Errani's ban increased to 10 months after cancer drug shows up in test


Sara Errani is now ranked number 72 in the world

Italy’s former world number five Sara Errani’s ban has been increased from two to 10 months after a cancer drug showed up in a failed test.

The 30-year-old, who reached the French Open final in 2012, tested positive for banned drug letrozole.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport accepted medication taken by her mother found its way into a family meal.

But it said that Errani was guilty of a “light degree of fault” which justified a 10-month ban.

The decision followed appeals by the Italian anti-doping agency, which asked for a longer ban, and Errani, who wanted her voided results to be reinstated.

Errani, who reached the final four of last week’s Croatia Bol Open but withdrew before her semi-final match, must now serve another eight months of suspension.

The winner of five Grand Slam doubles titles, she was initially banned for two months by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) in August 2017 and her results from 16 February to 7 June that year were declared void.

Errani said her mother had been using the drug as part of her breast cancer treatment and had dropped some pills on a kitchen worktop where tortellini and broth were later prepared.

Letrozole increases lean body mass and was banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) over concerns it was being abused by bodybuilders.

An independent tribunal, appointed by the ITF, said there was no evidence it would enhance the performance of an elite tennis player.

‘I haven’t done anything wrong’

Errani’s mother and father told a tribunal hearing in July 2017 that after the positive finding, they carried out an experiment which found the drug dissolved in a broth, plus a meat mixture for tortellini, without being detectable.

“Together with my family we have tried to understand how this contamination could have happened because I am 100% certain I haven’t taken a pill by mistake,” said Errani in a statement.

“The only viable option has been that an accidental food contamination occurred at some stage in the house.”

Errani said she was “very frustrated” and “extremely disappointed” by the initial sanction but was “at peace with my conscience and aware I haven’t done anything wrong”.

In 2012, she stopped working with Luis Garcia del Moral, one of the doctors at the centre of cyclist Lance Armstrong’s doping scandal.

“I’m not interested in keeping working with a person that is involved in these things,” she said at the time.

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