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) said on Friday. Halep’s sample, taken during the US Open, showed traces of Roxadustat, a drug that stimulates the production of red blood cells and is used in the treatment of patients with kidney problems, the ITIA said in a statement.
“The subsequent analysis found that the A sample contiained FG-4592 (Roxadustat), which is a prohibited substance listed in the 2022 World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List. Adverse Analytical Findings for non-specified substances carry a mandatory provisional suspension. The player exercised their right to request that the B sample was analysed, which confirmed the finding in the A sample. While provisionally suspended, the player is ineligble to compete in or attend any sanctioned tennis events organised by the governing bodies of the sport,” the ITIA said in a statement.
Halep, however, said that she will “fight until the end” to prove she did not knowingly take a prohibited substance after she was provisionally suspended for doping.
A sample that Halep provided during the US Open in August showed traces of Roxadustat, a drug that stimulates the production of red blood cells and is used in the treatment of 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”.
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“Throughout my whole career, the idea of cheating never even crossed my mind once, as it is totally against all the values I have been educated with,” the Romanian tweeted.
“I will fight until the end to prove that I never knowingly took any prohibited substance and I have faith that sooner or later, the truth will come out.”
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