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Simona Halep Prevails in Appeal, Can Return to Pro Tour

“I cannot wait to return to the tour,” Simona Halep said. Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Simona Halep scored a career-saving victory off court.

Former world No. 1 Halep scored a major victory in her appeal of her four-year doping ban.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport unanimously ruled Halep’s four-year ban is reduced to nine months in a decision issued today.

The ruling clears the way for the former world No. 1 to return to the pro circuit now.

“I cannot wait to return to the tour,” Halep said in a statement. “Despite facing daunting accusations and formidable opposition, my spirit remained buoyant, anchored in my unwavering conviction of being a clean athlete.

“This ordeal has been a testament to resilience, and the triumph of truth is a bittersweet vindication that, albeit delayed, is immensely gratifying.”

The CAS ruled the two-time Grand Slam champion had “on the balance of probabilities” showed her positive test for a banned substance Roxadustat was unintentional and caused by a contaminated supplement as she claimed.

“Although the CAS Panel found that Ms. Halep did bear some level of fault or negligence for her violations, as she did not exercise sufficient care when using the Keto MCT supplement, it concluded that she bore no significant fault or negligence,” the CAS said in its ruling.

As a result, the CAS lifted the ban enabling the Romanian superstar to return to tennis.

“The CAS Panel has unanimously determined that the four-year period of ineligibility imposed by the ITF Independent Tribunal is to be reduced to a period of ineligibility of nine (9) months starting on 7 October 2022, which period expired on 6 July 2023,” the CAS announced in a statement. “As that period expired before the appeal procedures were even lodged with the CAS, the CAS Panel has determined it appropriate to issue the operative part of the Arbitral Award as soon as practicable, together with a comprehensive media release.

“The CAS Panel has also ordered the disqualification of all competitive results achieved by Ms. Halep from 29 August 2022 (the date of her positive sample) to 7 October 2022, including forfeiture of any medals, titles, ranking points and prize money. Therefore, the appeal filed by the ITIA is dismissed and the appeal filed by Simona Halep is partially upheld (her request to backdate the start of the suspension on 29 August 2022 is dismissed).”

Read the complete Court of Arbitration for Sport ruling in Simona Halep’s case here.

The CAS unanimous decision is vindication for Halep, who has maintained she never intentionally doped.