Simona Halep, the former world No. 1 in women’s tennis, has been charged with a second doping violation by the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA). The charge relates to an “adverse passport finding” which came from an assessment of her athlete biological passport profile.
The ITIA launched its Biological Passport (ABP) program in 2012 to ensure that athletes are not using performance-enhancing drugs. The ABP is a monitoring system that records and evaluates an athlete’s biological markers—such as hormone levels and blood parameters—over time. It then analyzes the data for any irregularities or suspicious patterns, which can indicate doping involvement.
Halep was initially charged with doping in October 2020, when she tested positive for the banned substance roxadustat at the US Open. Her ABP profile assessment found additional evidence of an irregularity, leading to the new charge. It is unclear what the exact nature of the violation is or what consequences Halep may face.
In a statement, the ITIA said it would “continue to protect the rights of all players and ensure that anti-doping rules are properly enforced.” They added that they take “all necessary measures to ensure that athletes are held accountable for their actions and that the sport remains clean and fair.”
The charge against Halep is likely to come as a huge blow to the tennis world. She was one of the most successful players in the sport and had been considered a role model for aspiring players around the world. It remains to be seen whether she will face further repercussions, or how this news may affect her career going forward.
The ITIA’s Biological Passport program plays a major role in keeping the integrity of tennis and preventing doping violations. It is an important step forward for the sport, and will ensure that players are held to a high standard when it comes to performance-enhancing drugs.