Simona Halep, former world No 1, hit with second anti-doping charge
Simona Halep, the two-time grand slam champion and former world No 1, has been charged with a second anti-doping rule violation while provisionally suspended following a positive doping test last year, The Guardian reports.
The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) announced on Friday that Halep’s athlete biological passport (ABP) returned irregularities after an assessment of her profile by an independent expert panel. Anti-doping bodies use the biological passport system to monitor an athlete’s various blood indicators over a long period of time in order to identify irregularities that could indicate rule violations.
The additional doping charge is a catastrophic development for Halep’s case. She responded to the new charge by accusing the anti-doping bodies of “harassment”, an accusation that was also echoed by her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou.
Halep was provisionally suspended in In October after testing positive for the drug Roxadustat, which increases red blood cell creation, following her first-round loss at the US Open. Halep denies knowingly doping and claimed that “experts” have provided her with evidence that she is the victim of contamination.