Former world number one Simona Halep has been provisionally suspended for doping after testing positive for a banned substance, the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) reported on Friday. Halep’s sample, taken at the US Open, showed traces of Roxadustat, a drug that stimulates red blood cell production and is used in the treatment of patients with kidney problems, the ITIA said in a statement.
Subsequent analysis revealed that the A Sample contained FG-4592 (Roxadustat), a banned substance included in the 2022 World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List. On Adverse Analytical Findings for Unspecified substances, a mandatory provisional suspension applies. The player has exercised his right to request that the B sample be analysed, which confirmed the finding in the A sample. While provisionally suspended, the player is ineligible to enter or participate in sanctioned tennis events organized by the sport’s governing bodies,” the ITIA said in a statement.
However, Halep said she will “fight to the end” to prove she did not knowingly take a banned substance after being provisionally suspended for doping.
A sample delivered by Halep at the US Open in August showed traces of Roxadustat, a drug that stimulates red blood cell production and is used to treat patients with kidney problems, the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) said.
Halep, the current world number nine, said the positive test was “the biggest shock of my life”.
“Throughout my entire career, the idea of cheating has never crossed my mind because it totally goes against all the values I was raised with,” the Romanian tweeted.
“I will fight to the end to prove that I have never knowingly used a banned substance and I am confident that sooner or later the truth will come out.”
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