Halep can return to tennis right away, doping appeal successful!

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Simona Halep has been cleared to make her return to competition following a lengthy and stressful battle to fight a doping ban.

Simona Halep

The Court of Arbitration for Sport recently ruled that Halep’s intake of the blood-boosting prohibited substance, roxadustat, was not intentional. This decision led to a reduction of her doping ban from four years to nine months, a period that has already elapsed. Halep tested positive for roxadustat on August 29, 2022, during the US Open, which prompted her to fight a draining battle to prove her innocence, attributing the incident to a contaminated supplement.

Halep took her case to the CAS, attending a three-day hearing in Lausanne, which ultimately led to this positive outcome for the tennis star. With her ban now reduced and applied retroactively, Halep’s period of ineligibility expired on July 6, 2023, making her eligible to return to competition immediately. “I cannot wait to return to the tour,” the two-time Grand Slam champion expressed eagerly upon learning of the CAS decision.

While Halep did have roxadustat in her system, the CAS Panel concluded that she did not bear significant fault or negligence in the matter. However, they did find her at fault for not exercising sufficient care when using the Keto MCT collagen supplement, leading to the contamination. Halep has since taken legal action against the Canadian company responsible for producing the tainted supplement.

Additionally, the CAS Panel dismissed the charge regarding irregularities in Halep’s athlete biological passport (ABP), stating that they were not “comfortably satisfied that an anti-doping rule violation under Article 2.2 of the TADP had occurred.”

As a result of the ruling, all competitive results achieved by Halep from August 29, 2022, to October 7, 2022, have been disqualified, including forfeiture of any medals, titles, ranking points, and prize money from that period.

Despite these setbacks, the 32-year-old Halep has shown remarkable determination, sharing videos of her on-court training sessions and indicating her eagerness to make a successful return to the highest level of competition. The original ban, set to expire in October 2026, would have prematurely ended Halep’s career, but with this positive development, the outlook is now very promising for the former world No.1 as she looks forward to rejoining the Hologic WTA Tour.


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