Karatantcheva given two-year ban after positive steroid test

Tennis was cast in a murky light yesterday when the 16-year-old Bulgarian Sesil Karatantcheva was banned for two years for a drugs offence.

Rejecting Karatantcheva's explanation that she was pregnant when she tested positive for the anabolic steroid nandrolone, an independent tribunal found her guilty of using the performance-enhancing substance.

The teenager, who is coached by her father, tested positive at the French Open in Paris last June. She may have defeated Venus Williams in the third round at Roland Garros but she loses the £76,000 prize-money and world ranking points and will also forfeit ranking points and prize-money from the tournaments following the French Open.

The Bulgarian world No41 tested positive after losing to Elena Likhovtseva in the quarter-finals in Paris. She has three weeks to appeal to the International Tennis Federation.

Karatantcheva, the 2004 French Open junior champion, is one of the youngest players to be banned and the first female player to test positive since Lourdes Dominguez Lino, who was banned for three months after testing positive for cocaine in 2002. Although there is drug testing at junior tournaments, no junior player has ever tested positive at one of those events.

Karatantcheva, who seemed to have a bright future in tennis, has three weeks to decide whether to accept the ruling or mount an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne.

Karatantcheva had created a controversy in 2004 after an altercation in practice with Maria Sharapova in Indian Wells ended with the Bulgarian vowing to "kick her [Sharapova's] ass". Sharapova responded by routing her opponent 6-0, 6-1 in the second round of Wimbledon this year.

Mariano Puerta, 27, of Argentina, was banned for eight years after testing positive for the banned stimulant eltefrine after losing to Rafael Nadal, of Spain, in the French Open men's singles final. It was Puerta's second drugs offence.

Sport
Seth Rollins cashes in his Money in the Bank contract to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
WWERollins win the WWE World Heavyweight title in one of the greatest WrestleMania's ever seen
Arts and Entertainment
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity takes him behind the bars again
tvBy Reason of Insanity, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark, TV review
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor