Former world No. 1 women’s tennis player Simona Halep has been charged with a second anti-doping violation by the International Tennis Integrity Agency after “irregularities” were found in her biological passport.
Halep has been out of professional tennis since she tested positive for the banned substance Roxadustat at the 2022 U.S. Open.
The Romanian recently expressed frustration with the prolonged hearing related to her initial suspension, saying she had taken and passed 10 different tests since the initial flag.
“The situation has been really hard. Emotionally, it’s heavy. The stress is huge because I never thought I would face something like this,” Halep said last month in an interview with Cédric Rouquette of Tennis Majors.
“I have always been against doping as I am a big supporter of clean sports. At the beginning, I didn’t know how to handle it. Over time, I just tried to stay calm and actually, I feel confident because I know I’m clean and I didn’t take anything knowingly that is banned.”
Halep said her initial positive test was a result of an approved substance being contaminated. The 31-year-old saw her career rebound in 2022, reaching the semifinals at Wimbledon and winning the National Bank Open to return to the top 10 in the rankings.
She had finished the 2021 season ranked No. 20 in the world after being in the top five every year since 2014.