Sunday, December 1, 2013

Spaniard banned for two years after positive test

   Nuria Llagostera Vives has had better weeks.
   The former top-five doubles player from Spain was set to return to the WTA tour in the Bank of the West Classic at Stanford in July after undergoing wrist surgery in March.
   Not only did Llagostera Vives fail to get on the court, she tested positive for methamphetamine.
   The doubles specialist was notified of the positive test on Aug. 28, two days after the U.S. Open began, and the International Tennis Federation announced it last month.
   The ITF suspended Llagostera Vives, 33, for two years in a move that could end her career.
   Llagostera Vives and Francesca Schiavone defaulted their first-round match at Stanford after the Italian fell ill. Llagostera Vives instead returned the following week, reaching the second round at Carlsbad in the San Diego area with American Liezel Huber.
   Llagostera Vives played four more tournaments, all with Huber, through a third-round appearance in the U.S. Open. She was allowed to keep her prize money of more than $30,000 after Stanford.
   Only 5-foot-1 (1.56 meters) and 117 pounds (53 kilograms), Llagostera Vives has won two singles and 16 doubles titles on the WTA tour.
   Llagostera Vives reached career highs of No. 35 in singles in 2005 and No. 5 in doubles in 2009. She advanced to the fourth round of singles in the 2005 French Open and the doubles semifinals of the French Open in 2010 and 2012 and the U.S. Open last year.
   In addition, Llagostera Vives won the doubles title in the 2009 WTA Championships with countrywoman Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez.

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