Simona Halep was handed provisional suspension after returning a positive test for Roxadustat at the US Open.
Simona Halep lost in the first round in Flushing Meadows this year against Ukrainian qualifier Daria Snigur. A test was performed during the tournament and Halep’s report has come as a huge stunner for the tennis world.
The former world No. 1 has reportedly tested positive for Roxadustat. It is a substance in the same category as EPO (Erythropoietin) in WADA’s list of banned substances.
The ban was handed to her by the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) on Friday. As per the statement from ITIA, Roxadust is a drug that stimulates the production of red blood cells and is utilized in the curing procedure of patients with kidney difficulties.
“The subsequent analysis found that the A sample contained 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 ineligible to compete in or attend any sanctioned tennis events organised by the governing bodies of the sport,” the ITIA said in a statement.
“Today begins the hardest match of my life: a fight for truth.” -Simona Halep vows to fight the suspension
The current world No. 9 had recently ended her season after undergoing nose surgery. After the news of her suspension broke out, she was quick to put out a statement on Twitter clarifying her stance to an extent.
Halep stated that she would fight till the end to prove that she did not intentionally take any prohibited substance and hoped that the truth will emerge in the near future.
“Today begins the hardest match of my life: a fight for the truth. 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,” Simona Halep wrote. “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, feel completely confused and betrayed.”
The Romanian star also mentioned that this is not about the titles or the money. It’s about “honor” and the love she has developed for the game for over two and a half decades.
“I will fight until the end to prove that I never knowingly took any prohibited substance and have faith that sooner or later, the truth will come out. It’s not about the titles or the money. It’s about honor, and the love story I have developed with the game of tennis over the last 25 years,” Simona Halep wrote.
Let’s take a look at how the tennis world has been reacting on social media to the shocking revelation.
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