Former world no.1 involves Serena Williams in Halep's doping case

Nastase: "I think they (Mouratoglou and his staff) included Serena Williams and others."

by Claudiu Pop
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Former world no.1 involves Serena Williams in Halep's doping case
© Laurence Griffiths / Getty Images Europe

Before Simona Halep was heard in the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne last week, former world number one Ilie Nastase had accused tennis authorities of discriminating Halep by not accusing the other players who were trained by Mouratoglou's staff, including Serena Williams, since Mouratoglou himself took the blame for the roxadustat drug found in Halep's blood.

"I think they (e.d., Mouratoglou's staff) included Serena Williams and others. If he gave it to Simona, he certainly gave it to the other players he worked with. I think so, I don't think Simona Halep is the first to receive this from Mouratoglou," said Ilie Nastase for orangesport.ro.

Nastase accused Serena of doping in the past

As we've reported in 2017, this is not the first time Nastase takes a hit at Serena Williams. "Russia’s image when it comes to sport suffered a lot because of doping, but it’s pretty clear in Serena’s case as well," Nastase told Digisport.ro.

"Don’t you see how she looks like? No one controls the Americans when it comes to doping. If the truth came to light, all big tournaments would disappear, all sponsors would leave. You can’t even imagine," the Romanian tennis legend continued.

Serena Williams at the 2017 Australian Open. © Scott Barbour / Getty Images Sport

Simona Halep was audited last week at CAS

Simona Halep was heard at the CAS in Lausanne from Wednesday to Friday of last week for the doping case that brought her a 4-year suspension from professional tennis.

"Since none of the parties involved have requested a public hearing, everything will take place behind closed doors starting from Wednesday at 9.30 am until Friday at approximately 3.30 pm," the CAS stated. Hoping to reduce her initial sentence, Halep also hired Sharapova's lawyer Howard Jacobs, who managed to reduce Maria's suspension after being accused of using meldonium.

Read more: Halep defended by Sharapova's lawyer as trial hearings begin. Simona Halep gave a declaration after the hearings in Lausanne concluded last Friday. "I can't tell you absolutely anything about what happened at the hearing, but I can say that this hearing gave me the chance to present my defense," Halep told reporters as we documented last week.

Also, Halep gave special thanks to three of the lawyers that defended her in Lausanne. "Three intense days to prove my innocence. I want to especially thank Howard, Claude and Bogdan for the wonderful work they have done," Halep wrote on Instagram.

Halep began serving her suspension for using roxadustat, a molecule that stimulates the production of red blood cells, in October 2022. If the decision of the CAS, which is set to come in one or two months from now per reported rumors, isn't in Halep's favor, the Romanian will make a comeback only in 2026.

Simona Halep at the 2022 US Open, the last tournament she played before suspension. © Julian Finney / Getty Images Sport

Here is the CAS statement at the end of the hearings that took place last week: "Lausanne, 9 February 2024 - The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) hearing in the arbitration procedures CAS 2023/A/10025 Simona Halep v.

International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) and CAS. with the final pleadings of the parties, as scheduled. The parties have been informed that the CAS Panel in charge of the matter will now deliberate and prepare the Arbitral Award containing its decision and grounds.

No particular date was announced with respect to the notification of the final decision."

Halep was bitter after leaving Lausanne

Simona Halep displayed a different mood after the hearings ended compared to when she landed in Switzerland.

When she got back to Romania, Halep was moody. "I have nothing to comment until the decision comes," said Halep to the reporters as noted by Romanian publication GSP. "Is this whole thing (press asking questions) really necessary?" Looking at it in retrospective, Halep's change of mood is somehow expected.

In a recent Paris Match interview, the former Wimbledon champion revealed she is a very emotive person and that she hasn't been sleeping well lately. On the other hand, she pointed out her ambition to come back, even if it's in 2026.

Nevertheless, she admitted that "it's going to be a disaster to stay away from tennis for 4 years. I don't want to think about that, so I'm ready to fight."

Serena Williams
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