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Friday, 09 February 2024 20:04

Simona Halep confident in return after appeal of doping ban.

Staff Reporter.

Former world number one Simona Halep says she is confident of a return to tennis after her appeal against a four-year doping ban was heard by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas).

Halep was suspended after an independent tribunal said she committed "intentional" anti-doping violations.

The three-day hearing for the former Wimbledon champion concluded on Friday.

"I had the chance to show my defence and I really believe that the truth is going to come out," Halep said.

Halep, 32, was banned in September by the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) following two separate doping infractions.

She tested positive for roxadustat after the US Open in 2022, while irregularities were also found in her athlete biological passport, used to monitor selected biological variables over time, in a separate anti-doping breach that year.

Halep, who would be unable to play professional tennis until 6 October 2026 if the ban is upheld, insists she is innocent and has claimed experts found she had accidentally taken a contaminated supplement.

She has previously said that the ban will likely end her career if it is upheld, and said she would fight to clear her name of the "false allegations".

Speaking to reporters outside Cas in Lausanne, Switzerland on Friday, she said: "The day to be on court is going to be soon."

Halep has blamed contaminated licensed supplements for her positive test at the US Open, and accused the ITIA of charging her with an ABP violation after the group of experts who assessed her profile learned her identity.

Howard Jacobs, Halep's lawyer, said Cas had heard her arguments but it was unclear when the court will issue its ruling.

Halep, who won the French Open in 2018 and Wimbledon the following year, was ranked number one in the world in 2017 and 2018 and has earned £32.2m in prize money.