MELBOURNE, Australia — Top-ranked doubles player Robert Farah says he tested positive for a banned anabolic steroid.
Farah made the announcement on social media hours hours after he pulled out of the Australian Open for what he initially said were personal reasons. Farah said the International Tennis Federation had informed him of the finding.
The 32-year-old Colombian said he tested positive for Boldenona, which he claimed was the result of eating meat in his home country.
“I will not be able to play at the Australian Open, an event for which I had been preparing since December,” Farah, who won last year’s men’s doubles titles at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, wrote in remarks translated from Spanish on Twitter.
“A few hours ago the ITF informed me of the presence of Boldenona in a test that I did on October 17, 2019 in Cali.
“Two weeks before the test mentioned … I did an anti-doping test in Shanghai which had a negative result. And I was also tested at least 15 other times randomly in the international circuit throughout the year with the same negative result. As stated by the Colombian Olympic Committee in 2018, this substance is found frequently in Colombian meat and may affect athletes’ test results.”
The Canadian-born Farah and fellow Colombian Juan Sebastian Cabal, his long-time partner, were the ATP’s doubles team of the year in 2019. They had already pulled out of this week’s Adelaide International.
Farah was still listed on Wednesday morning atop the ATP doubles rankings list, tied with Cabal with 8,170 points each.
Cabal was expected to remain in Melbourne and play doubles with another partner.
The Australian Open starts on Monday.
PARIS — A thrilling five-set victory took a toll on Gael Monfils, whose withdrawal from the French Open handed No. 6 Holger Rune a walkover to the third round.
The 36-year-old Frenchman said he has a strained left wrist and can’t continue.
He battled Sebastian Baez for nearly four hours on Court Philippe Chatrier before beating the Argentine 3-6, 6-3, 7-5, 1-6, 7-5 in a first-round match that ended at 12:18 a.m. local time.
The victory was Monfils’ first at tour level this year, as the veteran was coming back from heel surgery.
“Actually, physically, I’m quite fine. But I had the problem with my wrist that I cannot solve,” he said. “The doctor say was not good to play with that type of injury. Yesterday was actually very risky, and then today definitely say I should stop.”
Monfils reached the semifinals at the French Open in 2008 and made it to the quarterfinals on three other occasions.
PARIS — Swedish tennis player Mikael Ymer was docked about $40,000 after being disqualified for smashing his racket against the umpire’s chair at a tournament the week before he competed at the French Open.
An ATP Tour spokesman said Ymer forfeited about $10,500 in prize money and 20 rankings he earned for reaching the second round of the Lyon Open. Ymer also was handed an on-site fine of about $29,000.
The spokesman said the ATP Fines Committee will conduct a review of what happened to determine whether any additional penalties are warranted.
The 56th-ranked Ymer, who is 24 and owns a victory over current No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz, was defaulted in Lyon for an outburst late in the first set against French teenager Arthur Fils last week.
Ymer was upset that the chair umpire would not check a ball mark after a shot by Fils landed near a line. As the players went to the sideline for the ensuing changeover, Ymer smacked the base of the umpire’s stand with his racket twice – destroying his equipment and damaging the chair.
That led to Ymer’s disqualification, making Fils the winner of the match.
After his 7-5, 6-2, 6-4 loss to 17th-seeded Lorenzo Musetti in the first round at Roland Garros, Ymer was asked whether he wanted to explain why he reacted the way he did in Lyon.
“With all due respect, I think it’s pretty clear from the video what caused it and why I reacted the way I reacted. Not justifying it at all, of course,” Ymer replied. “But for me to sit here and to explain? I think it’s pretty clear what led me to that place. I think that’s pretty clear in the video.”