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Puerta positive at Roland

Argentine Mariano Puerta risks becoming the first ATP player to receive a life ban after testing positive for the stimulant etilefrine after July's French Open final defeat to Spain's Rafael Nadal. Puerta was banned for nine month in 2003 after testing positive for the steroid clenbuterol.

The unseeded Puerta had already created the surprise of getting all the way to the French Open final, where he was finally beaten 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 6-1 7-5 by Nadal, but a positive test following that match risks ending his career.

Puerta, 27, has already been banned for nine months following a positive test in October 2003 and should the latest test prove conclusive, then he will become the first ATP player to be handed a life ban.

The report confirms that the A and B sample has recorded positive result for the major stimulant etilefrine, a stimulant normally used for cases of hypertension and is regarded as a product worth a two-year man in a primary case.

Puerta, who has enjoyed a meteoric rise from a world ranking of 400 in 2004 to 9 in 2005, could become the fifth Argentine player to fail a dope test after Juan Ignacio Chela (2000), Guillermo Coria (2001), Martin Rodriguez (2003) and Guillermo Canas (2005).

The player, who is currently competing at the Japan Open in Tokyo, is reported to have told his staff that he took medication for a bout of flu at Roland Garros.

:sad: :sad: :sad:
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