The International Tennis Federation (ITF)decided Wednesday to suspend young Bulgarian tennis genius Sesil Karatantcheva for two years for doping.
An independent Anti-Doping Tribunal under the Tennis Anti-Doping Program has proved that the urine samples provided by Karatancheva on May 31 at Roland Garros and on July 5, 2005 at Tokyo were tested positive for the banned steroid.
Karatantcheva will also have to part with all the points that she had won after the Roland-Garros in 2005 and with the 110,000 euros or 129,000 US dollars received for her wins. The punishment is in effect as of January 1, 2006.
The federation's decision can be appealed in the next three weeks, said ITF.
Karatancheva was extremely angry after being informed with the decision. "It's very disgusting. I haven't expected such a cruel punishment and I insist that I was innocent."
"What shall I do?" said Karatancheva, "I will keep on training and when I return after two years, I will prove that the decision today is so unfair."
The president of the Bulgarian Olympic Committee Stefka Kostadinova refused to make any comment on the issue only when she meets the chairman of the Bulgarian Tennis Association and Sesil Karatancheva in person.
"If it proves true, the punishment is so cruel to the genius' career," added Kostadinova.
The French newspaper "L'Equipe" announced on December 20 that the urine probes of the 16-aged Bulgarian reacted positive to traces of the steroid. Karatantcheva denied the accusation and explained its levels in her blood with an unsuccessful pregnancy.
Finding a place at WTA at the age of 14, Karatantcheva made her great breakthrough in 2004 by gaining the juniors prize from Roland-Garros. At the end of November 2005 she managed to rise up to the 35th place in the world rankings.