Two-time Grand Slam champion, Simona Halep has been banned for four years following breaches of the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme.
An independent tribunal determined that the 31-year-old Romanian had committed “intentional” anti-doping violations.
Halep said in a statement that she intends to appeal against the decision at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Former world number one, Halep tested positive for the use of roxadustat at last year’s US Open.
She was also found guilty of using an unspecified prohibited substance or method in 2022 after irregularities were found in her biological passport.
The tribunal accepted Halep’s argument she had taken a contaminated supplement, but decided that would not have resulted in the concentration of roxadustat found in her urine sample.
Roxadustat is an anti-anaemia drug which stimulates the production of red blood cells in the body.
The panel also stated they had no reason to doubt the unanimous “strong opinion” reached by three independent experts that “likely doping” was the explanation for the irregularities in her biological passport.
Halep has been provisionally suspended since October 2022, which means she will be able to play again on 7th October 2026, by which time she will be 35.
The findings of the tribunal, however, can be appealed against, and Halep indicated that she would challenge the verdict.
Photo credit: Sports Illustrated