Valeria Bhunu has been provisionally suspended under Article 7.12.1 of the 2021 Tennis Anti-Doping Programme (the "Programme"), pending determination of the charge against her at a full hearing pursuant to Article 8 of the Programme.
Mr. Bhunu, a 26-year-old player from Zimbabwe, provided a urine sample on 29 September 2021 in association with her participation in the WTT W25 held in Pretoria, South Africa from 29 September to 3 October 2021. That sample was sent to the World Anti-Doping Agency (“WADA”) accredited laboratory in Montreal, Canada for analysis, and was found to contain Mesterolone metabolite. Mesterolone is a Non-Specified substance, which is prohibited under category S1 of the 2021 WADA Prohibited List (Anabolic Agents), and therefore also prohibited under the Programme. Positive tests for Non-Specified Substances carry a mandatory Provisional Suspension.
Ms. Bhunu was sent a pre-charge notice of an Anti-Doping Rule Violation under Article 2.1 of the Programme (presence of a Prohibited Substance in a Player’s Sample) and/or Article 2.2 (Use of a Prohibited Substance without a valid TUE) on 2 December and was Provisionally Suspended with effect from 9 December. Ms. Bhunu had (and retains) the right to apply to the Chair of the Independent Tribunal convened to hear her case why the Provisional Suspension should not be imposed (or should be vacated), but has not exercised that right to date.