Simona Halep, former world number one, suspended for four years for doping

Romanian Simona Halep during the Roland-Garros tournament, June 6, 2018.

The sentence has fallen. Temporarily suspended since October 2022following a positive doping test during the US Open 2022, the Romanian Simona Halep, who has always proclaimed her innocence, is not about to return to the courts: the former world number one has been suspended for four years, announced the International Agency for Tennis Integrity (AIIT), Tuesday September 12.

The presence of roxadustat, a rarely found substance which promotes oxygen supply and the production of red blood cells, was detected in his urine after his defeat at the New York Grand Slam. Then seeded number 7, the Romanian was eliminated at the start of the 2022 edition by Ukrainian qualifier Daria Snigur.

Since then, she has not been seen on the courts again: she had ended her season prematurely for a nose operation, before being informed of her positive test, which she has always contested. “Today begins the most difficult match of my life: a fight for the truth, she immediately said in a press release. I will fight to the end to prove that I never knowingly took a banned substance. »

The winner of Roland-Garros 2018 and Wimbledon 2019 tried to prove that she had ingested a food supplement contaminated with this substance. In December 2022, it provided elements along these lines to the International Tennis Federation (FIT), which rejected them. Above all, his case worsened in May, when the AIIT announced that his biological pport, which records the results of all biological samples during anti-doping controls, presented irregularities.

“I refuse to accept their decision”

“His honesty and uprightness are unwavering. I know there’s no way she ever did anything illegal. The tennis world has given her extremely strong support, because we all know that she would never have done what she is accused of.”then had reacted Patrick Mouratoglouwith whom she began a collaboration in April 2022. Several of her peers have in fact sided with the 31-year-old player, such as Frenchwoman Alizé Cornet who said he wanted “justice for Simona”.

After several hearing postponements, Simona Halep ended up being auditioned at the end of June, in London. The verdict, expected three weeks later, was finally announced by the AIIT. [L’agence] confirms that an independent court has suspended the Romanian tennis player for four years for two violations of the tennis anti-doping program: one relating to the banned substance roxadustat, the other relating to irregularities in her biological pport athlete »indicates the press release.

Her suspension runs from October 7, 2022, the date on which she was temporarily removed from the field, until October 6, 2026. “I intend to appeal this decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS)”, reacted the Romanianwhich is said “shocked” And “disappointed” of the verdict. “I refuse to accept their decision of a four-year suspension. » The series is therefore far from over.

Sports Department

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