Simona Halep, a great tennis player, was banned for four years due to anti-doping breaches. Already a year ago, Halep was banned, but now the official confirmation has arrived in which the Romanian tennis player will be banned for four years.
The Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) confirmed in an official statement the reasons why Halep will be banned. "The presence and use of roxadustat as evidenced in Halep’s urine sample collected on 29 August 2022 at the US Open and use of a prohibited substance or method during 2022, based on collection and analysis of 51 blood samples provided by the player as part of the ABP (Athlete Biological Passport) programme." ITIA reacted to Halep's appeal and her justifications.
However, it seems that the Romanian tennis player made a big mistake. "The tribunal accepted Halep’s argument that they had taken a contaminated supplement, but determined the volume the player ingested could not have resulted in the concentration of roxadustat found in the positive sample.
The ABP charge was also upheld, with the tribunal stating that they had no reason to doubt the unanimous “strong opinion” reached by each of the three independent Athlete Passport Management Unit (APMU) experts that “likely doping” was the explanation for the irregularities in Halep’s profile."
Karen Moorhouse reacts
Karen Moorhouse, Chief Executive Officer at the ITIA confirmed that the tribunal made its decision based on the evidence they had.
There was nothing left but to ban Halep. “After a complex and rigorous hearing process, we welcome the independent tribunal’s decision. The volume of evidence for the tribunal to consider in both the roxadustat and ABP proceedings was substantial.
The ITIA has followed the proper processes as we would with any other individual - in accordance with the World Anti-Doping Code - fulfilling our purpose and responsibility to uphold the principle of fair competition, on behalf of the sport.
The panel recognised that appropriate procedure had been followed within the written decision.
We do understand the significant public interest in these cases and remain committed to being as transparent as possible and the full decision will be published in due course”.