ZURICH (Reuters) - Italian tennis player Sara Errani said she was “disgusted” after her ban for an anti-doping violation was increased from two to 10 months by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Monday.
The 2012 French Open runner-up tested positive for letrozole - a substance used in the treatment of breast cancer - in an out-of-competition test in February 2017.
CAS, a Swiss-based tribunal, said it accepted that the source of letrozole was “medication taken by her mother that found its way into the family meal prepared by the athlete’s mother and eaten by the entire family.”
But it said that Errani was guilty of a “light degree of fault” which justified a 10-month ban.
“I am really disgusted by this matter. I don’t think anything similar has ever happened or managed - in my humble opinion - in such a shameful manner,” Errani said in a statement on her official Twitter account.
Errani, winner of five Grand Slam doubles titles and ranked 72nd in the singles standings, was initially banned for two months by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) in August 2017 and her results from Feb. 16 to June 7 that year were declared void.
The CAS decision followed appeals by the Italian anti-doping agency, which asked for a longer ban, and Errani, who asked for her voided results to be reinstated.
She will now have to serve the remaining eight months for the ban, leading the 31-year-old to cast doubts on her return to the sport.
“... I have already served seven months, between results disqualification and period of inactivity. I have been forced to restart with ranking position of 280, and I climbed back,” Errani added.
“And NOW they add an extra sanction of eight months. All of this is a total nonsense!”
“I find, in all this matter, a very unfair treatment... I don’t know if I will be able to find the strength and the desire to play tennis again, after all this.”
(This story has been refiled to correct ranking to 72nd in paragraph five.)
Reporting by Brian Homewood and Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge and Pritha Sarkar