World No. 22 Nick Kyrgios has renewed his feud with Fernando Verdasco after the Spanish tennis player accepted a voluntary provisional doping suspension.
Verdasco tested positive for ADHD medication methylphenidate in February at an ATP Challenger event in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The 39-year-old said he was taking the medication as prescribed by his doctor to treat ADHD, however, forgot to renew his therapeutic use exemption (TUE) for the drug.
The International Tennis Integrity Agency has since confirmed Verdasco has been granted an exemption moving forward.
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”The ITIA accepts that the player did not intend to cheat, that his violation was inadvertent and unintentional, and that he bears no significant fault or negligence for it,” the agency’s statement read.
”In the specific circumstances of this case, based on the player’s degree of fault the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme allows for the applicable period of ineligibility to be reduced from two years to two months.”
Verdasco’s reduced ban now means the veteran tennis player will be allowed back on court by January 8, 2023, and be eligible to compete in the Australian Open.
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Following the announcement of the suspension, Kyrgios took to Twitter to react to the news.
“Can’t say I’m surprised with this one,” Kyrgios wrote.
Can’t say I’m surprised with this one https://t.co/eh74Gt8hl4
— Nicholas Kyrgios (@NickKyrgios) November 30, 2022
Notably, the pair have been feuding since 2018, when Kyrgios took a swipe at Verdasco on Twitter following an on-court altercation involving Thanasi Kokkinakis.
In a tweet that was later deleted, the 2022 Wimbledon finalist wrote: “I hope TK (Kokkinakis) wins this match, Verdasco is the saltiest dude, must be frustrated at his past success against Aussies.”
‘Twitter beef’, as the term goes, then ensued.
@NickKyrgios when you have the courage to put a tweet insulting another player you need to have the same to don’t delete it.
— Fernando Verdasco (@FerVerdasco) March 26, 2018
I would honestly have told it to Fernando’s face, the reason I deleted my previous tweet was because I didn’t want to cause unwanted attention, but I’m just gonna leave this here. Thanks for blocking me, I’m sure that took a lot of courage x
— Nicholas Kyrgios (@NickKyrgios) March 26, 2018
Kygrios then slammed Verdasco again in 2019, labelling him “the most arrogant person ever” on the No Challenges Remaining podcast.