ITIA Bullies Athletes Into Accepting These Punishments Says Kamil Majchrzak's Coach

ITIA Bullies Athletes Into Accepting These Punishments Says Kamil Majchrzak's Coach

by Nurein Ahmed

2022 was turning out to be Kamil Majchrzak's career-best year until disaster struck at the end of it.

Majchrzak, who touched on a career-high ranking of World No. 75, won the Busan Challenger and played in the main draw of all four Grand Slams.

But in December, he was provisionally suspended by the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) for a failed drug test. He tested positive for three banned substances.

Samples from in-competition testing at three ATP tournaments all returned positive results for SARM S-22, LGD-4033, and PPARδ agonists.

In June 2023, the ITIA ruled that Majchrzak, after accepting the doping offense, would be banned from professional tennis for 13 months.

Because he served his suspension from November 2022, Majchrzak's sanction would end in December 2023. But that was just half the story.

His coach, Marcel du Coudray, recently spoke to Ubitennis and gave a full account of the story. He explained the difficulty of dealing with the ITIA and accused them of trying to tarnish the Pole's reputation.

"The ITIA tried to imply that because he failed four tests, he was more guilty even though we could prove the contamination."

"They said to us ‘We want to make an example out of Kamil’ and they didn’t care. We felt comfortable with our case and told the ITIA that we were prepared to take the ITIA to CAS."

Recently, Simona Halep appealed her doping suspension at the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and she was successful in reducing the length of her ban from four years to nine months.

Du Coudray stated that the idea of taking the case to CAS was floated around, but he noted that the ITIA devised a deliberate ploy to delay their verdict.

"They went silent for a number of weeks, they wouldn’t reply to anything, or simply delayed answering. Our lawyers had said that they often do this if you want to take them on."

"They give you no option. They make you an initial offer to agree to a sanction, but if you want to go to CAS, they’re going to delay the process so much longer that you would have been better off accepting the initial offer."

On the advice of his lawyers and fearing potentially being sidelined for even longer, Majchrzak opted not to appeal. His coach blamed the ITIA for "bullying" athletes and said they didn't empathize with the players.

"There’s no question about it. The ITIA bullies athletes into accepting these punishments. They don’t particularly care how long the cases take because it doesn’t matter to them."

"Athletes are entitled to a fair hearing but there is no way that this process is fair. Athletes are in a race against time, it’s their time, and it’s their career time that has a very finite duration."

Majchrzak, now 28, returned to the tour in January 2024 and wasted no time in re-establishing himself by winning two ITF tournaments and the Kigali Challenger in Rwanda.



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