Former world number one women's tennis player Martina Hingis of Switzerland has announced her retirement after she was accused of using cocaine during this year's Wimbledon.
At a news conference in Zurich, Switzerland, the five-time major tournament winner vehemently denied using drugs. Hingis fought back tears as she read a statement, calling the accusation horrendous and monstrous. The Swiss player said she is 100 percent innocent.
Hingis said she was accused of testing positive for cocaine after her third round loss to American Laura Granville at Wimbledon. Both her "A" and the back-up "B" samples came back positive. The Swiss player said she later underwent a privately arranged hair analysis which was negative for cocaine.
The former world number one said she has hired an attorney and since the case could drag on for years, she decided to retire. WTA Tour chief executive Larry Scott said he had not received any notification of a positive test and therefore was in no position to comment on the case.
This is the second time Hingis has retired from the professional tour. She stepped down in 2003 because of persistent foot problems. However, she later returned to the courts, winning three more titles and ending last year as the world number seven player.
However, this season she struggled with a hip injury and ended her season last month because of the physical problems.
Hingis started the pro tennis tour in 1994, when she was just 14 years of age. She was the undisputed world number one by 1997, the youngest player ever to do so, at 16 years, six months, one day. She won the Australian Open three times from 1997 to 1999 and won Wimbledon and the U.S. Open in 1997 as well.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.