Two-time grand slam champion Simona Halep has been banned till October 2026 for 2 separate anti-doping rule violations, the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) stated on Tuesday.
The 31-year-old Romanian – a Wimbledon and French Open champion – has acquired a four-year ban, however has already served one yr having been provisionally suspended since October 2022, after testing constructive for banned blood-booster roxadustat on the US Open final yr.
“The first (charge) related to an Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF) for the prohibited substance roxadustat at the US Open in 2022, carried out through regular urine testing during competition,” the ITIA stated in a press release.
Halep has strongly denied knowingly taking the banned substance and stated she had proof to point out that small quantities of the anaemia drug entered her system from a licensed complement that was contaminated.
“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 second charge related to irregularities in Halep’s Athlete Biological Passport (ABP),” the ITIA added.
It stated the ABP cost was additionally upheld as three impartial specialists had been unanimous that “likely doping” was the reason for the irregularities in Halep’s profile.
Halep shortly introduced in a press release that she would attraction the choice, insisting in a put up of social media “my fight continues”.
“Today, a tribunal under the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme announced a tentative decision in my case.
“The last year has been the hardest match of my life, and unfortunately my fight continues. I have devoted my life to the beautiful game of tennis.
“I take the rules that govern our sport very seriously and take pride in the fact I have never knowingly or intentionally used any prohibited substance. I refused to accept their decision of a four-year ban.”