Brazilian lefty Beatriz Haddad Maia, who was provisionally suspended on July 22, 2019 stemming from a positive test in a urine sample taken June 4 of that year, has had her case adjudicated.
The final tally is: 10 months.
But unlike the case of Robert Farah, the 23-year-old cannot return immediately. She has to wait until May 22.
And the prize money and ranking points Haddad Maia earned at the tournament where she tested positive in Bol, Croatia (and every other event she played after that) remain off the table.
Haddad Maia posted a statement on her Instagram account earlier today.
In part, it read:
“I write here to reinforce that tennis is part of my life, and it is my greatest passion. It is not just my job, it involves my family, my education and my friends. I would never risk something so important to me, and that is responsible for the person I am today.
“I always played fair, and I learned from tennis values that are part of my daily life: respect, honesty and hard work. Anyone who knows me knows my nature, my character, and my happiness in doing what I do.”
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Oi pessoal, Imagino que há algum tempo vocês devem estar esperando alguma notícia minha. Como vocês já sabem, em junho do ano passado apareceram duas substâncias proibidas no meu teste de antidoping. Durante todos esses meses eu e minha equipe de advogados nos juntamos para ir atrás da origem delas. Levamos os suplementos para serem testados no laboratório credenciado da WADA, e conseguimos provar que o erro não veio da nossa parte…Diante disso, o meu retorno às quadras será no dia 22/05/2020. Escrevo aqui para reforçar que o Tênis faz parte da minha vida, e é a minha maior paixão. Ele não é só o meu trabalho, envolve minha família,minha formação e os meus amigos. Nunca colocaria em risco algo tão importante para mim, e que é responsável pela pessoa que sou hoje. Sempre joguei limpo, e aprendi com o tênis valores que fazem parte do meu dia a dia: respeito, honestidade e trabalho duro. Quem me conhece sabe da minha índole, do meu caráter, e da minha felicidade em realizar o que eu faço. Claro que não está sendo um momento fácil, mas estou buscando lidar da melhor forma possível. Assim, como sempre tentei ser dentro e fora das quadras Agradeço de coração todas as mensagens de apoio que recebi durante esse tempo, em especial dos meus familiares e amigos que estão fazendo parte do meu dia a dia. Sigo em frente, agora ainda mais forte, em busca dos meus sonhos🙌🏼💪🏼🐾 Bia
A long, expensive process
In her initial response to the suspension, Haddad Maia “initially denied that SARM S-22 and a metabolite of SARM LGD-4033 were present in her sample.”
After the supplements she was taken were tested, and revealed to contain those prohibited substances, she admitted to the violation.
Haddad Maia’s defense is that the two sports medicine specialists she works with prescribed “five bespoke supplements (each containing different combinations of vitamins, minerals, and other compounds) that were specifically created to order by a compound pharmacy in São Paulo.”
She also provided correspondence to back up a contention that she did her due diligence – i.e., made a full effort to ensure that those supplements did not contain anything prohibited. The only problem with that contention, per the ITF, is that she did it about a month AFTER she started taking two of the supplements.
On her doping control form for the event in which she tested positive, she listed those supplements as “vitamins”.
Haddad Maia also submitted the results of a urine sample from July 4 (a month after the initial positive test), when she says she was taking all five of the supplements. And that test came back negative.
Not “no fault”, but no “significant fault”
The ITF accepted “that the Player has met her burden of demonstrating that her commission of the violation was not ‘intentional’.”
Haddad Maia contended that she bore “no SIGNIFICANT fault” for the offense.
Her case is not a unique one. In the last few years, three Brazilian players have found themselves in the same situation, and have served various suspensions.
Doubles player Marcelo Demoliner got three months.. Lefty Thomaz Bellucci got five, and Igor Marcondes got nine months.
The ITF considered that given that history, Haddad Maia had to know she was taking a risk when taking the supplements. And so the ITF considered she should serve a longer suspension.
Since Haddad Maia’s positive test, two more players have found themselves in the same situation: Argentina’s Franco Agamenone, and 15-year-old junior Camilla Bossi.
Points and prize money gone for good
She gets credit for “time served” from the start of her provisional suspension in July. And the 10-month decision is a lot less than the “base” marker of two years for her level of fault.
But it’s a costly thing. While Haddad Maia lost in the first round of that tournament in Bol, she continued to play.
She made the quarterfinals of an ITF in Ilkley – then qualified and reached the second round at Wimbledon.
The disqualified Wimbledon result alone will cost her 110 ranking points and more than $93,000 U.S.
Notably, she beat former champion Garbiñe Muguruza in the first round at that Wimbledon.
She’s currently ranked No. 145. And she has a quarterfinal in Acapulco and a semifinal out of the qualifying at the WTA Tour event in Bogota, Colombia that will fall off her ranking without her being able to defend them.