Robert Farah, the world’s number one ranked male doubles player, tested positive for a banned substance in October.
A winner of Wimbledon and the US Open alongside Colombian compatriot Juan Sebastian Cabal in 2019, Farah and the ITF confirmed the positive out-of-competition test on Tuesday.
Farah had already pulled out of the Australian Open, citing “personal reasons”.
“The Tennis Anti-Doping Programme can confirm that Robert Farah provided an Out-of-Competition sample on 17 October 2019, which returned a positive finding for Boldenone,” a tweet from the ITF’s media account read.
“This case will follow the procedures set out in Article 8 of the TADP.”
The Tennis Anti-Doping Programme can confirm that Robert Farah provided an Out-of-Competition sample on 17 October 2019, which returned a positive finding for Boldenone. This case will follow the procedures set out in Article 8 of the TADP.
— ITF Media (@ITFMedia) January 14, 2020
Farah blamed the positive sample on contaminated meat. Boldenone is a steroid banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), but it is frequently used by Colombian farmers to boost growth in cows.
“I’m sure that’s what generated the result from the test in question,” Farah said in a statement released on his social media accounts.
“I’m going through one of the saddest moments of my life and, without a doubt, the saddest of my sporting career.
“With my team and a group of advisers we’re looking into the steps to take in a process in which we hope to show that I’ve never used any products that violate fair play and ethics.”
News of Farah’s positive test comes after the ITF revealed Nicolas Jarry, the world number 78 in singles, failed a test at the Davis Cup in November, his sample containing traces of Ligandrol and Stanozolol.