Mumma mia: Tennis star blames failed drug test on mum's pasta

Italy's Sara Errani claims 'food contamination' for her failed doping test. Source:Supplied
Italy's Sara Errani claims 'food contamination' for her failed doping test. Source:Supplied

THE tortellini had some special sauce.

Italian tennis player Sara Errani tried defending her failed drug test by playing scientist and proving that her food could have been contaminated.

Errani, a former top-five player in the world, received a two-month ban for testing positive for letrozole, a drug often prescribed for the treatment of breast cancer and is on the World Anti-Doping Agency's banned substance list.


The 30-year-old's failed test happened when she wasn't actively playing, but when she returned to her parents' home following a Fed Cup match in February. Errani argued that the drug usage was inadvertent and that her mum had been taking a drug that contained letrozole since she was first diagnosed with cancer in 2005.

Errani claimed she had dropped stray pills from the blister pack, which contained the letrozole in the past. She contended that because the medicine was so close to where food was being prepared, the food could become contaminated with the drug.

The 2012 French Open finalist said her mother kept the drug on the kitchen counter to remind herself to take a pill every day. The International Tennis Federation questioned Errani's eating habits between Feb. 14-15, specifically how the tortellini and broth were prepared.

Once they learned of the failed drug test, Errani and her husband carried out personal experiments to see if a pill of letrozole would in fact dissolve in food and be undetectable, which they claimed not only dissolved in the broth but also dissolved in the meat mixture that is used to make tortellini.

The five-time women's Grand Slam doubles champion is the most recognisable women's tennis player to fail a drug test since Maria Sharapova in March 2016.

Topics:  drug ban sauce

News Corp Australia

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