03 Apr 2018

Decision in the case of Zeynep Sonmez


A decision has been issued under the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme (the "Programme") that Zeynep Sönmez has committed an Anti-Doping Rule Violation under Article 2.1. The decision imposed a period of ineligibility of 12 months, commencing on 24 October 2017.

Ms. Sönmez, a 15-year-old player from Turkey provided a urine sample on 24 October 2017 in association with her participation in the Republican Girls ITF Women's Pro Circuit event held in Istanbul, Turkey.

That sample was sent to the World Anti-Doping Agency (“WADA”) accredited laboratory in Montreal, Canada for analysis, and was found to contain Modafinil and its metabolites.

Modafinil is a Non-Specified substance under category S6 (stimulants) of the 2017 WADA Prohibited List, and therefore is also prohibited under the Programme. Accordingly, Ms. Sönmez was provisionally suspended on 18 January 2018.

Ms. Sönmez was charged with an Anti-Doping Rule Violation under Article 2.1 of the Programme (presence of a Prohibited Substance in a Player’s Sample) and promptly admitted her violation.

Ms. Sönmez’s account of how the Modafinil got into her system was accepted and it was determined that she bears No Significant Fault or Negligence for the violation within the meaning of Programme Article 10.5.2.

The Programme provides for the start date of the period of ineligibility to be back-dated due to the prompt admission. Therefore, the start of the ban is back-dated to the date of sample collection (24 October 2017) pursuant to Programme Article 10.10.3(b).

This is Ms. Sönmez’s first Anti-Doping Rule Violation. The decision determines that (1) Ms. Sönmez has committed a violation of the Programme; (2) she must serve a period of ineligibility of 12 months; and (3) that period of ineligibility is back-dated to start on 24 October 2017 and so ending at midnight on 23 October 2018. In accordance with Programme article 9.1, the points and prize money obtained by Ms. Sönmez at the Istanbul event are disqualified. The full decision can be found below.