Simona Halep, suspended for four years for doping

Simona Halep’s career seems to be coming to an end, after the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) announced this Tuesday that an independent court has decided to suspend the Romanian for four years following a series of violations of the Tennis Anti-Doping Program (TADP) rules.

Halep, winner of Roland Garros in 2018 and Wimbledon in 2019, committed two anti-doping rule violations. The first refers to an adverse analytical result due to the banned substance roxadustat during the 2022 US Open, detected through regular urine tests. The second infraction concerns irregularities in the Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) of the tennis player.

The 31-year-old Romanian and former world number 1 has not competed since she was provisionally suspended in October 2022, after testing positive for roxadustat at the United States Open held in August of that year. In May 2023, she was charged with “an additional violation” and separated from the Tennis Anti-Doping Program (TADP) for irregularities in her biological passport, a method by which anti-doping organizations monitor various blood parameters over time in order to to identify possible violations.

Halep once denied knowingly taking the banned substance roxadustat, arguing that small amounts of the anemia drug entered her body when she ingested an authorized supplement that was contaminated. “The court accepted Halep’s argument that he had taken a contaminated supplement, but determined that the volume ingested by the player could not have given rise to the concentration of roxadustat found in the positive sample,” the court’s resolution states.

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