The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has announced that the former world number five Sara Errani has been given a two months suspension after she failed a doping test.
Errani, who was in the final of the French Open in 2012, has fallen to 98 in the rankings. According to the ITF she tested positive for masking agent letrozole, a substance that is also commonly used in the treatment of breast cancer. The drug test took place out of competition in February.
There is no evidence that letrozole enhances tennis players’ performances. It was banned because of World Anti-Doping Agency concerns it was being abused by bodybuilders.
— Sara Errani (@SaraErrani) August 7, 2017
It has now emerged that Errani accepted a charge of breaking anti-doping rules in April. As a result, all of her competitive results between February and June have been discounted and she has also had to give up all prize money and ranking points that she earned during that period.
Errani, who is thirty years old, has blamed the result on contamination from her mother’s breast cancer medication.
She released a statement in which she said, “I never took, in my life and during my career, any prohibited substance. I am extremely disappointed but at the same time at peace with my conscience and aware I haven’t done anything wrong.”
The ban came into force on August 3 and it was imposed after her case was heard by an independent tribunal in July. She is suspended until October 2 meaning that she is unable to take part in the US Open. The independent tribunal did accept her explanation that she must have accidentally taken her mother’s drugs. However, they decided that she should have been more careful to avoid the situation.
Throughout her career, Errani has won nine singles titles and 25 doubles titles. She has also helped Italy to three Fed Cup titles.