Tennis pro Yastremska denied in bid to lift suspension

Ukraine's Dayana Yastremska makes a forehand return. (Andy Brownbill/AP)

LONDON — The International Tennis Federation on Saturday denied a bid by 29th-ranked Dayana Yastremska to lift a suspension for failing an out-of-competition doping test.

The ruling can be appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport by the 20-year-old Ukrainian.

Players at Grand Slam tournaments and events sanctioned by the ITF, ATP and WTA are tested for substances prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Yastremska drew a provisional suspension by the ITF on Jan. 7. She had tested positive for mesterolone metabolite, a prohibited substance that can be used to boost testosterone.

In a statement on her Twitter feed then, Yastremska said she was ``astonished and under shock.''

``I firmly state that I have never used any performance enhancing drugs or any prohibited substances,'' she said.

She said she passed a drug test at her most recent tournament, in Austria on Nov. 9.

Yastremska has won three WTA singles titles. She reached a career-high ranking of No. 21 a year ago. Her best showing at a Grand Slam tournament was reaching the fourth round at Wimbledon in her main-draw debut there in 2019.

``You can be assured that I am resolutely determined to do everything to clear my name,'' Yastremska said.

The 2021 tennis season started this month, including a WTA tournament in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The year's first major championship, the Australian Open, begins Feb. 8 in Melbourne.

Yastremska had travelled to Melbourne aboard one of the Tennis Australia charter flights and was in quarantine pending the result of the ITF hearing.

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