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British Tennis Player Gabriella Taylor Was Poisoned at Wimbledon: Family

LONDON — Police are investigating claims that a rising British tennis star was deliberately poisoned during last month's Wimbledon championships, officials said Thursday.

Gabriella Taylor, 18, was forced to pull out of the quarter finals of the junior girls' competition after coming down with a mystery illness that put her in the emergency room for four days.

London's Metropolitan Police confirmed Thursday that officers were investigating "an allegation of poisoning with intent to endanger life."

Image: Gabriella Taylor
Gabriella Taylor plays a backhand during her first round match at Wimbledon on July 3. Shaun Botterill / Getty Images

"It is unknown where or when the poison was ingested," police said. "There have been no arrests and inquiries continue."

Taylor's family told the BBC and the Daily Telegraph that the matter was being investigated by police. The Telegraph reported that Taylor was diagnosed with a rare strain of Leptospirosis, which can be transmitted through rat urine.

"The bacteria the infection team found is so rare in Britain that we feel this could not have been an accident," her mother, Milena Taylor, told the newspaper. "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."

The teenager is ranked 381 in the world, up from 1020 at the end of 2015, according to the International Tennis Federation.