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Tennis Star Simona Halep Seeks $10 Million in Damages from Health Supplement Company Amid Doping Ban

Roxadustat is a class of drug called HIF-stabilizing agent that is known to increase a person's red blood cell count and boost endurance performance. 
UPDATED FEB 20, 2024
Cover Image Source: Simona Halep | Getty Images | Julian Finney
Cover Image Source: Simona Halep | Getty Images | Julian Finney

Romanian tennis star Simona Halep is taking legal action against a Canadian health supplements company for damages in excess of $10 million. As she serves a four-year doping ban after testing positive for the banned substance roxadustat, the two-time Grand Slam winner submitted the legal complaint in the Supreme Court of the State of New York on February 15, 2024, with Quantum Nutrition – also operating as Schinoussa Superfoods – and other unnamed individuals listed as defendants.

As per the United States Anti-Doping Agency, roxadustat is a class of drug called HIF-stabilizing agent that is known to increase a person's red blood cell count and boost endurance performance. 

Simona Halep | Getty Images | Tim Clayton
Simona Halep | Getty Images | Tim Clayton

According to her complaint, Halep used Schinoussa supplements during the 2022 US Open tournament in New York after which she tested positive for roxadustat, which is not disclosed on the product’s label. The health supplement company has now been accused of acting “carelessly and negligently” in the product which has become contaminated with roxadustat, as per court documents. In the filing, it has been mentioned that the former No.1 has never ever taken any banned substances knowingly and says that this is the subject of a "level of gross negligence," the filing says, per CNN.


The filing also states that she should be awarded at trial for the loss of past and future income and earning capacity as well as "past and future pain, suffering and humiliation” as well as “loss of enjoyment of life". Halep, 32, is currently suspended and has sustained damage in excess of $10 million, as per the filing. According to the International Tennis Integrity Agency, the athlete's suspension is backdated from October 7, 2022 until October 6, 2026.

Halep was previously charged by the agency with two separate breaches of the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme. Along with testing positive for roxadustat. she has also been charged with irregularities in her Athlete Biological Passport which is made to monitor the athlete’s selected biological variables over time.

According to the founder, John Koveos of Quantum Nutrition, they have nothing to do with it, and said, "They needed somebody to blame."

The founder also said that they supply nearly hundreds of athletes including Olympians, CFL, and NHL players. He also said that the company has a "100 percent clean record on all our athletes, and they’re regularly tested." He also said that Halep "was not the only athlete using that particular product on that particular day."


According to Halep, she had adjusted her supplements ahead of the hard-count season in 2022. She also said that none of the supplements that she consumed had the roxadustat in the ingredient list. However, she also accepted that one of them was contaminated with roxadustat. "I was tested almost weekly after my initial positive test through early 2023, all of which came back negative," Halep said. Halep also appealed that ruling last week before the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland. "I really believe that the truth is going to come out and the day to be on court is going to be soon," she said.

Fans from all over the nation took to social media to react to this news. "She’s so time after time, report after report, the concentration of roxadust in her samples was greater than any accidental contamination could’ve provided. You lost girl. You got caught. Hang it up," wrote @MAshaq4Lyfe on X, formerly known as Twitter, while another wrote, "From what I read it was also her blood passport that got her banned, so suing this company is more a PR stunt?"