, WADA is extremely strict when players do not turn up for a scheduled test. This can sometimes be perceived as an individual trying to hide something that they do not want the authorities to see, although this isn’t always the case.
Anyway, the biggest concern for Fognini regarding this whole saga is that he could well be banned from playing Wimbledon 2023. In fact, he could be facing a ban of several months if things do not turn out in his favour. Let me run through the specifics now.
Fognini’s Doping Test Scandal – His Chances of Playing at Wimbledon 2023 Discussed
As I mentioned above, whenever a player misses a doping test, it doesn’t exactly go down well with the powers that be. While nothing can technically be proven because the athlete missed the test, the implications can be the same as if the athlete has delivered a positive sample for whatever banned substance. So things aren’t looking great for Fabio Fognini right now, yet there is a bit more to this story than what sits on the surface.
The Tale of Two Stories
If you look through the bulk of online reports, the story goes that Fognini missed an arranged doping test because he decided to go and watch the Champions League final. To be honest, this does seem like something that the wild Italian might do. However, if you look at the reports from Fognini’s team, they claim that this relates to an incident dating back to the Rome Masters 2023.
According to them, Fognini was unable to get the test sorted due to an error on the WADA website, although nothing official has come through concerning this.
The Reason He Could Be Facing a Ban
If you break it down, it doesn’t matter too much which story is the truth. I say that because both stories have the same outcome – Fognini missing a mandatory doping test. The only difference is whether Fognini has done this intentionally, which would be a direct violation of the rules, or whether it occurred by mistake, as per his claim concerning the website’s technical problems. Should it be determined that he has deliberately avoided the test, it is likely that he won’t just be missing Wimbledon, he will be receiving a ban.
But because of how fresh this news is, we will not know for sure what the outcome will be for another few days, most likely.
His Chances of Playing Wimbledon 2023
In my opinion, I would say that his chances of playing in Wimbledon 2023 are still pretty strong. Since there will need to be some form of investigation over what has really happened, unless he receives a temporary suspension, he will be at the All England Club when the tournament begins. Additionally, if it turns out that the problem did lie with the WADA website in relation to the Rome Masters, Fognini would be completely off the hook.
Another possible scenario is that there is a complete stalemate over the missed doping tests. And in this instance, I would assume that Fabio Fognini would need to then complete a test prior to Wimbledon, which would need to be done over the coming week. In this case, since it’s pretty unlikely that he’s been trying to hide anything, it’s likely he would be given the green light to compete.
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