Former French Open finalist Sara Errani insists she's not a drugs cheat

Former French Open finalist Sara Errani struggled to hold back the tears as she insisted she is not a cheat after being handed a two-month doping ban.

The International Tennis Federation announced the suspension on Monday after Errani tested positive for the banned substance letrozole in a test taken in February.

At a news conference, Errani continued to blame food contamination from her mother's breast cancer medication.

"The sentence speaks clearly: I was found guilty of the involuntary ingestion of a substance which does not have a doping effect on a female," said Errani, who reiterated several times that letrozole is not a performance-enhancing drug.

"I don't know exactly how it could have happened that a pharmaceutical pill taken by my mother ended up in the food, but it's the only plausible option, because we have eliminated all the others."

An adjudication panel ruled that Errani's fault was "at the lower end of the scale," but that she should still be banned for two months from August 3, precluding her from playing in the U.S. Open.

"I hope this time will give me even more motivation," Errani said. "I hope to use this time to recover from the stress and these awful experiences ... I will train my hardest, as I have always done, to try to return stronger than before."

Errani reached the 2012 French Open final, losing to Maria Sharapova, and has won nine singles titles and 25 doubles titles in her WTA career. She reached a career-high singles ranking of No 5 in 2013.

Errani reached the 2012 French Open final, losing to Maria Sharapova.


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