- The ITIA hit Simona Halep with a 4 year doping suspension
- Halep says she will not accept suspension and will appeal ITIA decision
- Serena Williams releases cryptic tweet over Halep suspension
Simona Halep is a two time grand slam champion and a former world number one ranked tennis player.
Halep was issued a 4 year doping suspension on Sep 12 by the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) for failing 2 separate anti-doping rule violations.
Halep Fails Drug Test But Does Not Accept Ruling
The 31 year old Romanian player who won the 2018 French Open and Wimbledon in 2019 was suspended in Oct 2022 provisionally after she tested positive at the 2022 US Open for Roxadustat which is a banned blood booster.
She was hit with a second suspension in May 2023 after irregularities were found in her athlete biological passport that was carried out by an expert panel according to the ITIA. The athlete biological passport is used to find a baseline to help experts measure doping irregularities.
The ITIA issued a suspension this week for a total of 4 years which would prevent Halep from playing till Oct 6, 2026. Halep came out fighting and said that she refused to accept the verdict of the ITIA and would go to the highest court to clear her name.
In a statement, Halep said
I am continuing to train and do everything in my power to clear my name of these false allegations and return to the court. I intend to appeal this decision to The Court of Arbitration for Sport and pursue all legal remedies against the supplement company in question.
Halep was not allowed to take part in the 2023 US Open as the U.S. Tennis Association said that she was automatically withdrawn from the draw as a provisional suspension makes a player ineligible to take part in any sanctioned events.
Serena Williams Posts Cryptic Tweet
Tennis great Serena Williams who lost her former coach Patrick Mouratoglou to Halep posted a cryptic tweet that wasn’t very hard to decipher. Williams took to X and posted ‘8 is a better number’ making it clear that she thinks Halep should have got an 8 year ban.
8 is a better number.
— Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) September 12, 2023
Williams was looking to tie the record of the most grand slam wins with Margaret Court (24) when she faced Halep in the 2019 Wimbledon final and lost 6-2, 6-2. Prior to that match, Williams had won 8 out of their 9 meetings.