Tennis Star Simona Halep Served Four-Year Ban For Doping Violations

Simona Halep ban: Two-time Grand Slam champion Simona Halep has been provisionally suspended from professional tennis for four years for doping violations. The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) confirmed the development on Tuesday. The 31-year-old Romanian female tennis star has been charged with two separate anti-doping rule violations, including failing a dope test during last year’s U.S. Open and irregularities in her Athlete Biological Passport (ABP). Simona’s suspension runs until October 6, 2026.

Halep became the world number one female player in the WTA rankings in 2017. She won the Wimbledon title in 2019 by defeating Serena Williams in the final, and a year before that she became the French Open champion. 

“I am continuing to train and do everything in my power to clear my name of these false allegations and return to the court,” Halep said in a statement to Reuters.

“I intend to appeal this decision to The Court of Arbitration for Sport and pursue all legal remedies against the supplement company in question.”

In an official statement, ITIA, earlier on Tuesday, revealed that 51 blood samples provided by Halep were analysed and based on the test results of these samples, it came to its conclusion. A panel concluded that Halep knowingly violated anti-doping rules. 

“The first (charge) related to an Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF) for the prohibited substance roxadustat at the U.S. Open in 2022, carried out through regular urine testing during competition,” the ITIA said in a statement.

“The second charge related to irregularities in Halep’s Athlete Biological Passport (ABP).”

Halep has strongly denied knowingly taking banned blood-booster roxadustat, which she tested positive for at the U.S. Open, last year. She blamed contaminated supplements as the reason behind her doping violation and plans to appeal the decision at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

“The tribunal accepted Halep’s argument that they had taken a contaminated supplement, but determined the volume the player ingested could not have resulted in the concentration of roxadustat found in the positive sample, ” the ITIA said.

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