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Simona Halep loses return match at Miami Open after doping ban

Posted : 20 March 2024

Two-time Grand Slam champion Simona Halep made a disappointing return to tennis after her doping ban, falling to Paula Badosa in Miami. Despite a strong start with a quick first-set win, Halep struggled to maintain her performance level, ultimately losing 1-6 6-4 6-3. This marked her first match since receiving a four-year ban for breaching the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme, which was later reduced to nine months by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) in March.


The 32-year-old Romanian was provisionally suspended in September 2022 after testing positive for the use of roxadustat, an anti-anaemia drug, at the 2022 US Open. Halep has consistently denied any wrongdoing, referring to the accusations as "scandalous." Although Cas ruled that she had not intentionally taken roxadustat, her case underscores the complexities and challenges surrounding anti-doping regulations in professional sports.


With the French Open approaching, scheduled from May 26 to June 9, Halep aims to regain her rhythm on the court. As a former French Open champion in 2018 and Wimbledon titleholder in 2019, she seeks to rebuild her momentum and competitive edge after a period of suspension, emphasizing her determination to return to top form despite the setbacks she has faced.


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