Romania: tennis star Simona Halep can compete again

Former Romanian Wimbledon champion Simona Halep was banned from competing 18 months ago for violating anti-doping regulations. However, in a surprise decision, the International Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has now reduced her suspension from four years to nine months, meaning she can already return to competing. Halep had tested positive for roxadustat at the 2022 US Open, but the CAS has now concluded that the substance entered her body through the consumption of "a contaminated dietary supplement".

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Striblea (RO) /

Anti-doping agencies need to change their methods

Journalist Cătălin Striblea comments in his blog:

“The two institutions in charge of doping controls [ITIA and Wada] have acted unprofessionally and ruined the career of a player. They stole several months of her life and changed the history of tennis in an absurd way. The biggest problem was the far too long period of time in which the investigators collected evidence. Wada and ITIA should therefore change their procedures to avoid causing more harm to others. ... Simona was persistent in her efforts to prove her innocence. She put all her eggs in one basket and did not accept a deal that would have given her a shorter sentence in return. She followed her heart and won.”

Gazeta Sporturilor (RO) /

Untrustworthy expertise

The contradictory results of the expert reports raise questions about the future of anti-doping controls, writes Gazeta Sporturilor:

“How is it possible that one group of experts says Halep apparently swallowed entire doses, not to say wheelbarrows full, of powder contaminated with Roxadustat, while the other maintains that she did it only once out of carelessness? ... Both bodies agree that there was a problem with altered blood values, but one body talks of an exception while the other claims the opposite. It's as if there were two different versions of chemistry and of pharmacology, two different drugs, two different laws. And we're just supposed to accept all this and carry on?”