Ukrainian tennis star Dayana Yastremska has caused controversy after being filmed dancing on board a chartered flight to Melbourne ahead of the Australian Open – despite being provisionally suspended for a doping offense.
The world number 29 failed an out-of-competition doping test in November after a prohibited substance, mesterolone metabolite, was detected in her urine sample.
She was charged with an anti-doping rule violation, with her provisional suspension coming into force on January 7.
Despite having a provisional doping ban, Yastremska boarded one of 18 charter planes funded by Tennis Australia, sparking angry reactions from fans who argued she shouldn’t have been allowed to travel to Melbourne.
ITF answered me similar to @tumcarayol – Yastremska “still has the right to apply to have her provisional susp lifted. In the event that she does so and that application is successful, then she would be eligible to play with immediate effect.”So far: 8.3.4 of Anti-Doping Prog👇 pic.twitter.com/ywIqA9kNFf
— Jannik Schneider (@schnejan) January 14, 2021
For those curious, these are the 2021 rules that apply to the eligibility of a player provisionally suspended to participate in a tennis event.I would consider an AO funded flight to a tournament to be an “activity” organised by the tournament. https://t.co/n8dRix6JFypic.twitter.com/EA1iJFhkg9
— Richard Ings : Stay COVID Safe (@ringsau) January 14, 2021
Yastremska was spotted on Svetlana Kuznetsova’s Instagram story as the two-time Grand Slam winner made several videos during her flight to Australia.
The Ukrainian ace could be seen dancing shortly before take-off, with Kuznetsova – going maskless in the video – predicting that “this going to be a funny flight.”
There has been no official confirmation that the 20-year-old will be allowed to participate in the upcoming Grand Slam.
Yastremska could be cleared to play at the tournament should she succesfully apply for her provisional suspension to be lifted.