posted on Jan, 17 2005 @ 12:31 PM
Svetlana Kuznetsova, Russia's US Open champion, tested positive for ephedrine during an exhibition match in Belgium last month, regional Belgian
sports authorities said overnight.
Kuznetsova, ranked fifth in the world, failed the test on December 19 in Charleroi south of Brussels, said the sports minister for Belgium's
French-speaking community. Claude Eerdekens said that an anti-doping watchdog had tested four of those participating at the tournament. "There is a
problem for Kuznetsova. Ephedrine was discovered," he said.
He added that confirmation of the findings had been sent last Friday to the player's address in Spain, as well as to the Belgian prosecutors' office
and the Belgian and Russian tennis federations. The confirmation came hours after Kuznetsova romped into the Australian Open second round in Melbourne
and said she was mystified by reports that she could have failed a drugs test.
The big-hitting right-hander said she was one of the most tested players, adding: "Maybe if something happened it was a mistake." Kuznetsova, saying
it was possible players could still take a banned substance by mistake, criticised the fact that reports of the positive test had leaked out.