The International Tennis Integrity Agency has responded to Simona Halep's claim that they are deliberately postponing the Romanian's hearing in front of an independent tribunal. Halep, who tested positive for the banned substance Roxadustat in October, was hit with a second anti-doping charge on Friday over "irregularities" in her athlete biological passport.
On Monday night, Halep posted that the ITIA requested her hearing to be postponed for the third time. The hearing was scheduled for the end of May and Halep accused the ITIA of "denying my rights" to plead her case in front of an independent judge.
"We have proposed that both charges are heard together to avoid multiple hearings. To do this, we wish to provide all parties (including the independent tribunal) sufficient time to consider the significant materials associated with the latest charge.
Ultimately it is a decision for the independent tribunal. Ms Halep also has the opportunity to make her representations to them," the ITIA said in a statement.
Halep slammed the ITIA again
On Friday, Halep released a lengthy statement, in which she absolutely unloaded on the ITIA.
After learning her hearing was postponed for the third time, Halep once again unloaded on the ITIA. "I am once again extremely shocked and disappointed by the ITIA's attitude. While the ITIA via their representative Nicole Sapstead was publicly stating 3 days ago that the ITIA has remained committed to engaging Mrs Halep in an empathetic, efficient and timely manner', they were at the same time officially requesting the Tribunal to delay my hearing for the third time.
The ITIA publicly states one thing while privately doing another, I have repeatedly asked for my hearing and the ITIA has repeatedly sought to delay it. When is it going to stop? I ask the question once again. I am entitled to a quick hearing.
Acting this way is contrary to my rights," Halep said in a new statement. Last week, Halep said she was living "a nightmare" because of the ITIA.