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By Chris Oddo

Marin Cilic (July 30, 2013) -- In an exclusive with Simon Cambers of the U.K. Guardian, Marin Cilic's former coach Bob Brett confirms reports of Cilic's positive drug test for high glucose levels and calls for the ITF to do a better job of educating its players on the Anti-Doping system.

"The Tours need to help educate the players and people working with the players of the consequences and risk,” Brett said. “Handing someone a pamphlet is like when you get something in the post; it tends not to get read. It has to be drummed into them."

Brett, who parted ways with Cilic in May, confirmed to Cambers that he had talked to Cilic on the telephone about the news, which was broken in the Croatian media outlet Jutarnji List Daily last week.

"He said he had tested positive," Brett said. "The one thing I found out was that he tested positive for high glucose and Marin had cooperated with the organization [the ITF] about the product and the pharmacy. One of the people in his team bought it in a pharmacy – basically what you've been reading in the papers. Some people will say he made a mistake. But it was carelessness."

The ITF has released no special statement about Cilic's situation, and many are speculating that the 24-year-old began a silent ban when he withdrew from Wimbledon after finding out the results of his test.

In a column for Tennis.com on Tuesday, Steve Tignor explained why silent bans could be potentially harmful to the sport. “I understand not announcing positive tests until the player has been found guilty of an offense or admitted to it,” he wrote. “And I understand lessening a sentence due to mitigating circumstances or cooperation, though a short ban would be hard to justify so soon after Viktor Troicki’s 18-month suspension for missing a test. But the damaging part of this story, if it’s true, is that Cilic may have made up an injury to his left knee when he withdrew from Wimbledon after finding about his positive test.”

Brett agrees that transparency would be a better path for the ITF to follow regarding positive drug tests. "I don't agree with sheltering people [from] having their names released," Brett told the Guardian. "If they made it open, then people would maybe feel that there is greater risk [of being caught]."

He also agrees that while his former charge made an innocent mistake, there still could be a heavy price to pay. "They believe that everything is going to be OK,” he said. “In a sense they are naive to the risk. The player hopes it's OK and it's not. They are then tarnished, sponsors are reluctant to sign them to contracts and promote their products."


(Photo Credit: ATP Zagreb)

 

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