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Theranos COO steps down amid federal probes

Along with Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes, Sunny Balwani faces a possible two-year ban from the blood-testing business.

CEO of Theranos Elizabeth Holmes is losing her chief operating officer as they both face possible bans from the blood-testing business.

Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes is losing her chief operating officer as they both face possible bans from the blood-testing business.

Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images

Embattled blood-testing firm Theranos said Thursday that Sunny Balwani, the company's chief operating officer, is stepping down and retiring.

Balwani, 50, along with Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes, faces the possibility of a two-year ban from the blood-testing business if the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the federal agency that oversees clinical labs, decides to shut down the company. Theranos has been under scrutiny since a Journal report in October that suggested its blood-testing devices were flawed, leading to questions regarding their accuracy.

In April, Federal prosecutors and the US Securities and Exchange Commission launched criminal and civil investigations into whether Theranos misled investors about the state of its product.

"I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to contribute to Theranos' mission to make health care accessible through its technology and products," Balwani said in a statement. "I will continue to be the company's biggest advocate and look forward to seeing Theranos' innovations reach the world."

A Theranos representative said Balwani's departure was unrelated to the investigations.

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