Two-time Grand Slam champion Simona Halep has been handed a four-year suspension from professional tennis for doping violations, according to the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA). The ITIA stated that the 31-year-old Romanian was accused of two doping offenses: failing a drug test during the 2022 U.S. Open and irregularities in her Athlete Biological Passport.
After a panel review, it was determined that Halep had intentionally violated anti-doping rules. She has been provisionally suspended since October 2022, and the four-year ban will be effective until Oct. 6, 2026. Halep’s career soared in 2017 when she reached the No. 1 ranking in the WTA. She went on to win Wimbledon in 2019, defeating Serena Williams in the final, and also won the French Open the year before.
Halep, who previously claimed that a contaminated supplement was to blame, intends to appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. She stated her commitment to training and clearing her name from these false allegations in a released statement. Moreover, she plans to pursue legal action against the supplement company involved.
The ITIA’s tribunal heard testimonies from Halep and her scientific experts, but ultimately concluded that she had committed both doping offenses. Although the tribunal acknowledged the possibility of a contaminated supplement, it determined that the volume ingested by the player would not explain the concentration of Roxadustat found in the positive sample. Additionally, an expert panel examined Halep’s biological passport profile, which revealed irregularities that were likely attributed to doping.