Former world No.1 Simona Halep appeals against four-year doping ban

She tested positive for a banned substance.

Former world No.1 Simona Halep appeals against four-year doping ban
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Simona Halep has always strongly insisted that she is innocent (Picture: Getty)

Former world No.1 tennis star Simona Halep has officially appealed against her four-year doping ban, the Court of Arbitration for Sport have confirmed.

The 32-year-old Romanian won Wimbledon in 2019 as well as the French Open five years ago, winning a total of 24 singles titles to date on the WTA Tour.

But Halep tested positive for the prohibited anti-anaemia drug Roxadustat after last year’s US Open, which is on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s banned list, while irregularities were found in her Athlete Biological Passport (ABP).

That saw Halep provisionally suspended by the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) – although the two-time Grand Slam champion argued that a ‘tainted supplement’ was the reason behind why she failed the drugs test and has always strongly insisted that she is innocent.

The ITIA decided to ban Halep until 2026 last month – which would mark four years after she was provisionally suspended in 2022 – but she has now appealed against it.

‘The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has registered the appeal filed by the Romanian tennis player, Ms Simona Halep (the Athlete), against the decision rendered by the International Tennis Integrity Agency Tribunal dated 22 September 2023 (the Challenged Decision), in which she was found to have committed Anti-Doping Rule Violations,’ read a CAS statement on Tuesday.

‘[She was] sanctioned with a four-year period of ineligibility commencing on 7 October 2022, and the disqualification of all results obtained in competitions taking place in the period 29 August 2022 to 7 October 2022, including forfeiture of any medals, titles, ranking points and prize money.

‘In her appeal to the CAS, the Athlete requests that the Challenged Decision be set aside and that her sanction be reduced.

‘The CAS arbitration proceedings have commenced. In accordance with the Code of Sports-related Arbitration (the CAS Code), the arbitration rules governing CAS procedures, the parties are exchanging written submissions and the Panel of arbitrators that will decide the matter is being constituted.

‘Once constituted, the Panel will issue procedural directions for the next phase of the procedure, including the holding of a hearing.

‘Following the hearing, the Panel will deliberate and issue an Arbitral Award containing its decision and the grounds for it.

‘At this time, it is not possible to indicate a time frame for the issuance of the decision.

‘The CAS Panel’s decision will be final and binding, with the exception of the parties’ right to file an appeal to the Swiss Federal Tribunal within 30 days on limited grounds.’

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