Although fellow ATP players want to throw the book at Wayne Odesnik, the International Tennis Federation and other ruling bodies are giving Odesnik due process after he released a statement yesterday through his lawyer claiming that he has never used performance enhancing drugs despite pleading guilty to transporting Human Growth Hormone or HGH in an Australian court earlier this year.
Because Odesnik chose not to take a voluntary suspension until the ITF reviews his case, it allows him to continue playing at the U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championships in Houston this week. He won his first round match against Jerzy Janowicz of Poland who later complained about having to face Odesnik because of all the suspicion around him.
Odesnik is scheduled to play Mikhail Kukushkin in the next round. During his brief interview after his match, Odesnik would not comment on the charges and instead only spoke about his tennis saying, “I’m doing the only thing I can do right now, and that’s to focus the best I can on my tennis. I’ve worked extremely hard and I’m looking forward to the clay court season because that’s where I usually excel.”
Even though it’s highly likely that Odesnik will face some sort of long-term suspension for just having the drugs in his possession, one has to credit the ITF for sticking to the rules and giving Odesnik his day in court even though everybody on tour wants him off of theirs.
Read more about the case here.