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3 Feb, 2021 18:30

Ukraine ace Yastremska vows to clear name as appeal against provisional doping ban is REJECTED – despite her flying to Aus Open

Ukraine ace Yastremska vows to clear name as appeal against provisional doping ban is REJECTED – despite her flying to Aus Open

Ukrainian world number 29 Dayana Yastremska has had her appeal against a provisional doping suspension dismissed, meaning she will be unable to play at the upcoming Australian Open despite flying all the way to Melbourne.

Yastremska, 20, had jetted into Melbourne from Dubai on a special charter flight in mid-January in the hopes that her provisional suspension would be overturned in time for the start of action in the year’s opening Grand Slam on February 7.

The suspension had been imposed after Yastremska failed an out-of-competition doping test in November when a prohibited substance, mesterolone metabolite, was detected in her urine sample. The Ukrainian ace has cited the possibility of contamination as being behind the test result.  

Also on rt.com ‘I am astonished & shocked’: Tennis star Dayana Yastremska insists contamination is behind her suspension for testosterone steroid

Yastremska had been forced into a hard two-week quarantine on her arrival in Australia after a person onboard her flight tested positive for Covid-19, and on Wednesday she discovered that her journey had been in vain when the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) announced her appeal had not been successful.

“Ms. Yastremska therefore remains ineligible to compete, pending the final resolution of her case,” a statement read.

The young star – who has thus far netted more than $2.1 million in prize money in her fledgling career – responded with resignation to the news but vowed to clear her name.

“I sadly acknowledge the decision of the CAS to dismiss the expedited appeal to lift my provisional suspension. I would like to underline that the decisions taken by the ITF Independent Tribunal and the CAS are only related to the provisional suspension. Now comes the time to defend myself about the matter of the dispute,” read a statement shared with her 117,000 Instagram followers.

“My team and I are confident in our ability to prove my innocence as the ITF Independent Tribunal will hear from me, witnesses and experts. I know my presence in Australia has raised some concerns.

"The urgent procedure with the ITF Independent Tribunal and the CAS could have lifted my provisional suspension, which would have enabled me to compete at the Australian Open. That’s the reason why I was allowed to travel there.

“I can’t express my disappointment about not taking part in the first Slam of the year. I am thankful to the authorities for the conditions they have set for the players in such challenging times.

“Thus, I intend to return all the expenses engaged by Tennis Australia on my behalf. I remain determined to demonstrate my innocence and clear my name. I wish to thank all my fans for their support.”

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The Odessa-born star has already emerged as a headline-grabbing talent in the women’s game,  famously being consoled by Serena Williams when bursting into tears on being knocked out by the American in the third round in Melbourne in 2019.

Off the court, Yastremska has launched a budding music career, but came in for criticism last year when she posted a mocked-up image supposedly in support of racial equality, but which some fans condemned as ‘blackface’.

Yastremska later deleted the images and claimed she had been misunderstood.

Also on rt.com Ukrainian ace Yastremska bounces back from 'blackface' controversy as she poses in leather to drop latest dance track (PHOTOS)