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By Richard Pagliaro | @Tennis_Now | Friday, February 16, 2024

Simona Halep is taking her contamination claim to court. 

Former world No. 1 Halep, who is appealing a four-year doping ban, has filed a multi-million lawsuit against a Canadian company she claims produced a contaminated supplement that caused her to fail a doping test and could end her competitive career.

More: Richard Evans Q&A

Two-time Grand Slam champion Halep is seeking more than $10 million in damages from Quantum Nutrition, a Canadian company that produces Schinoussa Superfoods. Halep filed a lawsuit in New York against the Ontario-based Quantum Nutrition.

Last week, the 32-year-old Halep appeared before the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland to testify as part of her appeal of a four-year doping ban.

“This hearing provided me with the opportunity to present my position and defend my innocence,” Halep said in a statement after last week's hearing. “My confidence in the prevalence of the truth remains intact. I look forward to reclaiming my place on the tennis courts.”

The Romanian superstar tested positive for the banned drug Roxadustat at the 2022 US Open. Halep has been provisionally suspended since October 2022. She says her positive test is a result of ingesting a contaminated Schinoussa supplement called Keto MCT.

Halep says the presence of Roxadustat was not disclosed on the label of the Keto MCT supplement, therefore she had no way of knowing it was contaminated.

Roxadustat is an anti-anaemia drug which promotes production of red blood cells in the body and has become popular with middle distance and long distance runners.

Halep says three "world-renowned experts" have concluded her positive test for Roxadustat was a result of a contaminated supplement.

However, the Quantum Nutrition founder told Canadian publication The Globe and Mail last October that the supplement was not the cause of the Romanian's positive test. He says Halep is trying to scapegoat his company as “the fall guy” for her doping suspension.

"They needed someone to blame," Quantum Nutrition founder John Koveos told The Globe and Mail.

Photo credit: Rob Newell/Camerasport