Lausane – Italy’s Sara Errani said she was “disgusted” after her drugs ban was increased from two to 10 months by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Monday.
The former world number five and 2012 French Open runner-up tested positive for letrozole – a breast cancer drug.
The CAS accepted that medication taken by her mother had found its way into a family meal, but said that the 31-year old was guilty of a “light degree of fault” which justified a 10-month ban.
Errani’s parents told a tribunal in July 2017 that they carried out an experiment after the positive test which found the drug dissolved in a soup, plus a meat mixture for tortellini.
“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 posted on Twitter.
A winner of five grand slam doubles titles, Errani is currently ranked 72nd, must now serve another eight-month suspension.
She was initially banned for two months by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) in August 2017 and her results from February 16 to June 7 that year were declared void.
The CAS decision comes after the Italian anti-doping agency asked for a longer ban, while Errani asked for her voided results to be reinstated.
“I never took any performance-enhancing substance in all my life, I love tennis too much to do something like that,” said Errani.
“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,” she 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.”