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Hingis quits after 'positive test'
Swiss star retires after denying using cocaine.
Last Modified: 02 Nov 2007 10:50 GMT
Martina Hingis' glittering career has ended in a blaze of controversy [GALLO/GETTY]
Martina Hingis has stunned the tennis world by announcing she has been accused of testing positive for cocaine at Wimbledon, before promptly announcing her retirement from professional tennis.
 
Hingis, a five-time Grand Slam champion and former Wimbledon winner, denied using the drug.
"I find this accusation so horrendous, so monstrous that I've decided to confront it head on by talking to the press," she said.
 
"I am frustrated and angry. I believe that I am absolutely 100 percent innocent." The 27-year-old lost in the third round at Wimbledon to Laura Granville, 6-4, 6-2.

Hingis made her return to the sport two years ago after a four-year enforced absence due to injuries.

She won three straight Australian Open titles from 1997-99, and Wimbledon and the US Open championships in 1997.

Hingis hasn't played since her second-round loss to Peng Shuai of China, 7-5, 6-1, in Beijing on September 19.

" I would personally be terrified of taking drugs"

Martina Hingis, 5 time Grand Slam champion

The Swiss star said she was accused by "an outsource testing company" of taking cocaine during Wimbledon.

She said she was "shocked and appalled" when notified that her urine sample came back positive following the loss to Granville.

"They say that cocaine increases self-confidence and creates a type of
euphoria," she said.

"I don't know. I only know that if I were to try to hit the ball while in any state of euphoria, it simply wouldn't work.

"I would think that it would be impossible for anyone to maintain the coordination required to play top class tennis while under the influence of drugs. And I know one other thing, I would personally be terrified of taking drugs."

"B" sample

Hingis said she later underwent a privately arranged hair test which came back negative for cocaine.

However, an official backup 'B' test on her Wimbledon urine sample returned a positive result for the drug.

To further her defence, Hingis claimed she hired a legal expert who found "various inconsistencies" with the urine sample taken during Wimbledon.

" I have no desire to spend the next several years of my life reduced to fighting against the doping officials"

Martina Hingis, 5 time Grand Slam champion

"He is also convinced that the doping officials mishandled the process and would not be able to prove that the urine that was tested for cocaine actually came from me," she said.

But, Hingis believes the length of time it would take to fight the case forced her premature retirement.

"I have no desire to spend the next several years of my life reduced to fighting against the doping officials," she said.

"The fact is that it is more and more difficult for me, physically, to keep playing at the top of the game.

"And frankly, accusations such as these don't exactly provide me with motivation to even make another attempt to do so."

No WTA reaction

WTA Tour chief executive Larry Scott said the tour had not received any official information about a positive test and "as a result we are not in a position to comment on the matter."

"However, it is important to remember that in the area of anti-doping, all players are presumed innocent until proven otherwise," Scott said.

Referring to her retirement, he said, "Martina Hingis is a tremendous champion and a fan favorite the world over. In her most recent comeback, she proved again that she can perform at the very highest levels of the game."

Source:
Agencies
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