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'Very angry' Errani reiterates innocent claim after doping ban

180   //    09 Aug 2017, 19:30 IST
SaraErrani - cropped
Saran Errani in action

Sara Errani insists she did not knowingly commit a doping violation and is "very angry" with the two-month suspension imposed upon her.

The former world number five, who reached the French Open final in 2012, tested positive for letrozole in an out-of-competition test on February 16.

Errani admitted to an anti-doping rule violation when a charge was brought by the International Tennis Federation, but her plea of no fault or negligence was rejected by an independent tribunal.

The Italian argued she ingested the prohibited substance inadvertently through her mother's anti-cancer medication 'Femara' while staying at her parents' house.

Errani maintained that reasoning at a media conference on Wednesday and explained an examination of her hair suggests the quantity of the substance she ingested was less than is contained in a single 'Femara' pill, though it was unable to be submitted as evidence in her hearing.

She said: "In my life and in my career I have never used a prohibited substance. Since the first day I became professional I zealously stuck to the WADA [World Anti-Doping Agency] program and I never asked for an exemption, not even when I could when I was ill.

"It has been scientifically verified that the amount of a dose even or superior of the quantity contained in a single pill of 'Femara' produces a quantity of letrozole traceable in the hair of the one who ingested it.

"There was no trace in my hair. This proves that the quantity I involuntarily ingested was inferior to the single tablet and could reasonably lead to an accidental ingestion.

"These results have not been admitted as evidence in my favour because of a legal issue. I offered a detailed report to the tribunal which have said the following: One - The food contamination is the cause for my failed doping test. Two - there is no evidence I have intentionally breached anti-doping laws. Three - there is no evidence that letrozole could enhance the performance of a female tennis player

"Despite this, the independent tribunal sanctioned me with a two-month ban which will end on October 2, 2017, including a revocation of the prize money and the ranking points earned between the February 16 and June 7.

"This extremely frustrates me but I can only be strong to wait for this ban to end. I am very angry but at the same time at peace with my conscience. I did nothing wrong and there was no oversight towards the anti-doping program."

Errani hit out at a section of the media she felt reported the case incorrectly, saying: "I hope that tomorrow the professionalism of all of you who have written false things, unleashing the rage of all those who hide behind a social media keyboard accusing me of everything and trying to ruin my reputation, have the courage and the intellectual honesty to publish a rectified version of your recent headlines."

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