Wimbledon in Poisoning Storm After Gabriella Taylor's Leptospirosis Nightmare

By Aatif Sulleyman on at

First Crufts, now Wimbledon. Scotland Yard is investigating claims that junior tennis player Gabriella Taylor was poisoned at the tournament last month.

The 18-year-old, who's recovering well, had to retire from her girls’ quarter final match against Lucrezia Stefanini after falling ill, and subsequently spent four days in intensive care.

It was initially suspected that Taylor had picked up a mystery virus, but doctors managed to diagnose a rare strain of Leptospirosis, a bacteria often spread through animal urine. Though it usually only causes mild flu-like symptoms, the strain contracted by Taylor can lead to organ failure and death.

Police are now looking into claims that Taylor was deliberately poisoned, either by a rival or a dodgy betting syndicate.

"The allegation was received by officers on August 5 with the incident alleged to have taken place at an address in Wimbledon between 1-10 July,” said a spokesperson for the Metropolitan police. "The victim was taken ill on 6 July. It is unknown where or when the poison was ingested.”

Not exactly doing the world of sport any favours. [BBC, Telegraph]

Image: Christopher Levy via Flickr