Two-time Grand Slam champion Simona Halep has been charged with a second doping offence over “irregularities” in her athlete organic passport.
The former world No 1 and Wimbledon champion has been provisionally suspended since October final yr after failing a drug on the 2022 US Open.
The new cost “is separate and in addition to” that suspension, the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) stated.
Halep has denied any doping allegations, saying she resides the “worst nightmare” of her life and hasn’t “ever even thought of taking an illicit substance”.
The integrity company’s stated the brand new cost “was based on an assessment” of Halep’s organic passport profile by an professional panel.
The passports present a studying of drugs in an athlete’s physique and are thought of a means to assist chart doping.
Nicole Sapstead, the ITIA’s senior director for anti-doping, stated in a press release: “We understand that today’s announcement adds complexity to an already high-profile situation.
“From the outset of this course of – and certainly some other on the ITIA – we now have remained dedicated to partaking with Ms. Halep in an empathetic, environment friendly, and well timed method.”
Halep, a 31-year-old Romanian, wrote Friday: “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 stated her “name been soiled in the worst possible way” and claimed the ITIA is decided “to prove my guilt while I haven’t EVER even thought of taking any illicit substance”.
Halep’s put up says she was a “victim of contamination”.
“Once again, all my life I have been totally against any sort of cheating. It doesn’t align with my values,” she stated.
Halep has beforehand lamented the delay in her case.
On Friday, she stated: “I look forward to finally being able to present my case at my hearing that is scheduled at the end of May.”
Halep reached No 1 within the WTA rankings in 2017.
She received the French Open in 2018 and Wimbledon in 2019, beating 23-time main champion Serena Williams within the closing.