New Delhi: Former World No 1 and two-time Grand Slam champion Simona Halep has been provisionally suspended from tennis by International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) on Friday after testing positive for a banned substance, news agency AFP reported. The high-profile Tennis star, biggest name in the sport to fail a drug test after Maria Sharapova in 2016, tested positive for a banned substance in a sample which she had provided at August’s US Open.

“Simona Halep, a 31-year-old Romanian tennis player, has been provisionally suspended under Article 7.12.1 of the 2022 Tennis Anti-Doping Programme (TADP),” International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) said in a statement.

“While provisionally suspended, the player is ineligible to compete in or attend any sanctioned tennis events organised by the governing bodies of the sport,” the statement added.

Reacting to the suspension, Halep, currently ranked ninth in the world, took to social media to reveal she tested positive for roxadustat in an extremely low quantity, adding that she will fight until the end to prove she never knowingly took any prohibited substance.

“Today begins the hardest match of my life: a fight for the truth. I have been notified that I have tested positive for a substance called Roxadustat. Can extremely low quantity, which came as the biggest shock of my life. Throughout my whole career, the idea of cheating never even crossed my mind once, as it is totally against all the values I have been educated with,” Halep wrote in an Instagram post.

“Facing such an unfair situation, I feel completely confused and betrayed. I will fight until the end to prove that I never knowingly took any prohibited substance and I have faith that sooner or later the truth will come out about the titers or the money It’s about honor, and the love story I have developed with the game of tennis over the last 25 years,” Halep added.

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By Dipak

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