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LONDON (AP) _ The ITF defended Mirjana Lucic on Friday after she was sanctioned by French officials over a failed drug test at the French Open.

The International Tennis Federation issued a statement condemning France's Council to Prevent and Fight Doping for giving Lucic a one-month suspension from tournaments in France, and said it will not recognize the sanction.

Lucic tested positive for the banned stimulant Bupropion during last summer's Grand Slam tournament at Roland Garros.

The ITF said Lucic had a ``valid medical exemption'' for the drug and was given approval on May 10 to use Bupropion until May 31. Lucic, a Croatian who lives in the United States, tested positive May 29.

The French suspension is essentially a token sanction. The decision, listed on the council's web site, dates from Oct. 7. There have been no tour-level events in France since then, and the women's season is over.