'Devastated': Former Aus Open champ banned after 'huge mistake'

Riley Morgan
Sports Reporter
Abigail Spears of the USA reacts during the match against Su Wei Hsieh of Chinese Taipei and playing partner Barbora Strycova Day 4 of 2019 Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open at Optics Valley International Tennis Center on September 25, 2019 in Wuhan, China. (Photo by Tao Zhang/Getty Images)

Former Australian Open Doubles champ Abigail Spears has apologised after the International Tennis Federation (ITF) suspended the 38-year-old following an alleged doping violation.

Speares provided a urine sample to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) during this year’s US Open and the organisation claims to have found testosterone and prasterone in the sample, two banned substances.

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The ITF handed Speares a provisional suspension pending an outcome.

However, Speares took to Instagram to clear the matter and offer an explanation to why these substances could have been found in her sample.

Speares claims she was “unwell” and was told she had “vitamin deficiencies”, which prompted the doubles champion to take “packaged supplements” upon the doctor’s recommendation.

“I was so anxious to get better as soon as possible that I didn’t check the label closely enough and was recently informed by the ITF that one of the supplements I was taking contained a prohibited substance. I immediately contacted the ITF and am fully cooperating with them,” she wrote.

“For once in my career, I did not adequately go through the right steps and didn’t check with WADA or the WTA on whether the supplements were clean,” she added.

“While I was devastated to learn about making such a huge mistake, I hope that other players, especially up and coming ones, learn from this and check every single substance that they put in their body. I take full responsibility for my actions and very much regret not checking the label closely enough to ensure what I was taking was clean.”

Speares is currently ranked No.38 in doubles and has won an impressive 21 career titles.

She won the 2017 Australian Open mixed doubles title with Juan Sebastian Cabal in 2017.