Cagla Buyukakcay doping case: “I have never heard of Ractopamine before.”


Former world No.60 Cagla Buyukakcay of Turkey has been provisionally suspended by the ITF for doping, as substance called Ractopamine was found in her urine sample provided during the Winners Open 2021 in August.

Cagla Buyukakcay

During the WTA 250 tournament in Romania, where she lost in the first round to Slovakia’s Kristina Kucova, Buyukakcay provided a urine sample and a laboratory in Montreal, Canada found it to contain Ractopamine, 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.

Buyukakcay started her explanation:

I have never heard of this substance before, so I researched it and asked experts to learn about it as mush as I could.

The WTA player’s research taught her that it is a veterinary drug used in some countries as a feed additive for animals to promote the growth of meat and lean muscle in livestock. Since its sale or use is either controlled or banned, Buyukakcay explains that there was no way she could have obtained the drug from pharmacies or markets anywhere.

The 32-year-old concluded that she must have ingested the substance through contaminated meat, even though she pays close attention to what she eats and puts in her body:

I provided receipts to show that I consumed tenderloin steaks twice in the days leading up to my match, but the Independent Tribunal did not accept my explanation and the ITF moved forward with my provisional suspension, meaning my case will be reviewed.

Buyukakcay, currently ranked 244th, insists that she didn’t purposefully violate anti-doping rules. She will do everything to defend herself and is confident that her name will be cleared.


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