Halep, between family support and personal disappointment

Octavian Dan
English Section / 14 septembrie 2023

Photo source: facebook / Simona Halep

Photo source: facebook / Simona Halep

Versiunea în limba română

Simona Halep's suspension has sparked a wave of reactions. Most of them are in favor of the athlete, who expressed shock at what is happening to her. Stere Halep, Simona Halep's father, stated that it is normal for the player to be disappointed, "if some want to blame her" and that something needs to be changed in the "international law" for athletes who face such situations: "Simona received the decision as you heard. It's so simple! It's normal for her to be disappointed if some want to blame her... And I have stated, they can give her a suspension for 100 years, we cannot acknowledge such a thing. If some want to blame her, that's their business. Why did it take so long for the decision to be made, you should ask them. It's pointless to ask me this question because I don't know what to tell you. According to the laws, we will appeal the decision. Simona is in very good spirits, what can you do? Absolutely nothing. If things go like this, it's a great pity for all athletes; it can happen to anyone. International law must do something for these people. They need to change something. It cannot be that only the athlete is guilty. There is no such thing in the world! I don't care about the statements of other athletes. We are clean in front of the Lord, and that's it."

Simona Halep spoke about her suspension, declaring herself shocked: "I am shocked, I could say. What is happening is a great injustice. I have never taken doping, and I have never doped in any way. All of this will come to light one day. I will let the experts discuss absolutely everything because they know better what happened. I am convinced that one day I will prove my innocence, and I am clean. Everything that happened was unfair from all points of view." She mentioned that she is very disappointed that "an athlete can be judged only on presumption, nothing concrete." "All my blood tests were negative, and no prohibited substances were ever found. Only on the 29th, there was a tiny amount of Roxadustat in my urine, and that was it. Now, I have to go to the CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport); I will appeal this senseless decision, in my opinion. I hope that one day the truth will come out. I will fight to the end to show this," added the athlete.

Coach Patrick Mouratoglou believes that Simona Halep is a victim of unfair treatment by the ITIA and the tribunal that decided to suspend her for four years. "I hope that the WTA, ATP, and PTPA will do everything in their power to change a system that destroys the careers of innocent players," he mentioned in a social media message. "I know Simona's integrity, and I have no doubt that she has never taken any prohibited substance. I was with her during all the two days of the hearing, and I cannot believe that the tribunal reached this decision based on the evidence and arguments we heard. The process and ITIA have been completely unfair to Simona, and it is totally unacceptable," noted Mouratoglou. The coach hopes that Halep will win at the CAS, "the only tribunal not controlled by the ITIA." "I don't think the ITIA sought the truth in Simona's case, and I don't think they treated her acceptably. I hope that the WTA, ATP, and PTPA will do everything in their power to change a system that destroys the careers of innocent players," Mouratoglou added. Darren Cahill, Simona's former coach, encouraged her, stating in a social media message that the former WTA leader has his "unwavering support": "Those who know me know what I think about this whole situation. My support for Simona is unwavering. Stay strong, Simo. Anyway, this case was supposed to go to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland."

Elisabeta Lipă, the President of the National Sports Agency (ANS), said that what is happening to tennis player Simona Halep is "terrible," noting that a 4-year doping sanction is very harsh: "The sanction received by Simona is very harsh because we are talking about four years. Unfortunately, she is out of the circuit. It's absolutely terrible what is happening to her. Waiting for a verdict from one day to the next for a year, and when they finally give it to you, it's four years. It's enormously long. It's hard; I feel extremely sorry that this is happening to the best tennis player in Romania. I am with Simona; I know her, and I regret that she has to go through this. Unfortunately, neither I nor anyone else can do anything for her in this situation. We can't help her in any way." The ANS President hopes that Simona Halep's suspension will be reduced on appeal: "It's normal for Simona to appeal because she needs to defend herself further. But once the verdict is given, do you think they will contradict themselves on appeal? Just have another court judge her, yes. May God help her in some way, but four years mean an enormous amount. I speak from the perspective of a former athlete... I can imagine what it means to stay without sports for four years. Thank God I didn't go through something like that. But after four years with no sporting activity, what mental state can you have to come back? Especially since Simona is over 30 now. But maybe her punishment will be reduced; we all hope for that." Lipă conveyed to the tennis player to be strong and continue the fight.

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