Open Champ Svetlana Kuznetsova Positive for Ephedrine

ABC News: Tennis Player Positive for Ephedrine (ABC – AP)

U.S. Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova tested positive for the banned stimulant ephedrine during an exhibition tournament last month, a Belgian sports minister said Monday. The Russian was tested during the Dec. 18-19 Women’s Tennis Trophy event in Charleroi, said Claude Eerdekens, a regional sports minister. Kuznetsova’s backup sample hasn’t been tested; athletes aren’t penalized without two positive samples. The minister’s statement did not make clear whether Kuznetsova had a medical exemption for the substance.

Either the minister should be summarily fired for besmirching Kuznetsova’s reputation or we can take his statement as an indication that she had no such exemption.

Ephedrine is often contained in cold remedies. It also is used in weight-reducing formulas, and some athletes take it to get a short-term energy burst and to increase alertness.

Banning something used in over-the-counter cold medicine strikes me as problematic. Still, rules are rules.

James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. WTA chief executive Larry Scott confirmed the Belgian Invitational where Kuznetsova tested positive for a banned stimulant was an “out of competition” event.

    Scott said that under ITF anti-doping rules, ephedrine was banned only during competition, as it offered no performance enhancement when taken outside tournament play. He said because the Belgian tournament was not considered in-competition, Kuznetsova had no case to answer.

    Kuznetsova was playing in a charity exhibition during the off-season.

    Why they would even test at an “out of competition” event is beyond me.