World doubles No. 1 Robert Farah and rising Chilean singles player Nicolas Jarry have both tested positive for banned substances ahead of the Australian Open - however, both intend to prove their innocence.
Farah took to Twitter to reveal the International Tennis Federation (ITF) informed him that he’d tested positive for the banned anabolic steroid Boldenona, which he says got into his system as a result of eating meat in his home country of Columbia.
Les comparto este mensaje. Gracias por su apoyo. pic.twitter.com/8JmiyV1YYe
— Robert farah (@RobertFarah_) January 14, 2020
“I will not be able to play at the Australian Open, an event for which I had been preparing since December,” Farah wrote 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.”
Farah added that he would fight the charge and was considering his next steps with his group of advisers.
“I am calm and confident in the results of this process since I have always acted correctly and honestly in my life,” he said.
“I will work harder than ever to return to the courts in the shortest time possible.”
Farah and fellow Columbian Juan Sebastian Cabal were named the ATP doubles team of the year in 2019 after the pair won consecutive Grand Slams at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.
They had already pulled out of this week’s Adelaide International, while Cabal is expected to play doubles with another partner in Melbourne for the Australian Open, which starts on Monday.
Meanwhile, Jarry – ranked No. 78 in the world in singles – was suspended on Tuesday due to a positive doping test during the Davis Cup Finals in Madrid in November.
The ITF says the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) discovered prohibited substances ligandrol and stanozolol in his urine sample. Both of those substances can act like a steroid.
Jarry is adamant the positive test is due to tainted multivitamins and says he would never knowingly ingest the banned substances.
“The levels of these substances are so incredibly low that they are equivalent to trillionths of a gram, levels so low that neither substance could have provided me any performance enhancing benefit,” Jarry said in a statement posted on Instagram.
“I will dedicate these next days and weeks fully to determining where these substances came from so my legal team and I can clarify this situation completely.”
Jarry won his maiden ATP title in Bastad last year and was part of the Chile ATP Cup team that played in Brisbane last week.