February 06, (THEWILL) – Simona Halep, the former world number one tennis player, will appear before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), this week to appeal her four-year doping ban. The 32-year-old Romanian was suspended last September after testing positive for the prohibited substance roxadustat and irregularities in her athlete biological passport.
The CAS hearing, taking place in Lausanne, Switzerland, will start on Wednesday, February 14 and last three days. Halep will attend in person, along with the parties, witnesses and experts involved in the case. She continues to vigorously protest her innocence, claiming that experts confirmed she accidentally ingested a contaminated supplement.
Halep was provisionally suspended by the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA), in October 2022, after her positive test result from the 2022 US Open. She was later charged with a second anti-doping rule violation relating to biological passport irregularities. The ban, if upheld, will see the two-time Grand Slam champion barred from professional tennis until October 2026.
Roxadustat is a medication used to treat anaemia but is on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s prohibited substances list due to its blood-boosting effects. The biological passport system tracks athletes’ blood markers over time to detect possible doping. While the ITIA accepted Halep’s contaminated supplement defence, they ruled the concentration found in her sample could not have resulted from such limited exposure.
Halep aims to clear her name at what will be a pivotal hearing for her career. A former world number one and champion at Roland Garros and Wimbledon, her playing future hangs in the balance awaiting the CAS decision which is expected in the coming months.
About the Author
Jude Obafemi is a versatile senior Correspondent at THEWILL Newspapers, excelling in sourcing, researching, and delivering sports news stories for both print and digital publications.