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Argentine Tennis Player Banned

April 9, 2001

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Florida (AP) _ Argentina’s Juan Ignacio Chela has been suspended from tennis for three months after testing positive for a banned steroid.

The 21-year-old player, 67th in last year’s rankings, also will forfeit his current ranking points and will drop to outside the 500 mark when his suspension ends July 2.

The ban was announced on Monday by the ATP Tour, which said Chela tested positive for the banned steroid methyltestosterone at the Tennis Masters Series in August in Cincinnati, where he lost in the first round to Sweden’s Magnus Norman.

But the ATP said the Tennis Anti-Doping Tribunal that heard the case also concluded that Chela did not knowingly take the steroid.

``As I told the Tribunal, my physician gave the banned substance to me in pill form,″ Chela said in a statement issued by the ATP. ``He told me that they were vitamins and amino acids.″

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