Hopes Dashed: Yastremska’s doping ban appeal denied

The 20-year-old world No 29 took a risk by flying to Melbourne for the Australian Open and it hasn’t paid off.

Dayana Yastremska, Linz 2020

Dayana Yastremska left for Melbourne in January with hope in her heart.

Not long after being hit with a provisional suspension by the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme for testing positive for a banned substance, the 20-year-old Ukrainian vowed to clear her name.

“I firmly state that I have never used any performance enhancing drugs or any prohibited substances,” she posted on Twitter, after the suspension was announced. Just over a week later she boarded a plane to Melbourne, under the assumption that there was a chance that her appeal would be heard and her name subsequently cleared, so that she may play events in Australia in February.

That hasn’t happened. The Tennis Anti-Doping Programme announced today that Yastremska’s appeal has been denied.

“An application by Dayana Yastremska to lift the provisional suspension imposed on her on 7 January 2021 under Article 8.3.1(c) of the 2020 Tennis Anti-Doping Programme has been denied by the Chair of the Independent Tribunal convened to hear her case,” the ITF said in a statement. “This decision is subject to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport by Ms. Yastremska, WADA and the National Anti-Doping Center of Ukraine.”

Yastremska, who says she was “astonished” to test positive for mesterolone metabolite, given that she had tested negative two weeks prior to her Nov. 24 test, is one of the players in “hard” quarantine in Melbourne, and still cannot leave her room for another week.

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