Simona Halep, world no. 9 and two-time Grand Slam singles champion, was dealt some shocking news on Friday. Halep was suspended after a US Open drug test from August came back showing traces of a substance known as Roxadustat, one that is prohibited in the 2022 World Anti-Doping Agency.
Halep took to Twitter shortly after the news broke, releasing the following statement to her account.
“Today begins the hardest match of my life: a fight for the truth. I have been notified that I have tested positive for a substance called Roxadustat in an extremely low quantity, which came as the biggest shock of my life.”
Simona Halep went on to say that she feels “confused and betrayed” and plans to “fight until the end” to prove that she did not cheat. Halep, 31, was defeated in the first round of the US Open in three sets by Daria Snigur.
It was a disappointing showing in the season’s final Grand Slam event, especially after her run to the semifinals at Wimbledon earlier in the summer.
Once ranked no. 1 in the world, Simona Halep has seen her results falter in recent years, as she has yet to reach a Grand Slam final since the 2019 season, when she was victorious at the French Open.
Simona Halep had announced that she would be ending her season early after undergoing surgery on her nose. Now, it appears that the Romanian tennis star will be facing an extended absence anyway, but not as a result of her surgery.