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Former number 1 Simona Halep suspended 4 years for anti-doping violations

Tennis player Simona Halep has been suspended for four years after violating the Tennis Anti-Doping Program. She plans to appeal.

Professional tennis player Simona Halep, currently ranked 26th in the world, has been handed a four-year suspension by an independent court for violating the Tennis Anti-Doping Program, according to the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA). The decision comes after Halep tested positive for the banned substance roxadustat during the 2022 US Open.

The ITIA stated that in addition to the positive drug test, there were also irregularities in Halep's Athlete Biological Passport. However, the tennis player argued that she had unknowingly taken a "contaminated supplement" and that the amount ingested could not have resulted in the concentration of roxadustat found in her system.

Halep's provisional suspension, which began in October 2022, has now been extended until October 6, 2026, as a result of this ruling. The two-time Grand Slam winner expressed her disappointment with the decision on social media, stating that she has always been committed to fair play and has never intentionally used any prohibited substances.

She further explained that she had adjusted her nutritional supplements before the 2022 hard court season based on recommendations from her team and physiotherapist. None of the listed ingredients were prohibited substances, but it was later discovered that one of them was contaminated with roxadustat.

Halep emphasized that she had undergone numerous tests throughout her career, with all previous results coming back clean. She also mentioned that after her positive test, she continued to undergo weekly tests, all of which were negative. However, she believes that the panel of experts suddenly changed their opinion in favor of the ITIA's allegations once they became aware of her identity.

Despite the suspension, Halep remains determined to clear her name and return to the court. She plans to appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and pursue legal action against the supplement company involved.

In conclusion, Simona Halep, a highly respected tennis player, has been handed a four-year suspension for violating the Tennis Anti-Doping Program. She maintains her innocence and intends to fight the decision through the appropriate channels while continuing to train and work towards her return to the sport she loves.

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