Former World No.1 Simona Halep has been provisionally suspended by the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) after testing positive for a banned substance at this year’s US Open.
Halep, according to a Friday statement ITIA, provided a sample containing Roxadustat. The substance is listed on the 2022 World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited Substance List.
Halep addressed the suspension on Friday with her own statement.
“Today begins the most difficult match of my life: a fight for the truth,” he wrote. “I have been notified that I have tested positive for a substance called Roxadustat in an extremely low amount.”
Roxadustat is a European Union medically approved drug used to treat anemia symptoms caused by kidney failure. According to the EU medicines agencyIt stimulates the body to produce more of the natural hormone erythropoietin, or EPO, which can increase red blood cell counts and, in turn, build more endurance.
The 31-year-old called the news “the biggest shock of [her] life,” adding that he never considered cheating because of his values.
Halep and the ITIA testing schedule
Now ranked No. 9 in the world, Halep announced the Twitter he was ending his season in early September after undergoing nose surgery to breathe.
The ITIA alerted Halep to her positive test result on October 7. She provided the sample in August during the US Open.
Under the World Anti-Do Code, Halep faces a ban of up to four years. After admission and sanction, he would be eligible for a possible reduction of his ban. His case will be handled by tennis authorities and may eventually be challenged by the World Anti-Doping Agency on appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
During her provisional suspension, Halep is ineligible to compete in or attend any sanctioned events.