Former world No.1 Simona Halep has been provisionally suspended from tennis after testing positive to a banned substance.

The two-time Grand Slam winner’s sample that was provided at August’s US Open tested positive for Roxadustat.

Halep has indicated she will fight the allegations.

The Sporting News explains everything you need to know about Halep’s situation.

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How did Simona Halep test positive to a banned substance?

After being subject to a routine drug test at the US Open in August, Halep tested positive for traces of Roxadustat.

It is not known if she provided the sample before or after her first-round loss to Ukrainian talent Daria Snigur on August 29.

Halep has been banned provisionally from the sport pending an investigation into the test results.

The 31-year-old’s B sample has also tested positive for Roxadustat, says the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA).

“While provisionally suspended, the player is ineligible to compete in or attend any sanctioned tennis events organised by the governing bodies of the sport,” the ITIA said in a statement.

Maria Sharapova in 2016 was the last high-profile tennis player to test positive to a banned substance.

What has Simona Halep said about the allegations?

Via a statement on her Twitter account, Halep indicated she would fight the doping allegations and claimed there was an ‘extremely low quantity’ of Roxadustat present in her system.

“Throughout my whole career, the idea of cheating never even crossed my mind once, as it is totally against all the values I have been educated with,” Halep posted.

“Facing such an unfair sanction, I feel completely confused and betrayed.

“I will fight until the end to prove that I never knowingly took any prohibited substance and I have faith that, sooner or later, the truth will come out.

“It’s not about the titles or the money. It’s about the honour, and the love story I have developed with the game of tennis over the last 25 years.”

What is Roxadustat?

Roxadustat is a drug that stimulates the production of red blood cells in the body in its usual purpose as an anti-anaemia substance for patients with chronic kidney disease.

It can also help the body produce more EPO (erythropoietin), which is a natural hormone that athletes have attempted to exploit in recent years for improved performance.

The substance was only approved for medical use in the European Union in August 2021.

What has Simona Halep achieved in her tennis career?

Former world No.1 Halep has won two Grand Slam titles - French Open 2018 and Wimbledon 2019.

Her first Grand Slam win at Roland Garros saw her defeat Sloane Stephens, while she overcame Serena Williams at Wimbledon 12 months later.

She has also reached the French Open final on two further occasions (2014, 2017) and the Australian Open in 2018.

In 2017 and 2018, she finished the tennis calendar year as world No.1.

Halep has struggled with injury in recent years, with semi-final appearances at the Australian Open (2020) and Wimbledon (2022) her best results since her last major.