Brazil’s Thomaz Bellucci gets five-month ban for doping

Thomaz Bellucci, of Brazil, returns a shot to Yoshihito Nishioka, of Japan, during the second round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015, in New York. (Matt Rourke/AP)

SAO PAULO — Brazilian tennis player Thomaz Bellucci has been given a five-month suspension for doping.

The 30-year-old Bellucci, who reached a career high of 21 in the rankings in 2010, said Thursday that a sample he provided last July at the Swedish Open at Bastad tested positive for the diuretic hydrochlorothiazide, which can mask other substances.

Bellucci said the positive test was the result of a contaminated vitamin supplement.

"I could never imagine that a multivitamin made by a pharmacy could suffer crossed contamination in minimal amounts," he said. "I always took care and respected the rules."

The International Tennis Federation said in a statement that Bellucci’s account of "how the hydrochlorothiazide got into his system was accepted and that he bears No Significant Fault or Negligence for the violation."

Bellucci, who is currently ranked 112th, has not played since August.

He expects to return at the ATP tournament in Quito, Ecuador on Feb. 5.

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