Tennis star Simona Halep vows to ‘fight to the end’ after failing doping test | world news
Two-time Grand Slam champion Simona Halep has vowed to “fight to the end” and clear her name after a failed doping test.
The former Wimbledon champion said the idea of cheating “never once crossed my mind” and that she felt “completely confused and betrayed”.
The International Tennis Integrity Agency announced on Friday that the world number nine tested positive for Roxadustat, a blood-boosting drug, at the US Open.
“Simona Halep, a 31-year-old tennis player from Romania, has been provisionally suspended under Article 7.12.1 of the 2022 Tennis Anti-Doping Program (TADP),” the body said in a statement.
Speaking to social media after the announcement, Halep said: “Today begins the toughest match of my life: a fight for the truth.
“I have been informed that I have tested positive for a substance called Roxadustat in an extremely small amount, which was the biggest shock of my life.
“Throughout my career, the idea of cheating has never once crossed my mind, because it totally goes against all the values I was brought up with.”
She is the most high-profile tennis player to fail a drug test since Maria Sharapova six years ago.
Halep continued, “Faced with such an unjust situation, I feel completely confused and betrayed. I will fight to the end to prove that I have never knowingly taken a banned substance and have faith that sooner or later later, the truth will come out.
“It’s not about titles or money. It’s about honor and the love affair I’ve developed with the game of tennis over the past 25 years.”
Roxadustat can increase the production of red blood cells, which promotes endurance in athletes.