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Police probe 'poisoning' at Wimbledon after player ends up in intensive care

Gabriella Taylor was playing in the junior quarter-finals when she took ill.

The player is now returning to good health.
The player is now returning to good health.
Image: John Walton

POLICE IN LONDON are investigating allegations that a young tennis player was poisoned while competing at this year’s Wimbledon competition.

Gabriella Taylor, 18, withdrew from the competition in July and spent four days in intensive care.

Police are now investigating whether the tennis player was deliberately poisoned, The Telegraph reports.

Taylor was reportedly diagnosed with Leptospirosis, a bacterial infection spread by animals. The rare infection typically comes with flu-like symptoms, although in severe cases it can lead to internal bleeding and organ failure.

Taylor had been playing against her American opponent, Kayla Day, during the quarter quarter-final match when she decided in consultation with the umpire that she was unable to continue.

The player’s mother, Milena Taylor, said in the run-up to the tennis tournament her daughter had been physically well.

“She was full of confidence and was looking forward to getting the title; that was her dream. Everything was going well,” she told the paper.

She got to the quarter-final, but then the next thing she is lying in intensive care close to death. When the infection team explained what it was we could not believe it.

Police said they were investigating an allegation of poisoning with intent to endanger life or cause grievous bodily harm, describing the victim only as an 18-year-old woman.

“The victim was taken ill on 6 July. It is unknown where or when the poison was ingested,” a police spokesman said in a statement, adding that no arrests had been made.

Wimbledon tennis club was unavailable to discuss the case on Wednesday. A spokesman for the sports ground previously told The Telegraph that Wimbledon had not been approached by police about the probe.

The club had no record of Taylor using her catering pass to eat on site during the championships, the spokesman told the newspaper.

Taylor’s mother said her daughter’s drinks were often left unattended in the players’ lounge, speculating that someone could have contaminated her drink.

Since her unexpected ill health Taylor has returned to training, she is currently ranked 381 in the world by the Women’s Tennis Association.

© – AFP 2016

Read: Tearful Djokovic struggling to deal with Olympic exit >

Read: First big shock of Rio Olympics as Williams sisters crash out >

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