The Associated Press is reporting today that the Turkish sports club Fenerbahce has terminated the contract of Phoenix Mercury star guard Diana Taurasi. Taurasi failed a routine doping test and had the second 'B' sample confirm the initial findings, which showed the presence the banned substance modafinil.
According to the AP report, Taurasi told Geno Auriemma -- her former UConn coach, who also coaches Team USA -- that she didn't take modafinil. Her attorney, one of the leading experts in defending athletes accused of doping, has raised doubts over the reliability of the testing facility. Two of Taurasi's Fenerbahce teammates refused to participate in any more drug testing unless a different lab was used.
The positive test now brings into question Taurasi's status and availability to play for Team USA in the 2012 Olympics. According to international rules, if she is suspended for six months or more, then she is barred from Olympic competition.
The WNBA and the Phoenix Mercury have the option under the Collective Bargaining Agreement to initiate their own investigation and could potentially suspend Taurasi, as well. So far, the Mercury and the league have refused to comment on this case.