Former world No.1 tennis player Simona Halep has been slapped with a four-year ban after her anti-doping violation.
The 31-year-old Romanian star won Wimbledon in 2019 as well as the French Open five years ago, winning a total of 24 singles titles to date on the WTA Tour.
But Halep tested positive for the prohibited anti-anaemia drug Roxadustat after last year’s US Open, which is on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s banned list, while irregularities were found in her Athlete Biological Passport (ABP).
That saw Halep provisionally suspended by the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) – although the two-time Grand Slam champion argued that a ‘tainted supplement’ was the reason behind why she failed the drugs test – and has always strongly insisted that she is innocent.
The ITIA have decided to ban Halep until 2026, which would mark four years after she was provisionally suspended in 2022 but she has since confirmed her plans to appeal it.
‘The tribunal accepted Halep’s argument that they had taken a contaminated supplement,’ the ITIA said in a statement on Tuesday.
‘But determined the volume the player ingested could not have resulted in the concentration of roxadustat found in the positive sample.
‘I intend to appeal this decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and pursue all legal remedies against the supplement company in question.’
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