ITIA Challenge Tara Moore’s Doping Clearance Weeks After Statement That She “bore no fault”

  • Luke L 
Tara Moore

The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) is set to contest the ruling that cleared British tennis player Tara Moore and Barbara Gatica of any wrongdoing regarding a positive doping test. Moore, the top-ranked women’s doubles player in Britain at the time, faced a provisional ban in May 2022 after testing positive for nandrolone and boldenone during her participation in a tournament in Bogota, Colombia the previous month. Despite the independent tribunal which absolved both Moore and Gatica from doping, due to the same issue of contaminated meat, the ITIA aim only to contest the decision of Moore, leading to questions regarding unfair treatment and singling out.

Despite her provisional suspension being swiftly lifted last month, the ITIA seem to double-down on their decision, disregarding the independent tribunal’s extensive research attributing the presence of prohibited substances to contaminated meat consumption and absolving Moore of any fault or negligence. The ITIA is now appealing this aspect of the tribunal’s ruling specifically concerning nandrolone ingestion, and the appeal is scheduled to be heard at the Court of Arbitration for Sport on a future date.

Following the tribunal’s decision in December, Tara Moore expressed the toll the ordeal took on her, citing “19 months of lost time and emotional distress,” along with damage to her reputation. She conveyed her determination to overcome the challenges, stating, “It’s going to take more than 19 months to rebuild, repair, and recuperate what we’ve been through,” in a post on X/ Twitter.

Tara Moore consistently asserted her innocence and pursued her case through an independent tribunal. The ITIA had previously disclosed that a thorough investigation established that the individual had consumed tainted meat containing a prohibited substance.

Tara Moore seems to have the full support of the Tennis community, with key figures such as Billie Jean King and Judy Murray maintaining certainty on the Tennis Star’s innocence, while condemning poor process by the ITIA. Judy Murray had previously stated:

“So happy to see Tara Moore cleared by an independent panel after testing positive for anabolic steroids boldenone + nandrolone during WTA Bogotá in April last year,”
– Judy Murray

Tennis Legend Billie Jean King is also one of many to issue a public statement regarding the previous uplifting of the initial suspension. Maintaining support for Moore after the initial exoneration, while no doubt maintaining support after the shock ITIA decision, with a statement on X reading:

“Pleased to hear this news. @TaraMoore92 should have her ranking reinstated, and we need to address how to compensate her for lost prize money,”
– Billie Jean King

The ITIA’s decision to challenge the clearance remains a surprise to many. The dubious decision not to contest Barbara Gatica’s result, from the same case, also seems to raise questions regarding the unfair treatment of professional athletes. It is important to see that sporting integrity is upheld, alongside the proper and fair treatment of professional athletes, and respect for independent mediators and regulators. As the appeal progresses, the tennis community will be closely watching the developments, as we hope a fair conclusion is reached, that again removes all unfair implication of wrong-doing.


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