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Errani 'disgusted' by extension of ban, hints at retirement

Sara Errani

Lausanne, June 12: Sara Errani was left "disgusted" by the Court of Arbitration for Sport's decision to extend her doping ban from two to 10 months, hinting at potentially retiring.

The 2012 French Open finalist was handed the original punishment in August, 2017, after testing positive for prohibited substance letrozole during an out-of-competition test.

Errani admitted the anti-doping violation when a charge was brought by the International Tennis Federation (ITF), but her legal team argued at a personal hearing that she ingested the substance inadvertently through her mother's anti-cancer medication 'Femara' while staying at her parents' house.

She was consequently hit with a two-month suspension, which was served between August and October 2017, while results and prize money from February 16 to June 7 were disqualified.

The Italian national anti-doping agency (Nado Italia) and Errani, 31, both appealed against the decision made by the Independent Tribunal of the ITF, with the former asking for a punishment up to two years.

CAS has now dismissed Errani's appeal, while upholding Nado Italia's by extending the sanction to 10 months – the original two that have been served counting towards the punishment.

Errani was furious with the decision, labelling it an "injustice" and even hinting at possibly retiring.

"I am really disgusted by this matter. I don't think anything similar has never happened or managed – in my humble opinion – in such a shamefully manner," she wrote on Twitter.

"I have waited for the final sentence for seven extremely long months. A deadline was set eight times, and then postponed. Eight times!

"I didn't have the chance to live and play with the serenity that tennis requires. I found this eight months increase a shame.

"I never assumed any performance-enhancing substance in all my life, I love tennis too much to do something like that. I always tried to be a good example, either on and off the court. I have always played for the national team giving my best, and trying to honour it every single moment, even when walking away would have been the most logical and simple decision for me.

"I have dedicated my life to this sport and I don't think I deserve all this. I feel powerless against such an injustice."

Errani added: "I have already served seven months, between results disqualification and period of inactivity. I have been forced to re-start with a ranking position of 280, and I climbed back. And NOW they add an extra sanction of eight months. All of this is total nonsense!

"I find, in all this matter, a very unfair treatment and I want to shout it, holding my head up high, because I am sure I have nothing to reproach myself.

"I don't know if I will be able to find the strength and the desire to play tennis again, after all of this."

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    Story first published: Tuesday, June 12, 2018, 6:30 [IST]
    Other articles published on Jun 12, 2018
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