Now, she waits. After Simona Halep appealed the decision of her four-year ban from tennis at the highest court for sport, Court of Arbitration for Sport, in Lausanne, Switzerland, earlier this month, the former world No. 1 says she'll await the verdict with her "head held high."

On Wednesday, Halep thanked the supporters who've stood by her during "the nightmare she has\] lived for a year and a half," since she first tested positive for the banned substance roxadustat after the 2022 US Open. Last May, [she was hit with a second anti-doping violation over apparent irregularities in her athlete biological passport, which tracks blood samples, and in September, she was banned for four years by the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA). Halep appealed the decision at CAS over nearly three full days earlier this month.

"The nightmare that I have lived for a year and a half is finished," Halep wrote in a statement posted to her social media channels. "I had the chance to present my defense ... to show that I never did any kind of doping. This is what I have said from the first day I was accused.

"Now I am waiting for the decision with my head held high and I wanted to thank you, my fans, players, former players, legends of this sport, my sponsors, and everyone else for your amazing support, all the messages and video that you did for me during this harrowing time that I had. This support has meant the world to me and gave me strength to keep fighting each day to show the truth."


Halep has continued to maintain that a contaminated nutritional supplement caused her initial positive test. Her coach at the time, Patrick Mouratoglou, has since admitted he feels "responsible" for Halep's situation, as the staff at his tennis academy provided the supplement to her. Halep said in December that the pair had not spoken in months.

The two-time Grand Slam champion, who spent 64 weeks as the world No. 1 player in the WTA rankings, will be 35 years old when her ban (should it not be overturned, or reduced) expires in October of 2026.