Hingis handed two-year ban

Martina Hingis has been handed a two-year ban after being found guilty of a doping offence, the International Tennis Federation announced today.

Martina Hingis has been handed a two-year ban after being found guilty of a doping offence, the International Tennis Federation announced today.

The 27-year-old Swiss star was found to have tested positive for a metabolite of cocaine while competing at Wimbledon last year.

Although Hingis challenged the findings, the ITF has now rejected her appeal and handed out a two-year ban starting from October 1, 2007.

Hingis, who has since retired from the sport, has also had to forfeit ranking points and prize money from Wimbledon and any subsequent tournaments.

A statement from the ITF said: "The International Tennis Federation announced today that an independent Anti-Doping Tribunal convened under the 2007 Tennis Anti-Doping Programme has found that Martina Hingis, a 27-year-old Swiss tennis player, has committed a Doping Offence.

“Following a two-day hearing in December 2007, an independent Anti-Doping Tribunal found that a sample provided by Ms Hingis on 29 June 2007 at the Wimbledon Championships in London, England, had tested positive for a metabolite of cocaine.

“The Tribunal rejected the suggestion made on behalf of Ms Hingis that there were doubts about the identity and/or integrity of the sample attributed to her.

“The Tribunal also rejected Ms Hingis’ plea of No (or No Significant) Fault or Negligence, on the basis that no mitigation was possible as it had not been shown how the cocaine entered her system.”

Hingis won 43 WTA singles titles during her career, including five grand slams.

The former world number one spent three years out of the sport before returning to the tour in 2006, and won three titles in Kolkata, Roma and Tokyo before retiring in November last year following the announcement of her positive drugs test.

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