Simona Halep: Doping ban reduced for former Wimbledon champion

Two-time Grand Slam champion Simona Halep’s four-year ban for doping has been reduced to nine months by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The decision means Romanian former world number one Halep, 32, can return to tennis immediately.

She feared her career would be over if the original decision was upheld.

While her case was partially upheld, Cas ruled Halep “on the balance of probabilities” had not taken roxadustat intentionally.

Halep, who won the 2018 French Open and Wimbledon in 2019, always maintained her innocence.

She tested positive for roxadustat – an anti-anaemia drug which stimulates the production of red blood cells in the body – after the US Open in 2022.

A separate charge came in May 2023 when irregularities were also found in her athlete biological passport.

“Having carefully considered all the evidence put before it, the Cas Panel determined that Ms Halep had established, on the balance of probabilities, that the Roxadustat entered her body through the consumption of a contaminated supplement which she had used in the days shortly before 29 August 2022,” it said.

“The Roxadustat, as detected in her sample, came from that contaminated product.

“As a result, the CAS Panel determined that Ms Halep had also established, on the balance of probabilities, that her anti-doping rule violations were not intentional.

“Although the CAS Panel found that Ms Halep did bear some level of fault or negligence for her violations, as she did not exercise sufficient care when using the Keto MCT supplement, it concluded that she bore no significant fault or negligence.”

More to follow.

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