Sports

Halep got tested ’20 times a year’ as tennis chief tackles drug ban

On Friday, the International Tennis Integrity Agency announced that Halep had been provisionally suspended after a sample she provided during the recent US Open contained Roxadustat, a substance found on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s 2022 Prohibited List. The former World No.1 quickly issued a statement claiming the result was the “biggest impact of [her] life”.

The current world number 10 has maintained that she did not knowingly take any prohibited substance, and has now been defended by the interim president of the Romanian Tennis Federation, who revealed that the 31-year-old had been examined “20 times a year “. speaking to AGERPRESGeorge Cosac said: “Far be it from me to think that Simona could do such a thing, especially having a brilliant, work-based career.

“During the period when Simona started her rise and beat all the stars that dominated world tennis, she was checked about 20 times a year. So it is unlikely that anyone would think that she at her level could dope. She has always been an athlete who played and won correctly. I rule out the possibility of doping.”

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Others in the tennis world have also come out to defend the 2018 Wimbledon champion, including her former coach Darren Cahill. The Australian posted a lengthy statement on his Instagram profile on Sunday, stating: “First and foremost, there is NO possibility that Simona knowingly or deliberately took any substance on the prohibited list. None. Zero.”

He also echoed Cosac’s words that Halep was frequently tested voluntarily, adding: “We both believe in the ITIA testing program and often discussed the number of times she was tested, both in tournaments and randomly”. World No.36 Alize Cornet also showed her support for Halep, commenting on her statement on the matter. “With you all the way, Simona,” she said. “It’s unfair, but you will win this fight.”



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