Simona Halep withdrawn from US Open at deadline due to doping suspension
- Simona Halep, 31, has been provisionally suspended since October 2022
- She tested positive for roxadustat, a banned blood booster, at last year’s US Open
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Former Wimbledon champion Simona Halep was pulled from the US Open later this month.
Halep, 31, entered the Grand Slam on a provisional basis amid her suspension but was automatically removed from the entry list by Monday’s deadline.
American Taylor Townsend will replace the Romanian in the main draw at Flushing Meadows.
Halep has been provisionally suspended since October 2022 after testing positive for roxadustat, a banned blood booster, at the US Open last year.
She was hit with a second doping charge in May and has since fallen into the WTA top 1000.
Former Wimbledon champion Simona Halep withdrawn from US Open
Halep strongly denied knowingly taking the banned substance and said she had evidence that small amounts of the anemia drug had entered her system from an authorized supplement that had been contaminated.
Halep said she sent evidence of the contamination to the International Tennis Federation in December and hoped her case would be heard by an independent tribunal in February, but it was postponed and a new date in March. was also postponed.
Her last court appearance was at the 2022 US Open on August 29 when she was knocked out in the first round by Daria Snigur.
In May, Halep was charged with another separate tennis anti-doping program violation and again asked to be tried by an independent tribunal.
After being hit with a second charge, Halep released a furious statement on social media, in which she accused the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) of ‘harassment’ and ‘motivation to prove me guilty. something I’ve never done”.
“Since October 7, when I was charged by the ITIA on suspicion of doping, I have lived the worst nightmare of my life,” she said.
Halep has been provisionally suspended after testing positive for a banned substance
“Not only has my name been smeared in the worst possible way, but I am faced with a constant determination by the ITIA for some reason I do not understand, to prove my guilt when I NEVER thought of taking a illegal substance.
“I tried twice to have the opportunity to be tried by an independent tribunal and the ITIA constantly found reasons to postpone.
‘Now that we have clearly established that I have been the victim of contamination, they have arrived at a so-called non-normal evolution of my blood. Three world renowned experts who have studied my blood tests have been extremely clear that my blood is not completely normal.
In 2019, Halep claimed glory at Wimbledon, having won the French Open the previous year.
“I feel helpless in the face of such harassment and motivation on their behalf to prove me guilty of something I never did. Again, all my life I have been totally against any form of cheating. It doesn’t match my values.
“The only thing I hope for at this point is to have the opportunity to finally have access to the independent and impartial judges of a court, who will give me the chance to prove my innocence.
“I have full confidence in justice and I look forward to finally being able to present my case at my hearing scheduled for the end of May, after several delays by the ITIA.
“The support of my loved ones, the tennis world and my fans has given me the courage to continue training every day and fighting for the truth. I cannot thank you more for that. I t ‘love, Simona’.