Traces of testosterone: US women’s tennis star provisionally suspended for doping violation

American doubles star Abigail Spears has been provisionally suspended by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) after traces of banned substances, including testosterone, were found in her doping probe.

The 38-year-old failed the test while participating in the 2019 US Open, with traces of prasterone (DHEA), testosterone and metabolites being detected in her urine sample.

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Prasterone and testosterone are Non-Specified substances, which are prohibited under category S1 of the 2019 WADA Prohibited List (Anabolic Agents), and therefore are also prohibited under the Programme. Positive tests for Non-Specified Substances carry a mandatory Provisional Suspension,” the ITF said in a statement.

Abigail Spears of the U.S. and Colombia’s Juan Sebastian Cabal hold their Australian Open trophy © REUTERS / Issei Kato

On 28 October 2019, Ms. Spears was charged with an Anti-Doping Rule Violation under Article 2.1 of the Programme (presence of a Prohibited Substance in a Player’s Sample) and was Provisionally Suspended with effect from 7 November 2019.”

Spears has taken 21 career doubles titles so far, including the 2017 Australian Open mixed doubles trophy with Juan Sebastián Cabal. She also reached the finals of the 2013 and 2014 US Open mixed doubles with Santiago Gonzalez.