February 27, 2024

Open Court

MORE TENNIS THAN YOU'LL EVER NEED

Brit doubles player Tara Moore provisionally suspended for doping

(Instagram/TaraMoore92)

Generally speaking, the names that come up in those ITIA releases about positive doping tests are fairly obscure players with nearly non-existent rankings.

But on Wednesday, the ITIA announced that Tara Moore, a 29-year-old British doubles specialist who currently sits at a career-high ranking of No. 83, has been dinged.

Per the ITIA, she is provisionally suspended after a sample collected at the WTA clay-court event in Bogota, Colombia in April came up positive for Boldenone, its metabolite, and metabolites of Nandrolone.

Those are pretty old-school steroids.

Moore was unequivocal on her Instagram feed.

She wouldn’t be the first tennis player to come up positive on a doping test in Colombia, that’s for sure.

Just a few years ago doubles star Robert Farah, a Colombian, missed the Australian Open after a positive test for one of the steroids, baldenone.

It’s often used in the production of beef in that country.

Farah, who mounted a vigorous defence, was able to show reasonable doubt after outlining a sirloin steak dinner he had at mom’s house.

He was quickly allowed to return to competition, although the positive test stood – with no further suspension issues.

B Sample to be analyzed

Moore was given notice on May 27. She now has the “opportunity to request that the B sample is analyzed”, to see if it confirms what came up in the A sample, taken at the same time.

In the meantime, she’s unable to compete in or attend any sanctioned events organized by the sports governing bodies.

Which means, basically, that the British player misses the entire grass-court season and Wimbledon. Not to mention the hay the British tabloids will make about this over the next month.

Moore’s singles ranking, which peaked at No. 145 in 2017, is currently at No. 390.

Since Bogota, she has earned 23 points in singles, and 280 in doubles.

Not only that, she and American Emina Bektas (who is also her partner off-court, as Moore goes by “Tara Bektas Moore” on Instagram), reached the doubles final in Bogota. That’s another 180 points that presumably could be stricken from her resumé if the B sample matches the A sample, and she is unable to clear her name.

Not to mention the money and points she might have earned during the grass-court season.

After beating Belinda Bencic and Anhelina Kalinina in the first round at Roland Garros, Moore and Bektas gave Canadian Gabriela Dabrowski and partner Giuliana Olmos a walkover in the second round.

That match was scheduled for May 28 – or the day after Moore’s provisional suspension went into effect. So that makes sense.

Moore had a very good junior career, peaking in 2010 when she reached the final in Roehampton (the big warmup to Wimbledon), beating Karolina Pliskova along the way.

Moore at Wimbledon in 2010, during her second-round juniors win over Genie Bouchard.

The next week, she made the quarterfinals at the main event, losing to countrywoman Laura Robson and beating Eugenie Bouchard in the second round.

Her pro career didn’t pan out quite the way she would have hoped. But in recent years she found a solid niche for herself as a doubles player.

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