Ex-UConn hoops star Taurasi tests positive for banned substance

NEW YORK - (AP) - Diana Taurasi is facing one of the mostdifficult challenges to her stellar basketball career. The WNBA standout and former UConn star tested positive for amild stimulant while playing in a pro league in Turkey, her lawyertold The Associated Press on Thursday night. Howard Jacobs said that Taurasi's "A" sample came backpositive from a lab in Turkey last week. Jacobs said the substance"was not a steroid or recreational drug," and that Taurasi hasasked that her "B" sample be tested. The Turkish basketball federation said Friday that the substancein Taurasi's positive test was modafinil. Modafinil is used tocounter excessive sleepiness due to narcolepsy, shift work sleepdisorder or sleep apnea, according to the website for prescriptiondrug Provigil, which contains the substance. Taurasi has been provisionally suspended pending the testing ofher "B" sample in the first week of January. She has alreadymissed three games with her team, Fenerbahce. Her positive test came to light two days after the top-rankedHuskies won their 89th straight game, surpassing the UCLA men'swinning streak from 1971-74. Taurasi helped lead UConn to threestraight national championships as well as 70 consecutive victoriesfrom 2001-03. She was the AP Player of the Year in 2003. "We're taking it one step at a time," Jacobs said. "I'drather not say what it is at this stage, they've only tested the'A' sample. Somehow it leaked over in Turkey. We're waiting for the'B' sample to be tested. We've had some difficulty with getting adate so far, mostly because of the holidays. We're hoping to get itas soon as we can." A call to UConn coach Geno Auriemma was not immediatelyreturned.

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