Simona Halep provisionally suspended after testing positive for banned substance
Juan Martin del Potro, Serena Williams and Simona Halep are among the stars who have either tested positive for a banned substance, been sanctioned by the tennis federation or have been banned by the sport altogether. Now Simona Halep has found herself suspended by the WTA after testing positive for a banned substance.
“If this is confirmed, then I will be banned,” Halep said in a statement to the Italian press. “I know nothing about this. I do not know what, who produced it, because I have never worked with any drug. I know nothing about it. Who gave this to me? Then, I would like to ask for the release of other players, all the athletes, who are currently suspended, who did not work with a drug.”
Halep, who has won four Grand Slam singles titles, was scheduled to play in her first tournament after returning from a doping ban this week. She has been suspended from her WTA Premier event in Rome as well as the Australian Open and French Open until October 11.
“I had never used any of the substances that are not allowed in sports,” Halep said. “I have never used any of them. I will take the appropriate action, I hope in the right way, it will be soon and I hope that I can play soon.”
The WTA’s acting general manager, Mark Cox, confirmed that Halep has tested positive for an unidentified substance.
“The Australian Open requires an athlete named in the draw to be in the event to play, and she has not been informed by the WTA that she is no longer eligible due to this issue. She has been advised of her obligation to adhere to the WTA anti-doping policy and will await notification before the tournament and the tournament’s medical council,” Cox said in a statement. “The player will be in consultation with her medical team and the tournament on a regular basis for their understanding of the circumstances.”
A tennis official told ESPN: “After confirming this to her, Serena Williams is aware of the situation.”
Meanwhile, the ATP, the sport’s governing body, suspended Williams pending a formal announcement. “We have received