Romania’s star tennis player Simona Halep has been banned from playing professional tennis for a period of four years due to doping violations, informed the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) on Tuesday, September 12. As per the ITIA, the two-time Grand Slam champion Halep was accused of two doping offences – failing a drug test during the US Open 2022 and certain irregularities in her Athlete Biological Passport.
The 31-year-old was provisionally suspended earlier in October 2022 and her newly announced suspension will run till October 6, 2026. However, the former world No. 1 is musing over the decision to appeal the suspension to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
“I am continuing to train and do everything in my power to clear my name of these false allegations and return to the court,” Halep said in a statement as reported by PTI.
Halep is also willing to “pursue all legal remedies against the supplement company in question.”
The ITIA announced the suspension after listening to the Romanian star and her expert scientific witnesses as it found the player guilty of committing both offences.
“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 ITIA said as reported by PTI.
Halep was crowned world No. 1 in 2017 and played arguably the best tennis of her professional career when she won her first Grand Slam after beating Sloane Stephens in the final of the French Open in 2018 3-6, 6-4, 6-1. Her prolific run continued in 2019 when she overpowered USA’s gun tennis player Serena Williams in the final of Wimbledon. Halep won the contest 6-2, 6-2.