Diana Taurasi, one of the best and most accomplished athletes in Arizona sports history, has broken her silence and given an interview to the Associated Press about her recent positive drug test for the banned substance Modafinil. Taurasi was dismissed from her Turkish club team, Fenerbahce, several weeks ago after both her A and B samples revealed traces of the drug. Sources in Phoenix close to Taurasi continue to insist that the lab was at fault and believe that she will eventually be cleared and that news helpful to her cause could be revealed soon.
"I had never heard of it and couldn't pronounce it," Taurasi told the AP in her denial. "I had to Google it to find out the side effects. I never have come in contact with it."
The Phoenix Mercury have been officially tight-lipped about the entire incident, although sources close to the situation have consistently echoed Taurasi's lawyer's assertions that the lab in Ankara, Turkey, is at fault, either through negligence or perhaps foul play.
In recent days, those sources have stated that numerous other athletes, both male and female involved in various sports in Turkey, have also tested positive by the same lab for the same drug and even at the exact same levels.
These allegations, from those close to Taurasi and with an interest in her being both a competitive and marketable asset, have not been confirmed, despite attempts to find independent corroboration. These sources, however, now believe that the information that will help Taurasi will soon come to light.
Taurasi's teammate, friend, and fellow Phoenix Mercury star, Penny Taylor recently left Fenerbahce, as well. Taylor cited personal reasons for leaving, but the team speculated that Taylor felt responsible for Taurasi's situation.
"Penny Taylor believes that she played an important role in Diana Taurasi's transfer (from Spartak to Fenerbahce) and when she learned that Diana had forbidden substances in her urine, she felt responsible for that."
There are no indications at this time that Taurasi would be prevented from playing for the Mercury in the 2011 WNBA season.