Argentina's Mariano Puerta tested positive for a banned drug following his loss in the French Open final and faces a possible life ban for a second doping offense, the French sports daily L'Equipe reported Wednesday.
Puerta tested positive for the stimulant etilefrine after his four-set loss to Spain's Rafael Nadal in the June 5 final, the paper reported, without citing sources.
Puerta's urine samples, the A and B specimens, were analyzed by the French doping laboratory in Chatenay-Malabry, southwest of Paris. Puerta, 27, told associates he had taken medication to fight the flu at the time of the tournament, L'Equipe said.
Etilefrine, which can be used to treat hypertension, is among the stimulants on the World Anti-Doping Agency's list of banned substances. Use of the drug carries a ban of up two years.
This would be Puerta's second positive test, putting him at risk of becoming the first tennis player to get a life ban for doping. He served a nine-month suspension after testing positive for clenbuterol in February 2003 at an ATP tournament in Chile, reports the AP. I.L.