Tennis star in Australian Open hard lockdown despite anti-doping playing ban

Ukraine’s world No.29 Dayana Yastremska is stuck in hard lockdown ahead of the Australian Open despite being banned from playing due to a positive drug test.

Yastremska, 20, tested positive for a metabolite of mesterolone, a synthetic testosterone, in a November 24 out-of-competition urine sample. She was provisionally suspended from January 7, ruling her out of the Australian Open.

Yet having claimed to be “astonished” by the positive doping test, Yastremska applied to have her provisional suspension lifted in order to play the Melbourne Grand Slam and travelled to Australia with the decision on her appeal pending.

Having arrived Down Under on a COVID-19 affected flight, she was forced into a 14-day hard lockdown and her gamble has come to disaster, with the International Tennis Federation denying the application to revoke her playing ban.

Yastremska can appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, though it is unclear if the matter could be addressed before a February 8 start to the Australian Open.

As it stands, the rising star would not even be allowed to enter Melbourne Park.

Yastremska said in a statement after her positive test was revealed: “I have never used any performance enhancing drugs or any prohibited substances. I am astonished and under shock, particularly given that two weeks prior to this test, I tested negative at the WTA event in Linz.

“Only a very low concentration of mesterolone metabolite was detected in my urine. Given that low concentration and my negative test two weeks earlier, I have received scientific advice that the result is consistent with some form of contamination event.

“Due to the confidentiality of the proceedings, you will understand that I am not able to share any further information at this stage. However, I am currently working with my team and you can be assured that I am resolutely determined to do everything to clear my name.”

Yastremska also tested positive for COVID-19 last month.


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