Taurasi In The Clear

17.02.2011

EuroLeague Women

13. Diana Taurasi (Spartak Moscow Region)
Taurasi had signed with Fenerbahce in the summer, after a triumphant four-year spell with Sparta&K in Russia

Former Sparta&K M.R. Vidnoje and Fenerbahce star Diana Taurasi has been cleared to play basketball again by the Turkish Basketball Federation.

According to the TBF, the lab that said Taurasi had tested positive for modafinil, a banned stimulant that combats insomnia and other sleep-related conditions, has retracted its report.

Taurasi, a four-time EuroLeague Women winner with Sparta&K and a gold-medal winner with the United States at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, and last year's FIBA World Championship in the Czech Republic, always maintained her innocence.

The attorney that represents Taurasi, Howard Jacobs, said to The Courant newspaper in Hartford, Connecticut: "The defense we submitted was based primarily on lab error and errors in even identifying modafinil.

"We felt strongly it was a false positive and it's good to know that they agreed, even though it took several rounds of hearings to get there."

Taurasi had received unwavering support from her Fenerbahce coach, Laszlo Ratgeber.

He was elated by the news.

When asked if Taurasi would play for Fenerbahce again, the coach told Basketball World News: "It's not important. What's important is that she's clean.

"It's important for the whole basketball world that she's clean."

The 28-year-old guard was the MVP of the EuroLeague Women Final Four the past two seasons with Sparta&K and moved to Fenerbahce after leading the United States to the world title.

In seven EuroLeague games with Fener, she averaged a competition best 24.6 points, along with 5.4 rebounds and 4.7 assists.

Provisional bans for three other basketball and football players have also been lifted.


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