Controversial young tennis star Dayana Yastremska has been provisionally suspended after the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) found a banned substance in an out-of-competition urine sample, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) said on Thursday.
Yastremska, 20, who has been involved in a number of high-profile incidents on and off the court in her short career, provided the sample in November and a WADA lab in Montreal found the presence of mesterolone metabolite, an anabolic agent on its Prohibited List.
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“Yastremska was charged with an Anti-Doping Rule Violation under Article 2.1 of the Programme (presence of a Prohibited Substance in a Player’s Sample) and was provisionally suspended with effect from Jan. 7,” the ITF said.
“Yastremska had (and retains) the right to apply to the Chair of the Independent Tribunal convened to hear her case why the Provisional Suspension should not be imposed, but has chosen not to exercise that right to date.”
Yastremska, ranked 29 in the world, denied having used performance enhancing drugs and believes the positive test was the result of a “contamination event”.
“I’m astonished and under shock, particularly given that two weeks prior to this test... I tested negative at the WTA event in Linz. After this last tournament of the year, I stopped practicing to rest prior to the start of the new season,” she said in a statement.
“Only a very low concentration of mesterolone metabolite was detected in my urine. Given that low concentration and given my negative test two weeks earlier, I have received scientific advice that the result is consistent with some form of contamination event.”
The ITF did not say when Yastremska’s hearing would take place, putting her participation in the February 8-21 Australian Open in doubt.
Yastremska prompts outrage with ‘blackface’
The Ukrainian prodigy has been involved in a number of controversies in her young career.
One involved a failed attempt to promote equality, but Yastremksa rather caused uproar as she was slammed for ‘blackface’.
The 20-year-old Ukrainian star deleted photos from her Instagram that portrayed her as topless with half her body black with the caption: “Equality”.
Yastremska apologised after the photos prompted immediate backlash, but she stopped short of acknowledging the photos were ‘blackface’.
She has also been involved in a number of ‘time-out’ controversies on court.
Players have hit out at her unusual medical time out calls, which have included late in a match at the Thailand Open and more recently at the Australian Open.
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