The International Tennis Federation announced yesterday that Spain’s Nuria Llagostera Vives has been found to have committed an Anti-Doping Rule Violation under Article 2.1 of the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme. The 33-year-old tested positive for d-methamphetamine, which is a Prohibited Substance under section S6 (Stimulants) of the 2013 WADA List of Prohibited Substances and Prohibited Methods.
Nuria Llagostera Vives has been competing on the professional tour since 1996 but has only participated in doubles tournaments on the WTA senior professional circuit since 2012. In June 2005, she reached her highest singles ranking of 35. In November 2009, she reached her highest doubles ranking of five. She has won two WTA events as a singles player and 16 as one a doubles competitor. Most notably, at the WTA Tour Championships in 2009, she and her fellow Spaniard, Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, won the doubles title. Considering she is 33 years old and now facing a two year suspension, this could possibly mean the end of her 17+ year career.
Llagostera was subjected to a doping test in July, when she was in California with doubles partner Francesca Schiavone. While they withdrew from the Pro-AM tournament due to Schiavone feeling unwell, Llagostera had already been selected for the test was required to take it. On August 21st, the WADA-accredited laboratory revealed an “adverse analytical finding for the prohibited substance d-methamphetamine” in her urine sample and she was informed by letter a week later.
It is important to note that Llagostera was selected for in-competition testing at two later tournaments in New Haven and Toronto, where she test results returned negative. She has not made any challenge regarding her current suspension but emphasized that she had never ingested any prohibited substances at any point in her professional career and had never tested positive prior to that occasion. She was unable to provide a theory as to how the substance found its way into her system.
Following the test and Tribunal hearing, it was decided that Nuria Llagostera was ineligible to compete for a period of 24 months, commencing on 8 September 2013, from participating in any capacity any professional competition.