It caused quite a stir when former UConn basketball star Diana Taurasi was alleged to have failed a random drug test. She tested positive—twice—for a banned stimulant. It led to her banishment from her Turkish team and more importantly, questioned whether she was a cheater. The story got plenty of play. The Shad, at the time, was willing to give Taurasi the benefit of the doubt.
Not getting as much play was the fact that the lab screwed up. A Turkish lab messed-up a drug test—I’m shocked, I say, shocked! The lab retracted the positive results of Taurasi’s samples and now, instead of Taurasi (a national hero and UConn treasure) being banned, it’s the pathetic lab that’s getting the boot.
From the Associated Press:
The World Anti-Doping Agency has suspended accreditation of the laboratory that accused Diana Taurasi of using a banned substance then later retracted the positive test results.
The Turkish Doping Control Center received a six-month ban Tuesday, meaning it will be ineligible to process WADA-sanctioned tests for that period.
Last year, the lab said Taurasi had tested positive for the banned stimulant modafanil while playing professional basketball in Turkey. Several weeks later, the lab retracted the report and Taurasi was cleared of wrongdoing.
The former UConn star is returning to the Phoenix Mercury of the WNBA, which begins play in June. She has also signed a contract to play again in Turkey later in the year and will be a strong candidate to make the U.S. roster for the London Olympics.
In an interview last week, Taurasi said she was in the preliminary stages of taking legal action against the lab, which had also been suspended for three months in 2009.