Jacked former Wimbledon champ caught doping at US Open

Sep 12 2023, 6:01 pm

Simona Halep was caught doping at last year’s US Open, and now she has been suspended for four years.

The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) has announced that the former world No. 1 in women’s tennis has been suspended for four years after an independent tribunal confirmed two separate breaches of the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme.

“The first related to an Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF) for the prohibited substance roxadustat at the US Open in 2022, carried out through regular urine testing during competition,” the ITIA announced today. “The second charge related to irregularities in Halepā€™s Athlete Biological Passport (ABP).”

The independent tribunal heard from scientific witnesses according to the ITIA, on behalf of Halep and the ITIA. Halep also gave evidence directly to the panel.

On Monday, the tribunal confirmed that Halep had committed “intentional Anti-Doping Rule Violations,” including the “presence and use” of roxadustat in her urine sample collected at last year’s US Open on August 29, 2022.

The 31-year-old Romanian tennis star was the No. 1 player in the world in 2017, 2018, and 2019. She won the French Open in 2018 and Wimbledon in 2019, and has over $40 million in career prize money. Halep is also a three-time winner of Canada’s top tournament, the National Bank Open (previously known as the Rogers Cup), including winning last year in Toronto.

Suspended since October, Halep disputes the claims.

“The last year has been the hardest match of my life, and unfortunately my fight continues,” Halep said on Instagram today. “I have devoted my life to the beautiful game of tennis. I take the rules that govern our sport very seriously and take pride in the fact I have never knowingly or intentionally used any prohibited substance. I refused to accept their decision of a four-year ban.”

 

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Halep won’t be eligible to return to competitive tennis until October 6, 2026.

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