Romanian tennis player and former WTA no.1 Simona Halep gets four-year ban in doping case
An independent tribunal has suspended Romanian tennis player Simona Halep for a period of four years for doping, the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) announced on Tuesday, September 12.
This is a huge blow for the 31-year-old player who will not be allowed to compete in international tennis competitions until October 6, 2026. Simona Halep can appeal the decision at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (TAS) in Lausanne.
Simona Halep has been provisionally suspended since October 2022, after a urine sample collected from her on at the US Open, in August 2022, tested positive for roxadustat – a prohibited substance considered a blood doping agent.
“On 11 September 2023, the tribunal confirmed that it had found the player had committed intentional Anti-Doping Rule Violations under Article 2 of the TADP: the presence and use of roxadustat as evidenced in Halep’s urine sample collected on 29 August 2022 at the US Open and use of a prohibited substance or method during 2022, based on collection and analysis of 51 blood samples provided by the player as part of the ABP programme,” reads a press release issued by ITIA.
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, according to the same source.
Simona Halep is one of the most successful Romanian athletes of all time. She has won 24 WTA titles in her career, including two Grand Slam titles at Roland Garros (2018) and Wimbledon (2019). She was also the leader of the WTA ranking of the best female tennis players in the world for 64 weeks, between October 2017 and January 2019.
(Photo source: Dreamsitem.com)