There is no tennis going on around the planet at the moment.
But anti-doping testing performed before the stoppage has resulted in American Ashley Kratzer coming up positive on a test done at the WTA 125K tournament in Newport Beach, California at the end of January.
Kratzer, a 21-year-old, 6-foot-1 lefty who currently lives in Newport Beach, tested positive for GHRP-6, which is a prohibited substance in the “growth hormone” category.
She was charged with the anti-doping rule violation on March 18 and is provisionally suspended as of Saturday as the process gets under way.
Kratzer is a player who competed very little on the ITF junior circuit. She played in just four events – all of them in California; the last of them came after she had just turned 15.
But three years later, in 2017, she was the USTA under-18s nationals champion. That earned her a wild card into the US Open qualifying, where she lost 6-1, 6-1 in the first round to Tatjana Maria. Kratzer also had a wild card into the qualifying in 2018.
Shortly after the brief junior career, she hit the ITF circuit and has played almost non-stop for the last six years.
Kratzer reached a career-high ranking of No. 200 just before the 2018 US Open, and is currently at No. 492.
At Newport Beach, Kratzer was tested after losing a qualifying match to Eri Hozumi.
Indian Wells effort cancelled
The positive test was the second major blow for Kratzer this month.
She had won the Indian Wells pre-qualifying tournament, and earned a wild card into the qualifying at the main event.
Of course, on the day that draw was to be made, the entire tournament was cancelled.
GHRP-6 is short for “Growth Hormone Releasing Peptide-6”, which is sort of self-explanatory. It looks like it’s ridiculously easy to buy online and is often used to lose weight, build lean muscle mass and recover more quickly from workouts. It’s been around for a looooooong time, so it’s not the type of substance that will escape the anti-doping authorities.
UFC featherweight Chad Mendez received a two-year suspension in 2016 from the U.S. Anti-Doping Association after testing positive for it. In a later interview, Mendez said the substance he took that included GHRP-6 was a cream used to treat an ongoing case of plaque psoriasis. Mendez added that a lot of people use it for skin conditions, that that it’s essentially an “anti-aging peptide”.
Another UFC fighter, C.B. Dollaway, was suspended last August for two years after testing positive for a host of different substances, including GHRP-6.