Sports

February 6, 2024

Halep to appear before CAS to appeal four-year doping ban

Halep to appear before CAS to appeal four-year doping ban

Halep

Former world number one Simona Halep will appear before a three-day hearing of the Court of Arbitration for Sport starting on Wednesday to appeal her four-year doping ban, CAS confirmed.

The 32-year-old Romanian was suspended last September by the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) after two separate doping infractions.

The two-time Grand Slam singles champion tested positive for roxadustat after the US Open in 2022 and was charged with a separate second anti-doping breach last year relating to irregularities in her athlete biological passport.

On Tuesday, CAS said the hearing will take place over three days starting Wednesday at their headquarters in Lausanne.

“The parties, witnesses and experts will attend the hearing both in person and remotely, including Ms Halep who will be present in person,” CAS said.

Halep has protested her innocence and refused to accept the ITIA decision which will keep her from playing professional tennis again until October 6, 2026.

The winner of the 2018 French Open and 2019 Wimbledon singles titles says she wants to “clear her name” and has claimed experts found she had accidentally taken a contaminated supplement.

But the ITIA said that while the tribunal accepted Halep had taken a contaminated supplement, they also “determined the volume the player ingested could not have resulted in the concentration of roxadustat found in the positive sample”.

Roxadustat is a substance that can be used legitimately to treat anaemia.

But it is also on the World Anti-Doping Agency banned list as it is considered a blood-doping agent, which increases haemoglobin and the production of red blood cells.

The biological passport system is designed for the long-term monitoring of an athlete’s blood indicators with the aim of identifying irregularities that could indicate doping.