Two-time Grand Slam champion Simona Halep has been charged with a second doping charge for “violations on the athlete’s biological passport”.
The 31-year-old Romanian has been suspended since October after testing positive for a banned substance at the US Open.
Her additional fee is separate from her fee has been suspended.
The Athlete BioPassport program collects and compares biometric data to spot differences over time that could indicate possible doping.
Former world number one Halep was suspended last year after testing positive for roxadustat, an anti-anemia drug that stimulates red blood cell production in the body.
The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA), which oversees the sport’s internal testing, said it would try to resolve the latest case as quickly as possible, but did not say how long it would take.
Nicole Sapstead, ITIA’s senior director of anti-doping, said: “We understand that today’s announcement complicates an already high-profile situation.
“From the beginning of this process — indeed any other process at ITIA — we have been committed to engaging with Ms. Halep in an empathetic, efficient and timely manner.”
Halep, the 2019 Wimbledon champion, said last October that she “never intended to cheat” and claimed the failed test was down to “tainted” supplements.
in April, Halep speaks for the first time Since her suspension, she said she was frustrated with the time it took to resolve the case, but the ITIA said “the process is ongoing”.
ITIA’s investigation of failed tests is often a complex process, especially when a player denies knowingly taking a substance.
It is not uncommon for these cases to take months to resolve.
In this case, the player can provide evidence to refute or explain the failed test, Halep claiming she did.
This will lead to further investigation and testing by ITIA, further prolonging the process.
Halep, who was ninth when the ban came into effect, is one of the highest-profile tennis players to fail a drug test and the most prominent athlete since Russia’s five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova was banned in 2016.
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