The former Wimbledon champion said the idea of cheating “never even crossed my mind once” and that she feels “completely confused and betrayed”.
The International Tennis Integrity Agency announced on Friday the world number nine tested positive for the blood-boosting drug Roxadustat at the US Open.
“Simona Halep, a 31-year-old Romanian tennis player, has been provisionally suspended under Article 7.12.1 of the 2022 Tennis Anti-Doping Programme (TADP),” the body said in a statement.
Taking to social media after the announcement, Halep said: “Today begins the hardest match of my life: a fight for the truth.
“I have been notified that I have tested positive for a substance called Roxadustat in an extremely low quantity, which came as the biggest shock of my life.
“Throughout my whole career, the idea of cheating never even crossed my mind once, as it is totally against all the values I have been educated with.”
“It’s not about the titles or money. It’s about honour, and the love story I have developed with the game of tennis over the last 25 years.”
Roxadustat can increase production of red blood cells – which helps athletes’ endurance.