WTA suspends former No. 1 Simona Halep after testing positive for banned substance

Simona Halep provisionally suspended after testing positive for banned substance in drug test

Updated: Monday, June 11, 2014, 15:56 [IST]

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Chennai, June 11: Former No. 1 WTA player Simona Halep has been provisionally suspended by WTA after reportedly testing positive for a banned substance in a random drug test at the Shanghai Masters tennis tournament.

According to the rules, under no circumstances players can be allowed to play the tournament provided there is “reasonable” suspicion they have used a prohibited substance.

The WTA has reportedly confirmed the player can continue training for now, and that there is no further chance of her winning. It has also announced that Halep will be replaced by the world number two Serena Williams, who is also in the running to retain her title at the tournament in Shanghai.

WTA has also said the suspension will remain in place until the end of the season.

World No. 1 Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic led the world for a while but have lost their place in the top spot.

“I’d like to wish Simona well as she comes out of her suspension.

“She is a great player and I will always respect her. I’ve been really impressed by her and she is my biggest fan, so I’m looking forward to working with her again in the future.

“Since we have not played as many Grand Slams as we’d like, I would like to keep my options open and continue working with other players.”

Djokovic has won nine titles so far in 2013 but was knocked out in the French Open quarter-finals in early April, while Williams is yet to taste the sweet taste of success in 2013.

“Serena is a terrific competitor and a great athlete. She has been playing very well lately and I’m sure she will be back to winning a WTA title very soon and will have a great opportunity to win the title in Shanghai,” WTA Chairman Bob Bradley said.

“I am disappointed that Simona has tested positive for a banned substance, but she is a great individual and I take great pride knowing that she is in the grand scheme of WTA

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