Sara Errani to serve two month antidoping ban from tennis

LONDON- Italian tennis player Sara Errani has been disqualified for two months after testing positive in an antidoping test, the International Tennis Federation reported. The test was carried out Feb. 16, 2017 and revealed the presence of letrozole, a hormone which has been banned by the World Antidoping Agency (Wada).

 “An independent tribunal elected as part of the tennis antidoping program have observed that Sara Errani has violated the rules of doping,” the International Tennis Federation issued in a statement, “and they have disqualified the athlete, ruling that she cannot complete for two months from August 3.” Two months is the minimum period for an antidoping ban. Errani claims that she ingested the substance by accident; the Federation took this declaration into account and thus issued a lenient ban.

 The 30-year-old from Bologna took the antidoping test outside of competition time in February in Montreal, the ITF reported. She was then accused of violating the antidoping code April 18. “She promptly admitted to having breached antidoping regulations,” said the ITF, “and asked for a hearing before an independent tribunal. The hearing took place in July and the decision was released at the start of August to temporarily ban Errani.

 The ITF confirmed that the substance in question was letrozole, an aromatase inhibitor which is used to treat breast cancer in women post-menopause. It reduces levels of oestrogen in the body. Like many aromatase inhibitors, it is a popular drug amongst anabolic steroid users, as excess oestrogen can cause side effects for those taking steroids such as gynecomastia, excess water retention and high blood pressure.

 Errani had just made a return into the top 100 world rankings and was a finalist in the Roland Garros 2012 tournament.  In May 2017, she was the ranked 3rd in Italy and 91th globally for singles.