The WTA provisionally suspended Simona Halep after she tested positive for a banned substance at US Open. The former WTA number 1 vows to fight for the truth and says it is a significant shock for her.
The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) announced that Simona Halep tested positive for Roxadustat, a banned substance listed in the 2022 World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List.
She or her coach Patrick Mouratoglou didn’t expect her poor performance by that time, as Simona was knocked out of the first round of this year’s US Open in August, losing to world No. 124 Daria Snigur.
In a statement on social media, the Romanian tennis player says she will fight to prove her innocence.
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. Facing such an unfair situation, I feel completely confused and betrayed. I will fight until the end to prove that I have never knowingly took any prohibited substance and I have faith that sooner or later, the truth will come out.Simona Halpe on Twitter after being provisionally suspended
Two ideas immediately pop out besides the idea of her innocence: she says she feels “betrayed,” which implies an accusation against her staff, and she also mentioned she had never knowingly taken any prohibited substance.
Interestingly, Simona’s coach Patrick Mouratoglou hasn’t yet discussed this subject on social media or elsewhere publicly.
Doping and Romanian athletes
It is not the first time Romanian athletes have been suspended or investigated for doping-related accusations. Famous or less famous, there are tens of athletes investigated after testing positive for forbidden substances.
Andreea Raducan, the gymnast lost her all-around title at the 2000 Olympics after testing positive for pseudoephedrine. She said the substance was in the composition of some medicine for colds, and her staff was administering her.
Adrian Mutu, the football player, tested positive for forbidden substances in 2010 after a match in Copa d’Italia. She served a ban for 9 months. In 2004, he was suspended while playing for Chelsea after testing positive for cocaine.
Elena Fidatov, the middle and long-distance runner who competed for Romania in the early 90s, received a ban in 1998.
Violeta Szekely (born Violeta Beclea), famous for winning the 1,500-meter race at the 2000 Summer Olympics, received a four-year ban for testing positive for prohibited substances in 1995.
The list goes on, but these are just some Romanian athletes testing positive during their careers.
Is Simona Halep going to prove her innocence? Either way, this scandal casts a shadow over her spectacular results.
Wanna support her? Check her Twitter post and leave your comment there.