The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) has charged former world number one female tennis player, Simona Halep, for breaking anti-doping regulation for the second time in about a year.
At the US Open in August of last year, Halep tested positive for the banned drug roxadustat, which promotes the development of red blood cells. Hence, since October 2022, she has been banned from playing tennis.
According to reports, the two-time Grand Slam champion has once again been charged due to irregularities in “her athlete biological passport.”
The biological passport program keeps track of an athlete’s biological data throughout the athlete’s career to look for any potential doping violations.
Senior director for anti-doping at the ITIA, Nicole Sapstead, said: “We acknowledge that today’s announcement worsens an already precarious situation.
“From the outset of this process – and indeed any other at the ITIA – we have remained committed to engaging with Ms. Halep in an empathetic, efficient, and timely manner.”
In her reaction to her doping scandal and ban, the 31-year-old Romanian tennis star told tennismajors.com that she would “fight until the end” to clear her name.
“Knowingly, I have not taken any banned substance,” she insisted.
“I am a big supporter of clean sports and have always been against doping. I had no clue at the beginning about where this substance came from.”
After the latest report that she has been found guilty of breaking another anti-doping regulation, Halep took to her Instagram post to write on Friday: “I have lived the worst nightmare I have ever gone through in my life.
“Not only has my name been soiled in the worst possible way, but I am facing a constant determination from the ITIA, for a reason that I cannot understand, to prove my guilt while I haven’t ever thought of taking an illicit substance.”