Simona Halep responded to her tennis doping ban by unfollowing all but five accounts on Instagram.
Halep won two Grand Slams but will now be banned for almost three years from the date of writing, after being found guilty of ‘intentional’ violations of anti-doping rules.
The 31-year-old is said to have consumed Roxadustat, an anti-anaemia drug stimulating red blood cells, which of course deliver oxygen to the muscles and organs.
The Romanian subsequently responded by unfollowing all personal accounts, leaving five business accounts to survive her purge: nikesportswear, nike, sihaclinic, hublot and dedemanromania.
Halep claims she felt alone throughout the investigation and announced her intention to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), who resolve disputes between governing bodies and individuals.
Three independent experts unanimously shared strong opinion that she used Roxadustat, based on her biological profile and evidence.
They concluded that due to the irregularities, she was likely doping but Halep can appeal against the tribunal.
She has already been suspended since October 2022 and the ban will apply for four years since her suspension, meaning she will be eligible to compete from October 7, 2026 when she will be 35.
“I take the rules that govern our sport very seriously and take pride in the fact I have never knowingly or intentionally used any prohibited substance,” Halep said as she announced her will to appeal.
“I refused to accept their decision of a four-year ban.”
She continued: “I believe in a clean sport and in almost two decades as a professional tennis player, through hundreds of tournaments and two Grand Slam titles, I have taken 200 blood and urine tests to check for prohibited substances – all of which have been clean.”
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