Former world No. 60 Cagla Buyukakcay has been provisionally suspended by the ITF after a banned substance was found in the sample she provided in early August.
“Ms. Buyukakcay, a 32-year-old player from Turkey, provided a urine sample on 3 August 2021 in association with her participation in the WTA Winners Open, played in Cluj-Napoca, Romania from 2-8 August 2021. That sample was sent to the World Anti-Doping Agency (“WADA”) accredited laboratory in Montreal, Canada for analysis, and was found to contain Ractopamine. Ractopamine is a non-Specified Substance, which is prohibited under category S1 of the 2021 WADA Prohibited List (Anabolic Agents), and therefore also prohibited under the Programme. Positive tests for non-Specified Substances carry a mandatory Provisional Suspension,” the ITF’s statement read.
Buyukakcay insists she is innocent
Buyukakcay claims she did her research and there was no way she could have bought Roctapamine and use it.
“I have never head of the substance before, so I researched it and asked experts to learn about it as much as I could. I would implore you to do the same so you can see it for yourself. It is a veterinary drug used in some countries as a feed additive for animals to promote the growth of meat and lean muscle in livestock. Because its sale or use is either controlled or banned, it is not possible to obtain the drug from pharmacies or markets in Turkey or abroad. It would be impossible for a tennis player, including me, to obtain such drug anywhere,” Buyukakcay said in a statement posted on her Twitter account.
“The only logical conclusion that I can reach to account for the presence of Ractopamine in my body is that I consumed tenderloin steaks twice in the days leading up to my match, but the Independent Tribunal did not accept my explanation and the ITF moved forward with my provisional suspension, meaning my case will be reviewed. There has been no final decision been made yet.”
Buyukakcay vowed to continue her fight to prove her innocence.