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Former world number one banned for four years for doping offences

Ex-Wimbledon and French Open champion Simona Halep has been banned for four years for anti-doping rule violations.

The 31-year-old Romanian tennis star has been banned for two separate doping offences, the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) said.

Halep has vowed to clear “my name of these false allegations”, and plans to appeal.

The former world number one had been provisionally suspended since October 2022 after testing positive for banned blood-booster Roxadustat at the US Open last year.


She was subsequently charged with irregularities in her Athlete Biological Passport and both charges have been upheld following an independent tribunal.

The panel concluded Halep “had committed intentional anti-doping rule violations”.

Halep, who won Wimbledon in 2019 after beating Serena Williams in the final and triumphed at the French Open a year earlier, has denied wrongdoing.

What Halep says

In a statement, she said she “refused to accept” the four-year ban, which runs until October 2026.

She added: “I am continuing to train and do everything in my power to clear my name of these false allegations and return to the court.

“I intend to appeal this decision to The Court of Arbitration for Sport and pursue all legal remedies against the supplement company in question.”

Halep defeated Serena Williams to win Wimbledon in 2019. Pic: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports

Halep has denied knowingly taking the banned substance and said she had evidence to show that small amounts of the anaemia drug entered her system from a licensed supplement that was contaminated.

She said she had adjusted her nutritional supplements ahead of the hard court season last year following advice from her “trusted team and physiotherapist”.

“None of the listed ingredients included any prohibited substances. However, we now know – and the tribunal agreed – one of them was contaminated with Roxadustat,” she said.

What ITIA says

ITIA said it had “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 relates to irregularities in Halep’s biological passport. Such passports provide a baseline reading of substances in an athlete’s body and are considered a way to help chart doping.

ITIA said the charge was also upheld as three independent experts were unanimous that “likely doping” was the explanation for the irregularities in Halep’s profile.


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