FORMER Wimbledon champion Simona Halep has been provisionally suspended for failing a drugs test.
The Romanian, 31, was found to have Roxadustat in a drugs test sample, which is a prohibited substance, the International Tennis Integrity Agency revealed.
The sample was taken while competing at the US Open in August.
Halep requested a second sample was analysed and it returned the same positive result.
While provisionally suspended, the 2019 Wimbledon winner is now ineligible to compete or attend any sanctioned events organised by tennis governing bodies.
Halep released an emotional statement, stating she is beginning “the hardest match of my life” – a ” fight for the truth”.
The former world No1 says Roxadustat was found ” in extremely low quantity”.
Halep said: “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 in an 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.
“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.
“It’s not about the titles or the money. It’s about honour, and the love story I have developed with the game of tennis over the last 25 years.”
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