4-year doping ban: Former world No.1 Halep says career could be over if appeal fails

The Court of Arbitration for Sport said the hearing would be held February 7-9

By Reuters

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Photo: AP file
Photo: AP file

Published: Sat 16 Dec 2023, 5:12 PM

Simona Halep is unsure if she will play again if the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) does not uphold her appeal against a four-year doping suspension, the Romanian former world No.1 has said.

In September, the 32-year-old former Wimbledon and French Open champion was banned by the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) for four years for two separate anti-doping rule violations.

Halep, who had been provisionally suspended since October 2022 after testing positive for banned blood-booster roxadustat at the US Open last year, said she would appeal the ITIA's decision to sport's highest court.

On Tuesday, CAS said the hearing would be held February 7-9.

Asked if a failed appeal could spell the end of her playing career, Halep told Euronews: "Yeah, because four years is going to be a lot, for my age at least.

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"And for an athlete who has done this thing every day for 25 years and dedicated their life to tennis and to sport I don't know how it's going to be, but it's catastrophic if it's going to be four years, and I don't know how I will handle it.

"Probably, it's going to be the end of my career, yes. And for something that I didn't do and that is not my fault, it's even more catastrophic."

Halep said she is hoping to play at next year's Paris Olympics if her appeal is successful.

"I know there are not big chances for this, but I'm dreaming of this because Paris is my dream city," said the Romanian, speaking in an interview published on Friday.

"I won Roland Garros here when I was a junior, so everything started very early, and it will be amazing to be back on court, no matter what. But I just want to be on court because that's where I belong and I feel like I want to do it again."

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