Simona Halep Suspended for a Positive Doping Test, Set to Resume Play
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA — Today, the Australian Open announced the suspension of Simona Halep for a positive doping test at the start of the Melbourne Championships. The results of the test will be published next week on the WADA website.
Halep has been provisionally suspended, pending a decision by the WADA Independent Testing and Disciplinary Commission (ITDC) on the matter.
“We are disappointed that Simona has tested positive for the banned substance meldonium (hexamethonium chloride) in the doping test at the start of the Australian Open,” said Dr. Richard McLaren, CEO of the Australian Open, in a statement. “We understand Simona’s reasons for wanting to undergo doping tests as part of the preparation for the Melbourne and Hobart events, and we understand Halep’s position in wanting to participate in the Melbourne and Hobart events. We have always given an element of discretion to the ITDC when considering whether or not to suspend a player, as the ITDC is independent of the competition management committee. We will continue our discussions with Simona as her case is considered.”
“The ITDC’s investigation will examine the reliability of the test, and we will take any appropriate action, which could include an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport,” added Dr. McLaren. “The ITDC has indicated that it would be more appropriate to give Simona a provisional suspension rather than an outright suspension, as the provisional suspension, if upheld by the ITDC, would allow Simona to compete in the Women’s Tennis Association of Australia’s WTA Tour event in which she is seeded.”
The ITDC will receive all relevant test results over the next few weeks. The Doping Control Officer for the ITDC will make those results available to the Australian Open on the WADA website, through the WADA Newsroom and through the WADACO (WADA’s Australian Centre of Doping Control and Operational Cooperation).
“Halep’s doping positive will be a significant challenge for the ITDC as she