Simona Halep: Former Wimbledon champion charged with second biological passport doping offense | world news

Two-time Grand Slam champion Simona Halep has been charged with a second doping offense for “irregularities” in her biological athlete passport.

The former world No. 1 and Wimbledon champion has been on a provisional suspension since October last year after failing medication at the 2022 US Open.

The new charge “is separate from and in addition to” that suspension, the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) said.

Halep denied any doping allegations, saying she was having the “worst nightmare” of her life and had “never even thought about taking an illicit substance”.

The Integrity Agency said the new charge “was based on an assessment” of Halep’s biological passport profile by a panel of experts.

Passports provide a readout of substances in an athlete’s body and are seen as a way to help record doping.

Nicole Sapstead, ITIA’s Senior Anti-Doping Director, said in a statement: “We understand that today’s announcement adds complexity to an already highly publicized situation.

“From the beginning of this process – and indeed any other at ITIA – we have remained committed to engaging with Ms. Halep in an empathetic, effective and timely manner.”

‘Worst nightmare’

Halep, a 31-year-old Romanian, wrote on Friday: “Since October 7, when I was charged by the ITIA, on suspicion of doping, I have had the worst nightmare I have ever had of my life.”

She said her “name has been smeared in the worst way possible” and claimed the ITIA was determined “to prove my guilt when I NEVER thought of taking an illicit substance”.

Halep’s post says she was “a victim of contamination.”

“Again, my whole life, I’ve been totally against any form of cheating. It doesn’t align with my values,” she said.

Halep has already lamented the delay in her case.

On Friday, she said: “I can’t wait to finally present my case at my scheduled hearing at the end of May.”

Simona Halep (L) beat Serena Williams to win Wimbledon in 2019. Pictured: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports

Halep reached No. 1 in the WTA rankings in 2017.

She won the French Open in 2018 and Wimbledon in 2019, beating 23-time major champion Serena Williams in the final.


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