British Tennis Player Gabriella Taylor 'Poisoned With Rat Urine' At Wimbledon Championships

Gabriella Taylor
Gabriella Taylor of Great Britain plays a backhand at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, England, July 3, 2016. Police are investigating an allegation of poisoning with the "intent to endanger life" or cause grievous bodily harm after Taylor was struck down with a mystery illness in July. Shaun Botterill/Getty

A rising British tennis star who was forced to withdraw from Wimbledon after being struck down by a mystery illness may have been deliberately poisoned, it has been claimed.

Scotland Yard is investigating allegations that Gabriella Taylor, 18, from Southampton, on the south coast of England, was targeted during last month's championships.

The tennis player spent four days in intensive care after becoming unwell and her mother, Milena Taylor, told The Daily Telegraph her daughter was "close to death."

Scotland Yard said police in the London borough of Merton, which covers Wimbledon, were investigating an allegation of poisoning with the "intent to endanger life" or cause grievous bodily harm. No arrests have been made.

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Taylor contracted a strain of the bacteria leptospirosis, which is usually spread by animals and can in rare cases cause organ failure, her mother told The Daily Telegraph. The bacteria can be found in rat urine but is extremely uncommon in the U.K., prompting officials to investigate.

On July 11, Taylor tweeted: "For those who don't know, I have been in intensive care in Southampton general hospital these past 4 days suffering from an unknown cause.

"Still waiting for all blood tests to come in. Feeling a bit better today. Thx for all the support guys."

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British Tennis Player Gabriella Taylor 'Poisoned With Rat Urine' At Wimbledon Championships | World