A top Italiantennis player caught in a drugs test has narrowly escaped a two-year ban after claiming she had ingested the substance by accident when eating her mother's pasta dinner.
Errani's ban precludes her from playing in the US Open at Flushing Meadows, where she won a doubles title and reached a singles semi-final in 2012.
Errani's mother, Fulvia, appeared at a hearing between the ITF and her daughter, where she admitted to accidentally dropping Femara pills from her blister pack "onto the worktop or onto the floor" during the preparation of meals.
However, it did announce that Errani could have done more to protect herself.
"I'm not interested in keeping working with a person that is involved in these things", she said at the time, according to the BBC.
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Errani will be ineligible until midnight on October 2nd and her results between February 16th and June 7th will be disqualified resulting in the forfeiture of ranking points and prize money in that period.
The 29-year-old pleaded not guilty after testing positive for letrozole in February, blaming the results on cross-contamination with a medicine taken by her mother.
Some will question why she was allowed to play for nearly four months in between those dates without undergoing another test, despite a busy period in which she played in 10 tournaments and enjoyed a successful run through qualifying at the French Open.
"I have explained in details all circumstances to the Independent Tribunal, who agreed that the food contamination was the cause of my positive test", Sara Errani said. However, the tribunal did say there lacked evidence this drug could be performance-enhancing for an elite tennis player. "The only hypothesis is food contamination".
The newspapers also informed that the Italian, who lost in the 2012 French Open final to another drug offender, Maria Sharapova, has dropped out of the Rogers Cup in Montreal which started Monday.
Errani based her case for mitigation on the fact she had been visiting her parents shortly before her positive test.
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