Simona Halep reportedly halfway towards clearing her name

A delighted Simona Halep Credit: Alamy
A delighted Simona Halep Credit: Alamy

Cristian Jura, a Romanian judge serving with the Court of Arbitration for Sport, has revealed that Simona Halep has taken a key step in having her doping suspension lifted.

It appears that Halep has identified the source of the Roxadustat that she test positive for among the supplements she had been using.

Crucially the substance was reportedly found to be in the supplement without proper labelling.

While Roxadustat is a prescription medicine, its formula has been published and there are no shortage of unscrupulous chemists willing to produce the drug that has been shown to increase peak oxygen uptake.

“It seems that the method by which Roxadustat entered the athlete’s body has been identified, namely by ingesting a contaminated food supplement,” Jura said, according to ProSport.

“Contaminated product is a product that contains a prohibited substance, without this being specified on the product label or in information accessible through a reasonable search on the Internet.

“The athlete is still at this moment between the lifting of the suspension, i.e. the removal of any sanctions, and the 4-year suspension from sports activity.

The suspension can be reduced or even canceled if the two conditions stipulated by the World Anti-Doping Code are cumulatively met: to establish very clearly the way in which the substance entered the body and the athlete’s lack of intention to take the prohibited substance to improve sports performance.

One of the conditions was met, it was clearly established how the substance got into the athlete’s body. The athlete must also prove the lack of guilt and negligence. That is, the athlete or other person must prove that Simona did not know or suspect and could not reasonably have known or suspected, even by exercising the most careful caution, that she used or was administered prohibited substances or that he used prohibited methods,” he also said.

Simona Halep could see her provisional suspension lifted after a hearing before the International Tennis Integrity Agency.

However, the former World No 1 would need to provide compelling evidence that she accidentally ingested the banned substance.

Jura added: “Procedurally, there are several stages. First, there’s a preliminary hearing before the International Tennis Integrity Agency.

“At this stage it is possible to lift the athlete’s provisional suspension, taking into account the evidence that she ingested a contaminated supplement.

“But I would make an important clarification.

“Just as it is possible to lift the provisional suspension, so it can be maintained, very much depends on the evidence.”

READ MORE: Simona Halep’s coach Patrick Mouratoglou vows to ‘fight to prove the truth’ after positive drug test

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