A provisional suspension has been imposed on Dayana Yastremska, a 20-year-old player from Ukraine, who is ranked No 29 in the World, under the ITF’s 2020 Tennis Anti-Doping Programme pending determination of the charge against her at a full hearing.
I'm astonished and under shock, particularly given that two weeks prior to this test... I tested negative at the WTA event in Linz. After this last tournament of the year, I stopped practising to rest prior to the start of the new season. Only a very low concentration of mesterolone metabolite was detected in my urine. Given that low concentration and given my negative test two weeks earlier, I have received scientific advice that the result is consistent with some form of contamination event. Dayana Yastremska
Yastremska was expecting to compete at the Australian Open and provided an Out-of-Competition urine sample on 24 November 2020 that was sent to the World Anti-Doping Agency (“WADA”) accredited laboratory in Montreal, Canada for analysis.
This was found to contain mesterolone metabolite, a Non-Specified substance, which is prohibited under category S1 of the 2020 WADA Prohibited List (Anabolic Agents), and therefore is also prohibited under the ITF Programme.
Positive tests for Non-Specified Substances carry a mandatory Provisional Suspension and Yastremska was charged on 22 December, 2020.
“Yastremska was charged with an Anti-Doping Rule Violation under Article 2.1 of the Programme (presence of a Prohibited Substance in a Player’s Sample) and was provisionally suspended with effect from January 7,” the ITF said.
“Yastremska had (and retains) the right to apply to the Chair of the Independent Tribunal convened to hear her case why the Provisional Suspension should not be imposed, but has chosen not to exercise that right to date.”
The ITF did not say when Yastremska’s hearing would take place, putting her participation in Melbourne in February in doubt.
Yastremska, who denies any wrongdoing, said she was shocked at the news and denied having used performance enhancing drugs, adding she believes the positive test was the result of a ‘contamination event’.
“I’m astonished and under shock, particularly given that two weeks prior to this test… I tested negative at the WTA event in Linz,” she said in a statement.
“After this last tournament of the year, I stopped practising to rest prior to the start of the new season.
“Only a very low concentration of mesterolone metabolite was detected in my urine.
“Given that low concentration and given my negative test two weeks earlier, I have received scientific advice that the result is consistent with some form of contamination event.”
While a punishment will not be decided until after a full hearing, the ITF says that Yastremska has a right to appeal, but has not yet done so.
Yastremska, who has won 3 WTA titles, reached a career-high ranking of No 21 in January 2020, and her best showing at a Grand Slam tournament was reaching the fourth round at Wimbledon in her main-draw debut there in 2019.
The Tennis Anti-Doping Programme applies to all players competing at Grand Slam tournaments and events sanctioned by the ITF, ATP and WTA.
Players are tested for substances prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency and, upon finding that an Anti-Doping Rule Violation has been committed, sanctions are imposed under the Programme in compliance with the requirements of the World Anti-Doping Code.