PARIS // The French tennis federation (FFT) is aware of a failed drugs test by Richard Gasquet but is awaiting official confirmation, it said. "The FFT has learnt the positive test of Richard Gasquet at the Miami tournament, although no official notification has been made," the FFT said in a statement. The French sports daily L'Equipe reported on Saturday that world No 23 Gasquet had failed a drugs test for cocaine at the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami, which finished last month.
Gasquet, 22, could face a two-year suspension from the sport. "This piece of information is very surprising and, if confirmed according to official proceedings, a very sad one for Richard Gasquet himself, for tennis in general and for French tennis in particular," the statement read. "As for now, the FFT does not wish to make further comments because it is up to the antidoping authorities, within the International Tennis Federation (ITF), to assess such a case." "We cannot confirm, deny or comment on this due our confidentiality rules," an ITF spokesman said. Gasquet, who was regarded as the top French prospect when he started his professional career in 2002, has failed to live up to expectations. He ended his debut season as the youngest player to finish in the Top 200 after also becoming the youngest to qualify for an ATP Masters at Monte Carlo. Gasquet has always been scrutinised by French media and was on the cover of Tennis Magazine at the age of nine. In February 2008, he launched the Richard Gasquet Foundation, which helps adolescents struggling to find their place in society and suffering from a lack of confidence. *Reuters