Simona Halep, the Romanian tennis player who was ranked No. 1  in 2017 and 2019 has been provisionally suspended for doping. She has been suspended under Article 7.12.1 of the the 2022 Tennis Anti-Doping Programme (TADP).

Halep tested positive for Roxadustat after giving two samples to competition authorities at the US Open. 

The drug, Roxadustat, is an anti-anemia drug which helps the body generate more red blood cells in the body, which in turn allows for more oxygen running through the system. 

What puts a drug on the Prohibited List?

In order for the a drug to make it on to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s Prohibited List, it must meet two of the following criteria:

1) It enhances or has the potential to enhance performance

2) The drug can be or is a potential health risk to an athlete

3) Use of the drugs violates the spirit of the sport. 

What are the drugs on the WADA’s 2022 Prohibited List?

Glucocorticoids are the latest addition to the Prohibited List and have been a part of it since January 1, 2022. 

In addition, the dosage of the Beta-2 Agonist, Salbutamol has been changed. It has been revised to dosages of 600 micrograms over eight hours from when it is taken. Previously, it used to be 800 micrograms over 12 hours. 

Also Read | What is Roxadustat, substance Simona Halep is accused of having taken?

Here are the drugs that athletes aren’t allowed to use at all times: anabolic agents, peptide hormones, growth factors, Beta-2 Agonists, hormone and metabolic modulators and finally, diuretic and masking agents.

On the other hand, here are the substances that aren’t allowed during competition because they give competitors a substantial advantage: stimulants, narcotics, cannabinoids, glucocorticoids. 

Halep’s response

Since the announcement of the suspension, Halep has responded saying that she is shocked with the results of her tests from the US Open and that she declined the charges. You can read her whole statement here