Some players are rallying around banned American tennis player Robert Kendrick, who will appeal to the Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS) to shorten his 12-month suspension for doping to three months. An independent tribunal appointed by The International Tennis Federation suspended Kendrick last week after he returned a positive test result for methylhexaneamine (MHA) at the French Open. The 31-year-old American Kendrick claims he took a capsule called Zija XM3 to assist with jetlag, without knowing that it contained a banned substance.

Kendrick wants his suspension reduced to three months, which would allow him to compete at the U.S. Open. Kendrick—who reached a career-best ranking of No. 69 in 2009—says it will be his swan song in New York.

"Robert will be first one to tell you that he made a mistake, but everyone will tell you that he didn't do it with an intent to cheat and everyone will also tell you the punishment that he got is way too harsh,” fellow player Amer Delic told “Especially if it's compared to what Wayne Odesnik has served. Even three months and repaying the money is ridiculous, but he is willing to compromise because all he wants to do is play his last U.S. Open.”

The American Odesnik was suspended for two years for transporting vials of Human Growth Hormone (HGH) into Australia in 2010, but later had his sentence reduced to year when he cooperated with anti-doping authorities. He's back playing on the tour.

In a statement issued by his attorneys, Kendrick also counts players and coaches John McEnroe, Tom Gullikson, John Isner, Robert Ginepri, James Blake, Bobby Reynolds and Michael Russell as supporters.

The ITF wrote in its summary that it did not believe that Kendrick took the substance as performance enhancer. However, under the Tennis Anti-Doping Program, it is a player’s duty to ensure that no prohibited substance enters his body, unless he holds a valid therapeutic use exemption, which Kendrick did not.

After he lost in the first round of the French Open, Kendrick did not note that he took the pill when he filled out a form prior to his anti-doping test which is supposed to detail "any prescription/non-prescription medication or supplements, including vitamins or minerals, taken over the past seven days."

"A 12-month sanction is shocking; grossly disproportionate to the landscape of MHA and specified substance sanctions in the sporting community," Kendrick’s attorney, Brent Nowicki of the law firm Preti Flaherty told Reuters. "Robert is not asking to be exonerated. He is asking for a just punishment. Instead, the ITF is trying to take a speeding ticket and turn it into a felony."

The law firm will file Kendrick’s appeal to CAS on Wednesday.

Nowicki noted that CAS recently reduced the length of Australian rugby player Kurt Foggo’s suspension from two years to six months. Foggo was also suspended for an MHA offense. There are also said to be 21 MHA cases pending in India and other athletes have been suspended for MHA violations. MHA is considered to be a stimulant that is sometimes used by weightlifters, among others.

Foggo argued that an Internet search on the ingredients of the supplements he took showed no prohibited substances being identified.

Kendrick argued the same thing to the ITF and added that when he searched under the acronym WADA (which stands for World Anti-Doping Agency) he came up with another name, the World Anti-Doping Association, which did not have MHA on its list of banned substances.

However, the ITF is a signatory to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s code.

The ITF noted that as a veteran player, Kendrick should have known the rules and took "an inappropriately relaxed approach to his doping responsibilities."

His suspension runs until May 21, 2012.