January 16, 2009

Volandri punished for asthma drug overuse

The International Tennis Federation Friday banned Italian Filippo Volandri for three months for improper use of an asthma drug.

Volandri's use of the drug salbutamol exceeded medical requirements, the ITF said.

Because of the ban, which runs through mid-April, Volandri had to pull out of the Australian Open, where he had been scheduled to play Mario Ancic of Croatia in the first round.

Volandri, ranked 109th in the world, failed a drug test in Indian Wells, Calif., March 13.

His results on the tour since then will be nullified and he must return any prize money won during that period.