Simona Halep temporarily suspended after tennis star tests positive for banned substance at US Open


Former world number one Simona Halep has been provisionally suspended after failing a doping test.

The International Tennis Integrity Agency has confirmed that the two-time Grand Slam champion tested positive for the banned substance Roxadustat, an anti-anemic drug that stimulates the production of red blood cells, at the US Open in New York last month.

It is the most publicized doping test in sport since Maria Sharapova tested positive for meldonium six years ago. His original two-year ban was reduced to 15 months.

Halep won her maiden Grand Slam title at Roland Garros in 2018 before beating Serena Williams in the Wimbledon final a year later, and spent 64 weeks atop the world rankings in her career.

The 31-year-old suffered a shock first-round loss to Daria Snigur at Flushing Meadows this year and hasn’t played since, ending her season after nasal surgery.

Following news of the failed test, Halep released a statement on social media.

“Today begins the toughest match of my life: a fight for the truth,” said the Romanian.

“I have been informed that I have tested positive for a substance called Roxadustat in an extremely small amount, which was the biggest shock of my life.

“Throughout my career, the idea of ​​cheating has never once crossed my mind, because it totally goes against all the values ​​I was brought up with.

“Faced with such an unjust situation, I feel completely confused and betrayed. I will fight to the end to prove that I have never knowingly taken a prohibited substance and I have faith that sooner or later the truth will burst.

“It’s not about titles or money. It’s about honor and the love affair I’ve developed with tennis over the past 25 years.

standard Sport

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