Doubles ace blames beef for positive dope test

Colombian Robert Farah won two Grand Slam doubles titles last year.
Colombian Robert Farah won two Grand Slam doubles titles last year.

MELBOURNE • Top-ranked doubles player Robert Farah yesterday revealed that he has tested positive for a banned anabolic steroid.

The 32-year-old made the announcement on social media hours after he pulled out of next week's Australian Open for what he initially said were personal reasons.

The Colombian said the International Tennis Federation had informed him of the finding. He 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 I had been preparing since December," Farah, who won last year's men's doubles titles at Wimbledon and the US 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, 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."

Farah and compatriot Juan Sebastian Cabal, his long-time partner, were last year's ATP Doubles Team of the Year. They had already pulled out of this week's Adelaide International. Cabal is expected to stay in Melbourne and play doubles with another partner.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 16, 2020, with the headline 'Doubles ace blames beef for positive dope test'. Print Edition | Subscribe