Letrozole is a substance used in the treatment of breast cancer which is also on the banned drug list of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
Sara Errani, the 30-year-old Italian tennis player ranked No. 98 in the world, has been banned from the sport for two months after failing a drug test. This also implies that all her results from the date of her positive out-of-competition test on 16 February until a negative test on 7 June have been annulled and all ranking points and prize money accrued in this period have had to be forfeited.
Errani's ban will end on October 2, precluding her from playing in the U.S. Open.
Errani requested a personal hearing, during which her legal team argued that she ingested the prohibited substance inadvertently through her mother's anti-cancer medication "Femara", while staying at her parents' house.
"I have explained in details all circumstances to the Independent Tribunal, who agreed that the food contamination was the cause of my positive test", Sara Errani said.
The ITF tribunal accepted the argument, ruling that "it was more likely than not that letrozole entered the player's body by means of her mother's medication".
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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.
Errani was informed that she had failed a drugs test on April 18th, meaning that she played during the clay court and grass court season after being informed of a potential suspension. This would prove that she did not even take an entire pill's amount of the banned substance.
Errani's mother and father told the tribunal hearing in July that after the positive finding, they carried out an experiment which found the drug dissolved in a broth, plus a meat mixture for tortellini, without being detectable.
"The only viable option has been that an accidental food contamination occurred at some stage in the house."Contamination was possible because there had been times when pills had been dropped or spilled.
Errani has said that she is at "peace with her conscious" since she is sure that she did not ingest any banned substance on objective or with prior knowledge.