Yastremska Denied In Bid To Lift Provisional Doping Ban

Dayana Yastremska (photo: Wuhan Open / VCG)

WASHINGTON, January 24, 2021 (by Michael Dickens)

Ukraine’s Dayana Yastremska flew to Australia last week in the hope of having her provisional doping suspension for using a prohibited substance that can be used to boost testosterone lifted by the International Tennis Federation so she could compete in the Australian Open. On Saturday, the 29th-ranked Yastremska had her application denied by the ITF.

In a press release issued by the ITF, an application by the 20-year-old Yastremska to lift the provisional suspension imposed on her on January 7 undated Article 8.3.1 (c) of the 2020 Tennis Anti-Doping Programme was denied by the Chair of the Independent Tribunal convened to hear her case. Yastremska has the right to appeal Saturday’s decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Yastremska provided an out-of-competition urine sample on November 24, which was sent to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) accredited laboratory in Montreal, Canada for analysis, and was found to contain mesterolone metabolite, a non-specified substance, which is prohibited under category S1 of the 2020 WADA Prohibited List (Anabolic Agents), and therefore is also prohibited under the Programme. Positive tests for non-specified substances carry a mandatory provisional suspension.

Then, on December 22, 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 earlier this month on January 7.

In a statement on her Twitter feed earlier this month, Yastremska, who has won three career WTA singles titles and reached a career-high ranking of No. 21 last year, said she was “astonished and under shock.

“I firmly state that I have never used any performance enhancing drugs or any prohibited substances,” she wrote.

Saturday’s ruling means Yastremska is out of the year’s first major. She arrived in Melbourne last week on one of the contaminated flights and has waiting out a 14-day strict quarantine lockdown. When that ends, she will not be allowed to enter the Melbourne Park grounds.

Craig Tiley: See you next year champ

Tennis Australia chief executive and Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley always has a kind word to share on Twitter. On Saturday, he sent best wishes to Andy Murray:

João Sousa: Tests positive for COVID-19

The last time 92nd-ranked João Sousa of Portugal missed a Grand Slam was Roland Garros 2011 and the last main draw was Wimbledon 2013). Now, Sousa has confirmed he tested positive for COVID-19 and won’t travel to Melbourne to compete in next month’s Australian Open. He has since tested negative and is asymptomatic.

“Even though I already tested negative and have no symptoms, due to the strict rules of the Australian government, I won’t be able to travel,” Sousa wrote on Instagram on Saturday.

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