Tennis player Simona Halep, winner of two Grand Slams, has been suspended until October 2026 for two separate violations of anti-doping rules, as reported this Tuesday by the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA). The 31-year-old Romanian, former Wimbledon and Roland Garros champion, had already been provisionally sidelined since October 2022 after testing positive for the blood stimulant roxadustat, banned at the US Open last year.
Halep has strenuously denied knowingly taking the banned substance. and he said that he had evidence by which he could prove that it was because of an authorized supplement that he was contaminated. “The court accepted Halep’s argument that they had taken a contaminated supplement, but determined that the amount ingested may not have resulted in the concentration of roxadustat found in the positive sample A.”
The second violation of the rules, according to the ITIA, was related to “irregularities in the athlete’s biological passport.” The ITIA reports that the tests were confirmed by three independent experts and that the three were unanimous in explaining that the irregularities in the biological passport are explained by “probable doping.” The profile of each athlete is reflected in the biological passport; it is a method by which anti-doping organizations control various blood parameters over time in order to identify possible violations.
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