• Tennis

Player's two-year ban for meth positive

ESPN staff
November 16, 2013
Nuria Llagostera Vives is banned until September 7, 2015 © Getty Images

Spaniard Nuria Llagostera Vives has been suspended for two years after testing positive for methamphetamine at a tournament in California this summer.

The 33-year-old's ban will expire on September 7, 2015, the ITF have announced. She reached No. 35 in the singles rankings in 2005, but now competes only in doubles.

Llagostera Vives was due to partner 2010 French Open champion Francesca Schiavone at the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford in July, but withdrew because the Italian was unwell.

Despite the withdrawal Llagostera Vives was still randomly selected for testing and failed to explain the presence of the drug in her system, the ITF revealed in a publishing from an independent tribunal.

Llagostera Vives had visited San Francisco the day before she went to doping control, and claimed only to have consumed a bottle of water. However an ITF expert witness explained that the banned substance "was and is available only as a street drug (crystal meth or meth) or as a stimulant or as a party drug," although noted it can be prescribed for some behavioural disorders.

The tribunal's ruling stated Llagostera Vives did not claim a medical exemption though, and only later changed her story to say she had been taking supplements and over-the-counter medications.

Despite the ruling, Llagostera Vives will keep her prize money and ranking points earned in the tournaments she competed in since July. She reached the last 16 at the U.S. Open with Liezel Huber.

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