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Zahlavova-Strycova gets six-month ban for taking stimulant

ESPN staff
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Barbora Zahlavova-Strycova said she ingested the banned substance in a supplement © Getty Images
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Czech tennis player Barbora Zahlavova-Strycova has been banned from competing for six months after testing positive for a substance found in a weight-loss product.

The 26-year-old is currently the world No. 124 and her ban will last until midnight on April 15, as it was backdated to start on the day her blood sample was taken, October 16.

The drug sibutramine was found in her blood after she had been knocked out of the first round at the Luxembourg Open. As part of the punishment she has also been stripped of the prize money she was awarded at the event.

Sibutramine is a stimulant and Zahlavova-Strycova claimed she ingested it when taking the supplement ACAI Berry Thin, an assertion the International Tennis Federation (ITF) has accepted.

"Ms Zahlavova Strycova asserted that the sibutramine, for which she did not hold a valid therapeutic use exemption, had got into her system through her ingestion of the supplement ACAI Berry Thin,'' an ITF statement said.

"She denied any intent to enhance her performance as a result of taking the ACAI Berry Thin."

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