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Published: 07:00 | 11/8/16

Police investigate WImbledon poisoning claims


Police have launched an investigation into claims that a teenage British tennis player was poisoned at Wimbledon last month.

Gabriella Taylor spent four days in intensive care after falling ill during her quarter-final match at SW19 with the 18-year-old treated for a rare strain of Leptospirois.

Prior to her illness, Taylor had been in good health and police have yet to rule out the possibility that she was poisoned.

"Merton police are investigating an allegation of poisoning with intent to endanger life or cause GBH," a police spokesman said.

"The allegation was received by officers on 5 August with the incident alleged to have taken place at an address in Wimbledon between 1-10 July.

"The victim was taken ill on 6 July. It is unknown where or when the poison was ingested. The victim, an 18 year-old woman, received hospital treatment and is still recovering.

"There have been no arrests and enquiries continue."

Speaking to the daily Telegraph, Taylor's mother Milena said: "Before the tournament she was in very good shape physically. She was totally healthy and playing very well.

"She has full of confidence and was looking forward to getting the title; that was her dream. Everything was going well.

"She got to the quarter-final, but then the next thing she is lying in intensive care close to death. When the infection team explained what it was we could not believe it.

"She was staying in a completely healthy environment. For her to get ill in these circumstances, with rat urine was just impossible.

"The bacteria the infection team found is so rare in Britain that we feel this could not have been an accident. Her bags with her drinks in were often left unattended in the players' lounge and someone could have taken the opportunity to contaminate her drink."

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