July 24th, 2024

Simona Halep will return to action at the Miami Open after appealing her doping suspension

By The Associated Press on March 7, 2024.

FILE - Romania's Simona Halep celebrates defeating Karolina Muchova of the Czech Republic in a singles tennis match on day two of the Wimbledon tennis championships in London, Tuesday, June 28, 2022. Two-time Grand Slam champion Simona Halep has been cleared for an immediate return to tennis after sports’ highest court cut her ban for doping on appeal. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, File)

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) – Simona Halep will return to tennis at the Miami Open this month after winning her appeal of a doping suspension and having the penalty reduced from four years to nine months.

“Thank you to the tournament for giving me this opportunity and I cannot wait to be back on court and competing,” the two-time Grand Slam champion and former No. 1 player posted Thursday on social media. “See you all soon!”

She was given a wild-card invitation for the main draw at the hard-court tournament on the site of the Miami Dolphins’ stadium. Women’s play begins March 19.

Halep, a 32-year-old from Romania, is allowed to resume her tennis career thanks to the decision in her favour announced Tuesday by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

She tested positive for a banned drug at the 2022 U.S. Open and has not competed on tour since then. Halep argued to the court that her exposure to the substance came via a contaminated supplement.

While a three-judge panel determined that Halep bore “some level of fault or negligence” for not exercising “sufficient care” while using the supplement, it said “she bore no significant fault or negligence.” The ruling said “her anti-doping rule violations were not intentional.”

Halep won major championships at Wimbledon in 2019, by beating Serena Williams in the final, and at the French Open in 2018, by beating Sloane Stephens in the final.

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AP tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis

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