Simona Halep, the former Wimbledon champion, says it is “very frustrating” to waste time as she waits for her doping case to be settled.
In the previous six months, the 31-year-old Romanian, who won Wimbledon in 2019, has been placed on suspension while she awaits her investigation to close. At the US Open in August, Halep tested positive for Roxadustat, but she insists she didn’t know she had consumed it.
The process is still in progress, according to the tennis anti-doping control organisation. In addition, it stated that the World Anti-Doping Code was “being operated in accordance” with Halep’s case.
Halep, who has won two Grand Slam tournaments including the French Open in 2018, asserts that she’s “never considered cheating” and that the “contaminated” supplement was to blame for the failed test.
The anti-anaemia medication Roxadustat encourages the body to produce more red blood cells. Halep expressed her frustration with the length of time it was taking for the issue to be concluded in her first interview since she was given a temporary suspension in October.
“I’m not requesting special consideration. I only ask to be evaluated properly. How much more time will this take?” she stated. “It’s incredibly difficult to lose days, weeks, and months playing at my age. It is tougher to return when time goes by like this.”
Since Russian five-time major champion Maria Sharapova was suspended in 2016, one of the most well-known tennis players to fail a drug test is Halep, who was ranked ninth in the world when the suspension took effect.
ITIA investigations of failed tests are frequently difficult to complete, which is made more difficult when a player claims they did not use drugs intentionally and settling such cases usually requires a lot of time and evidence to prove a player is innocent.