Simona Halep has been provisionally suspended for doping. According to the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA), she tested positive for banned substance Roxadustat at the US Open.
The former World No 1 was stunned in three sets by 124th-ranked Ukrainian qualifier Daria Snigur in the opening round in New York.
— Simona Halep (@Simona_Halep) October 21, 2022
The ITIA said in a statement: ‘Halep, who has the WTA ranking of 9, provided a sample whilst competing at the US Open August 2022. The sample was split into A and B samples and the subsequent analysis found that the A sample contained FG-4592 (Roxadustat), which is prohibited substance listed in the 2022 World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List.
‘The player exercised their right to request that the B sample was analysed, which confirmed the finding in the A sample.’
In a post on social media, Halep said that she was faced with an ‘unfair situation’ and will ‘fight for the truth.’
“Today begins the hardest match of my life: a fight for the truth,” the Romanian wrote.
“I have been notified that I have tested positive for a substance called Roxadustat in an extremely low quantity, which came as the biggest shock of my life.
“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.
“Facing such an unfair situation, I feel completely confused and betrayed.
“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.”
The latest development is another blow for the 30-year-old, who is going through a rough patch personally and professionally.
There were reports last month that Halep has separated from her husband — Romanian business tycoon Toni Iuruc — only a year into the marriage.