Halep confident of returning to sport soon after doping ban appeal

Simona Halep
Simona Halep speaks to the media after a hearing at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne on Friday. Photo: Reuters/Denis Balibouse

Lausanne (Switzerland): Former Wimbledon and French Open champion Simona Halep was confident she would soon return to tennis after exiting sport's top court on Friday after three days of proceedings to appeal a doping suspension that could end her career.

"I had the chance to show my defence and I really believe that the truth is going to come out and the day to be on court is going to be soon," Halep told reporters outside the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in the Swiss city of Lausanne.

The 32-year-old Romanian has been provisionally suspended since October, 2022, after testing positive for roxadustat, a banned drug that stimulates the production of red blood cells, at the US Open that year.

Tennis anti-doping authorities also charged the former world No.1, with another doping offence last year due to irregularities in her athlete biological passport (ABP), a method designed to monitor different blood parameters.

Howard Jacobs, Halep's lawyer, said CAS had heard her arguments but it was unclear when the court might issue its ruling.

Halep has blamed contaminated licensed supplements for her positive test at the US Open. She has accused the International Tennis Integrity Agency of charging her with an ABP violation after the group of experts who assessed her profile learned her identity.

An independent tribunal accepted Halep's argument that she had taken a contaminated supplement but determined the volume she ingested could not have resulted in the concentration of roxadustat found in her positive sample.

Halep has said that if her four-year ban is maintained, it would most likely end her career.

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