Former Wimbledon champion Simona Halep excluded from the US Open entry list this month

Simona Halep, a former Wimbledon champion, has been removed off the US Open entrance list for the next Grand Slam competition.

Due to her drug ban, Halep, 31, was automatically removed from the registration list at the deadline on Monday, only one week before the event starts.

After testing positive for the illegal blood-booster roxadustat at the 2017 US Open, Halep has been temporarily suspended for almost a year, starting in October 2022. This is tennis’ largest doping scandal since the Maria Sharapova scandal.

Former Wimbledon champion Simona Halep was defeated by Ukraine’s Daria Snigur in the first round of the competition in New York City.

The former French Open champion, who has said that she has had 10 tests since her positive result and that all of them have come back negative, has denied intentionally ingesting the substance.

While under a provisional ban, players are not permitted to participate in or attend any official activities.

The Romanian will be replaced in Flushing Meadows’ main draw by American Taylor Townsend.

Halep dropped out of the top 1000 on the WTA after being slapped with a second anti-doping charge in May.

Halep has vehemently denied intentionally ingesting the illegal substance and said that she has proof that trace quantities of the anaemia drug reached her system via a legitimate supplement that was tainted.

Halep claims she gave the International Tennis Federation proof of the contamination in December with the expectation that her case would be considered by an impartial tribunal in February, but that both the original date and a revised one in March were postponed.

Halep was accused in May with a new, distinct violation of the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme and once again requested to be tried by an impartial panel.

After receiving a second accusation, Halep issued an angry post on social media in which she accused the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) of ‘harassment’ and’ motivation to prove me guilty of something I never did’.

‘Since October 7, when I got charged by the ITIA for a suspicion of doping, I have lived the worst nightmare I have ever gone through in my life,’ she said.

‘Not only has my name been soiled in the worst possible way, but I am facing a constant determination from the ITIA for a reason that I cannot understand, to prove my guilt while I haven’t EVER even thought of taking any illicit substance.

‘I tried two times to have the opportunity to be judged by an Independent Tribunal and the ITIA has constantly found reasons to postpone.

‘Now that we have clearly established that I have been victim of a contamination, they came up with a so-called not normal evolution of my blood.

‘Three world renowned experts that have studied my blood tests have been extremely clear that my blood is not totally normal.

‘I feel helpless facing such harassment and a motivation on their behalf to prove me guilty of something I never did.

‘Once again, all my life I have been totally against any sort of cheating.

‘It doesn’t align with my values.

‘The only thing I hope for, at this point, is to have the possibility to finally access the independent and impartial judges in a Tribunal, that will give me the chance to prove my innocence.

‘I have full trust in justice and I look forward to finally being able to present my case at my hearing that is scheduled at the end of May, after several delays by the ITIA.

‘The support of my loved ones, the tennis world and my fans have given me the courage to continue to practice every day and fight for the truth.

‘I cannot thank you more for that. Love, Simona’.

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