New York Times apologises to Li Na for steroid use allegation

Hong Kong: The New York Times has issued an apology to Chinese professional tennis player Li Na after they indicated in one of their reports that Li had taken an early retirement after struggling with steroid use.

According to The South China Morning Post, the lengthy profile piece, entitled ` Li Na, China`s Tennis Rebel`, was originally published on August 22.

In it, reporter Brook Larmer wrote that Li`s two-year break from the tennis world in 2002 had been caused by a number of different factors, including the burnout from excessive training, the outrage at her coaches` attempts to squelch her romance with a male teammate named Jiang Shan, and steroid use, the report said.

News of the alleged steroid pill use spread throughout Chinese media shortly after The New York Times piece was published, the report added.

The New York Times` reporter later revealed that a mis-translation for the Chinese term for `hormone medication,` had lead to the confusion, while the paper apologised for it, the report further said.