Yastremska ineligible for Australian Open after CAS dismisses appeal

FILE PHOTO: Tennis - Ukraine's Dayana Yastremska in action during her third round match at the Italian Open - Foro Italico, Rome, Italy - September 18, 2020. Pool via REUTERS/Angelo Carconi/File Photo

(Reuters) - The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Wednesday dismissed an appeal by Ukraine's Dayana Yastremska who was provisionally suspended for doping, leaving her ineligible to play in the Australian Open starting next week.

Yastremska was suspended last month after the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) found a banned substance in an out-of-competition urine sample she submitted.

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) had denied Yastremska's application to have the suspension lifted, prompting the world number 29 to approach CAS to hear an urgent appeal so she could play in the year's first Grand Slam.

"The provisional suspension imposed on Dayana Yastremska in the challenged decision remains in force until a final decision is rendered by the ITF," CAS said in a statement.

Yastremska, who has travelled to Australia in the hope that her suspension would be overturned before the Australian Open, issued a statement on Twitter.

"I would like to underline that the decision taken by the ITF Independent Tribunal and CAS are only related to the provisional suspension," she said. "Now comes the time to defend myself about the matter in dispute.

"I can't express my disappointment about not taking part in the first Slam of the year. I remain determined to demonstrate my innocence and clear my name."

The ITF said in a statement that Yastremska "remains ineligible to compete" pending a final resolution of her case.

Yastremska has denied using performance-enhancing drugs and said the positive test was the result of a "contamination event".

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar and Ed Osmond)

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