A British Tennis Player Might Have Been Poisoned at Wimbledon

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www.theguardian.com

Quick! Somebody call Sherlock!

The Short of It:

Britain's Metropolitan Police are looking into the allegations that British junior tennis player, Gabirella Taylor was poisoned at the Wimbledon games in July.

The Longer Version of It:

Something is rotten in the state of Wimbledon...

British police announced today that they would be investigating claims that the 18 year-old British tennis star was intentionally poisoned with a bacterial disease which prevented her from participating in the games. Taylor was forced to retire from her quarter-final match at the tennis tournament after falling ill on July 6 and was forced to spend four days in intensive care where she was diagnosed with the leptospirosis.

Police told reporters in a statement that they would be looking into "an allegation of poisoning with intent to endanger life (or) cause grievous bodily harm," the statement went on to review that it was "unknown where or when the poison was ingested."

Taylor's mother told the Daily Telegraph that her daughter had nearly died from the disease and that it is so rare a disease in the UK that her illness and it's timing “could not have been an accident," adding “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.”

Still, disease experts have opinions that contrast suggesting that leptospirosis would be an unlikely pick for sabotage by a poisoner. A professor at the Leptospirosis Reference Centre in the Netherland, Dr Marga Goris, says Taylor’s infection was unlikely a poisoning.

Of the theory, Goris says “If you really wanted to poison someone, you would choose another method.” The academic has said that she has never come across the bacteria as a method of poisoning.

So what's leptospirosis?

Here's the gross part, it's mostly found in rat urine. It's symptoms include mild flu-like effects and at it's most extreme, Weil’s disease, which can eventually cause organ failure. But here's the other thing that could disprove Taylor's claims that she was poisoned. There's a lot of logistics that goes into attempting to infect someone with leptospirosis. For one, it's kind of a high maintenance bacteria: it needs warm, moist conditions to keep it thriving. Meaning it wouldn't serve long in a refrigerated water bottle. There's also the factor of what the human body can do. Leptospirosis usually infects those who are more likely to come into contact with rat urine. You know, working outdoors, swimming and doing gardening. What's more, drinking the bacteria from a poisoned water bottle still offers up the chance of protection since it's likely that stomach acids would finish off the bacteria.

Boris thinks the infection could have just been a case of bad luck for the tennis star adding: “We all think we live clean … we are hygienic, but you can never avoid it.”

The Takeaway:

Whether or not Taylor was intentionally infected it appears she did come across something rotten at Wimbledon: bad luck.