Gabriella Taylor

London, Aug 11 (IANS) Police are investigating claims that a teenage British tennis player was poisoned at Wimbledon this year.

Gabriella Taylor, 18, spent four days in intensive care after becoming unwell during her girls’ quarter-final match.

Scotland Yard said it has received a complaint of poisoning with intent to endanger life or cause grievous bodily harm.

Taylor’s mother has confirmed that the matter was being dealt with by police, BBC reported on Thursday.

Milena Taylor told the Daily Telegraph on Wednesday that her daughter had been “close to death”.

She said that doctors diagnosed a rare strain of leptospirosis – also known as Weil’s disease – a bacteria which can be transmitted through rat urine.

The teenager, from Southampton, had been staying “in a completely healthy environment” and it was “impossible” for her to have simply become ill, her mother told said.

Asked who she suspects, Taylor added, “That is not for me to say. I just want the police to investigate it fully and it will be up to them how to proceed.”

The junior player last week spoke to BBC about the mystery illness she contracted during the tournament. “It was such an awful experience, probably the worst time of my life.”

Gabriella, ranked 381 in the world, did not pick up a racquet for a month since being forced to stop play against Kayla Day of the US on July 7. She returned to training this week.

“It started the day before as a stomach bug and I managed to overcome it by winning my match that day,” Gabriella added.

“But the day of the quarter-final, I woke up and felt 10 times worse. I couldn’t believe it was happening to me in one of the most important tournaments of my life.”

A police statement said the allegation was received by officers on August 5, concerning a possible offence at an address in Wimbledon between July 1 and 10.

“It is unknown where or when the poison was ingested,” a spokesman added.

A Wimbledon spokesman said they had not been approached about the investigation by the police.

“There is no record of Miss Taylor using her catering pass to eat on site at the Championships in 2016,” an official said.


    The IANS was founded by Indian American publisher Gopal Raju as the India Abroad News Service. It was later renamed the Indo-Asian News Service.

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