American tennis player Abigail Spears has been given a 22-month doping ban earlier this week for a positive test from the US Open last year. Spears, who is 38 years old, has won 21 women's doubles titles in her career as well as the mixed doubles event at the 2017 Australian Open with Juan Sebastian Cabal.
The ITF said that the urine sample was found to contain two prohibited substances, prasterone and testosterone and although they accepted her explanation that her use of the substances was unconnected to sports performance, they said “her fault was deemed to be high”.
Spears was charged and provisionally suspended on November 7 and the ban was backdated to start on the day Spears was provisionally suspended. The ban will end at midnight on September 6, 2021. Spears had said in November that she had taken packaged supplements after the doctor told her that she had vitamin deficiencies.
“For once in my career, I did not adequately go through the right steps and didn’t check with WADA or the WTA on whether the supplements were clean. While I was devastated to learn about making such a huge mistake, I hope that other players, especially up and coming ones, learn from this and check every single substance that they put in their body.
I take full responsibility for my actions and very much regret not checking the label closely enough to ensure what I was taking was clean”.