Gabriella Taylor ‘may have been poisoned on orders of illegal gambling racket’

RISING tennis star Gabriella Taylor may have been the victim of an organised crime betting syndicate after being struck down by a mystery illness during this year’s Wimbledon.

Police are looking into allegations the teen was deliberately poisoned after being forced to pull out of the girls’ Championships during her quarter final match.

Gabriella Taylor in hospital
Gabriella Taylor, is ranked 381st in the world, pictured in hospital amid claims she was poisoned
Gabrielle had to pull out during her quarter final match
Gabriella had to pull out during her quarter final match and spent four days in intensive care

Police has confirmed the case is being treated as an allegation of poisoning with intent to endanger life or cause GBH.

Rising star Taylor, 18, spent four days in intensive care before doctors diagnosed a rare strain of Leptospirois, which can be transmitted through rat urine.

Doctors originally thought she’d caught something when playing overseas.

Now, police are reportedly investigating whether Miss Taylor could have been targeted by a rival player or coach, or an organised crime betting syndicate.

Her worried parents, Paul and Milena, can't believe that their daughter almost died.

Mrs Taylor said: “Before the tournament she was in very good shape physically.

“She was totally healthy and playing very well.


She tweeted about the incident
After becoming unwell during her girls' quarter-final match Gabriella tweeted about the incident

“She was 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.”

Her mother added that Gabriella was very conscious about what she ate, and a Wimbledon spokesman confirmed that she had not eaten at the player's facilities during the competition.

Speaking today Gabriella's dad Paul told reporters "we won't be making any comment today".

He left the detached family home quickly in his black Mercedes without speaking further to the media.

Her mum Milena today told how she believed her daughter was poisoned and revealed the teenager was still not fully recovered.

Speaking in Marbella, Spain, where her daughter has resumed training, she said: "

"If you read about it, the incubation period, the symptoms and how you can get the disease was not in the picture for Gabi [to be able to catch something like this] because she was totally healthy and she hasn't been in places that you can actually get things like that and get the bacteria."

Mrs Taylor, speaking to her local radio station, added: "It will take quite a long time for Gabi to recover completely, especially mentally. It is very scary but still she is not 100 per cent.

"We came back to Spain to start training again, slowly to get her back into physical shape.

"But she is not all-clear from the hospital so we are going back for another meeting in a week's time with the consultant. It will be a long process.

"I sent initially a message to the LTA (Lawn Tennis Association) before we went to the police.

"Today Michael Downey, chief executive of LTA, called me, expressed his sympathy. He said that all of the UK is completely behind us and are very supportive and everything the police needs to know they will help them out.

"To be honest we are still living in this big shock so it's just one more thing to deal with."

The spokesman said: “The All England Lawn Tennis Club has not been approached about the investigation which is a police matter.

“There is no record of Miss Taylor using her catering pass to eat on side at the Championships in 2016.”

Asked who she thought might have wanted to harm her daughter, Mrs Taylor said: “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.”

But with the bacteria having an incubation period of up to a fortnight, it is feared any potential evidence will have long gone.



The tennis star was in intensive care for 4 days
The tennis star - pictured here with Judy Murray - had been "close to death" according to her mum

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “Merton police are investigating an allegation of poisoning with intent to endanger life or cause GBH.

“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.”

Met detectives have already been to visit the family at their home in Southampton and have taken away some of Miss Taylor’s water bottles for further forensic analysis.

Who is Gabriella Taylor? A prodigy since age of four

The rising star first picked up a racket at just four years old.
She knew she wanted to represent Great Britain at the highest level possible and her parents, Paul and Melina Taylor, have supported her as she has competed around the world.
At only 11, the budding ace played in her first tournament abroad - winning the singles and doubles competitions in the Tennis Europe cup in Bressuire, France, a feat she repeated the following year.
By the time she had reached her teens the now 18-year-old had won a number of the most prestigious tournaments for young players, including becoming the British under-14 national champion in 2012.
She also won the under-14s European Championship in the same year and was a finalist in the Orange Bowl tournament in Miami, USA and the under-14 World Cup.
Gabriella has also represented Great Britain at the Junior Winter and Summer Cups.
She made her Wimbledon debut in 2014, after receiving a wildcard entry, where she beat Sweden's Sofia Arvidsson in the first qualifying round before losing in the second qualifier to Czech player Tereza Smitkova 6-3 6-4.
Her first singles title win came in November 2015, beating Hungary's Naomi Totka 4-6 6-2 6-1 in the final, in Steiienbosch, South Africa, to win the £10,000 prize money.
And she won her first senior title doubles title in May this year, in Monzon, Spain with French partner Alice Bacquie, splitting the £10,000 winnings.
They beat Spanish pair Estrella Cabeza Candela and Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar 6-1 6-1 in the final.
She is currently ranked number 381 in the world, up from her lowly ranking of 1,020 at the end of 2015.

The Brit star is back to work in Marbella
The Brit star is back to work in Marbella and the matter is now being dealt with by police
Tennis star 'poisoned'
The tennis star's family home today where her dad said he would be making no further comment

Leptospirosis is a bacteria usually spread by animals and in the most cases causes mild flu like symptoms.

But some strains, including the one Miss Taylor is thought to have contracted, can be much more serious and can even cause fatal organ failure.

Miss Taylor has now returned to her training camp in Marbella, trying to get back to strength before continuing her career.

The Brit is currently ranked 381 in the world.

What is Leptospirosis? How bacteria can lead to organ failure and internal bleeding

Leptospirosis is a type of bacterial infection spread by animals.

It's caused by a strain of bacteria called leptospira.
In 90% of cases, leptospirosis only causes mild flu-like symptoms, such as a headache, chills and muscle pain.
However, in some cases the infection is more severe and can cause life-threatening problems, including organ failure and internal bleeding. In its most severe form, leptospirosis is also known as Weil's disease.
The common mild symptoms mean most leptospirosis infections are hard to diagnose. Diagnosis is easier if the infection causes more serious problems.
Many different kinds of animals can carry the bacteria, but it is most commonly associated with mrats and mice, farm animals, such as pigs, cattle, horses and sheep, and dogs.
The bacteria can also be spread through rodent bites or by drinking contaminated water.

Do you have a story for The Sun Online news team? Email us at or call 0207 782 4368.


Leave a comment