The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) handed the Romanian tennis star a four-year ban after failing a dope test last year.
Williams, who is termed as one of the greatest players in the history of women’s singles tennis in the Open era having won as many as 23 Grand Slams in her illustrious career, liked a tweet of a user who called out Halep for ‘cheating’.
However, she ended up un-liking the post but it was too late as some users went on to take a screenshot.
The 31-year-old was provisionally suspended since September 2022 after testing positive for blood-booster Roxadustat.
“The first [charge] related to an Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF) for the prohibited substance roxadustat at the US Open in 2022, carried out through regular urine testing during competition,” said ITIA in a statement on Tuesday.
“The tribunal accepted Halep’s argument that they had taken a contaminated supplement, but determined the volume the player ingested could not have resulted in the concentration of roxadustat found in the positive sample. The second charge related to irregularities in Halep’s Athlete Biological Passport (ABP).”
The announcement came at a time when Halep was hoping to finally get her suspension lifted after staying on the sidelines for 12 months.
The former world number has an impressive record while playing at the highest level, having won as many as two Grand Slam titles in her career.
The first major title victory for the Constanța-born in the French Open in 2018 where she defeated America’s Sloane Stephens in the final with a score of 3–6, 6–4, 6–1.
A year later, Halep went on to win the Wimbledon title after beating Serena in the final in straight sets with a score of 6-2, 6-2.