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Former No. 1 Simona Halep Faces Second Doping Charge

Simona Halep once again finds herself in trouble with the International Tennis Integrity Agency. Halep, a two-time Grand Slam champion from Romania and former world No. 1, has been accused of a second doping offense. The ITIA cites “irregularities” in here Athlete Biological Passport as the reason.

The charge was announced on Friday. It is separate from the provisional suspension she received last year, according to the ITIA.

“We understand that today’s announcement adds complexity to an already high-profile situation. From the outset of this process — and indeed any other at the ITIA — we have remained committed to engaging with Ms. Halep in an empathetic, efficient, and timely manner,” Nicole Sapstead, the group’s senior director for anti-doping, said in a statement.

The new charge is based on an evaluation of Halep’s biological passport profile and alleges that she has engaged in doping. Halep denies any wrongdoing and claims to be a victim of contamination.

In a social media post, Simona Halep wrote Friday that she has “lived the worst nightmare I have ever gone through in my life” since being initially charged by the ITIA.

Halep says that her “name has been soiled in the worst possible way.” She also claims that the ITIA is determined “to prove my guilt while I haven’t EVER even thought of taking any illicit substance.”

Halep’s post says she was a “victim of contamination” and always has “been totally against any sort of cheating.”

“I look forward to finally being able to present my case at my hearing that is scheduled at the end of May,” she said.

She will present her case at her hearing in May. Simona Halep is the most notable tennis player to face a doping ban since Maria Sharapova. During a provisional suspension, a player is barred from sanctioned events.

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