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Brengle Sues WTA, ITF For Inuries From Drug Tests

Madison Brengle filed a lawsuit against the WTA and the ITF claiming needle injections from anti-doping tests caused her arm injuries and significantly slowed her serve.

The 83rd-ranked American charges the ITF and WTA with "abusive administration" of anti-doping tests in her lawsuit filed on Monday in Florida's Manatee County circuit court.

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Brengle is suing for "an amount yet to be fully determined but believed to be in excess of $10 million" for "both physical and emotional" harm and she says she's suffered from drug tests.

The 28-year-old Brengle, who stunned Serena Williams at the 2017 Auckland, says she suffers from a rare condition known as complex regional pain syndrome type I.

A July 2017 independent medical assessment requested by the ITF confirmed Brengle's claim that needle injections cause bruising, swelling, numbness and extreme pain.

"Tennis authorities ignored evidence of her professionally-diagnosed condition and refused to provide alternative testing or a medical accommodation, instead subjecting Brengle to testing that caused her to withdraw from tournaments and has now resulted in permanent swelling and weakness in her serving arm and hand,” Brengle's attorney, Peter R Ginsberg, said in a statement.

Brengle's suit says she informed authorities of her condition and sought alternative drug-test options, but claims "bullying behavior" from both the WTA and ITF has wreacked havoc on her body and drastically diminished her serve.

"Brengle has been so severely harmed by defendants’ abusive conduct and medically inappropriate testing that she no longer is able to serve a tennis ball with her right arm at or near the same velocity that she has served throughout her ten-year professional career, her hands are swelled and the swelling has at times spread throughout her arms, and her overall game has suffered enormously from the physical and emotional consequences endured," her lawsuit alleges.

The Delaware native's condition came to light at the 2016 US Open.

Brengle fell to 16-year-old Kayla Day in the opening round of the 2016 US Open after retiring with an arm injury when down 6-4, 4-2 in the second set.

After that match, Brengle told the media a drug test, administered by the World Anti-Doping Agency on the Saturday before the US Open caused her right forearm to swell and ache.

Brengle said after the match she has suffered from a vein condition her whole life and that the drug test caused her arm pain.

“Every time I get one of these tests the same thing happens, and I tried my best to get ready for tonight,” a teary-eyed Brengle said, according to Michael J. Lewis of the News Journal. “But in the second set I started to lose all feeling in my hand and my arm, and if you can’t feel the racket, it’s really hard to play. It’s the U.S. Open and I tried to fight through the pain as much as I could.”