ITF Bans Ukrainian Doctor For Four Years Following Doping Scandal

Kateryna Kozlova plays a backhand in her match against Heather Watson during day two of the WTA Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship. (source: Zimbio.com)

The ITF has handed Dr Elena Dorofeyeva a four-year ban for prescribing a banned substance to world No.98 Kateryna Kozlova.

In 2015 Kozlova was banned for six months after testing positive for the prohibited stimulant DMBA. The 22-year-old maintained her innocence and told the ITF she unintentionally consumed the drug after being prescribed ‘red rum’ by Dr Dorofeyeva in August 2014. The sample was sent to the ITF for testing and they detected the substance.

According to the investigation, Dorofeyeva described the red rum as an ‘energy drink’ full of vitamins. She first told Kozlova about the drink in November 2014 via email, saying that she wanted to give the player an ‘interesting substance to take at competitions.’ Under doctor’s orders, Kozlova had to consume the drink 30 minutes before matches, resulting in a positive test during the 2015 Dubai Tennis Championships.

Following the positive test, Dorofeyeva failed to comment on the accusations against her on two occasions during July 2015. She claimed that her lack of correspondence was due to military operations in her city of Donetsk. This was also the reason for her absence from the official hearing.

The ITF has rejected Dorofeyeva’s claim that she never prescribed red rum to anybody. They have found her guilty of violating article 2.8 of the 2014 anti doping programme.

“A doctor setting him/herself up as a sports medicine specialist…bears an extremely heavy responsibility,” the ITF said in their report.

Her four-year ban came into effect on May 1st 2016.

Dorofeyeva is one of nine people currently suspended from the sport by the ITF. The most notable player on the list is Maria Sharapova, who is currently serving a two-year ban for testing positive for Meldonium earlier this year. The former world No.1 is due to appeal against her sentence.

There is currently no comment from Kozlova regarding the penalty handed to her former doctor.

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