Halep to return from doping ban in Miami

Former world number one Simona Halep will resume her WTA career in the wake of a doping ban at the Miami Open this month, the Romanian said on Instagram on Thursday.

Just two days after her four-year ban was reduced to nine months and she was cleared by the Court of Arbitration for Sport for an immediate return, Halep said she had accepted a wild card into the main draw of the prestigious hard court event in Florida — the second half of the “Sunshine Double” after this week’s event at Indian Wells, California.

“I’m thrilled to let you all know that I will be making my return to the WTA Tour in two weeks at the Miami Open!” Halep, who last played at the 2022 US Open, posted.

“Thank you to the tournament for giving me this opportunity and I cannot wait to be back on court and competing. See you all soon!”

The two-time Grand Slam singles champion was suspended last September by the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) after two separate doping infractions the previous year.

The 32-year-old appealed to CAS in February, arguing her positive test for Roxadust — used to treat anaemia and banned as a blood doping agent — was the result of a tainted supplement.

CAS determined that Halep had “established, on the balance of probabilities” that the banned substance did come from the contaminated product and her violations were therefore “not intentional.”

CAS also ruled that “irregularities” cited by the ITIA in Halep’s biological passport, a longterm monitoring tool of an athlete’s blood indicators that can indicate doping, did not, in fact, support “the doping scenarios put forward by the ITIA”.

Halep had protested her innocence and refused to accept the ITIA decision, which would have kept her off the courts until October 6, 2026.

AFP

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