London, January 4:
Martina Hingis was banned for two years on Friday for testing positive for cocaine at Wimbledon last year.
The International Tennis Federation said an independent anti-doping tribunal found that Hingis, who announced her retirement on November 1 on the day she revealed the positive test, had committed an offense.
The 27-year-old Hingis denied using cocaine, but the tribunal rejected suggestions there were any doubts over her sample.
Although the five-time Grand Slam winner is now retired, Hingis’ suspension is backdated to October 1. She has three weeks to contest the ruling and punishment.
The ITF disqualified Hingis’ results from last year’s Wimbledon and any subsequent tournaments she played in. She also forfeits ranking points gained and $129,481 in prize. Hingis provided the sample after losing 6-4, 6-2 to Laura Granville at Wimbledon. Hingis dominated women’s tennis between 1997-2000 by winning three straight Australian Opens, Wimbledon and the US Open. She was twice a runner-up at the French Open where her loss to Iva Majoli in 1997 stopped her winning all four Grand Slams that year.